Brian C. Ventura

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Pol. Sci. 180 Course Outline

Posted by Brian C. Ventura on June 10, 2010

University of the Philippines Visayas
Division of Social Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
Political Science 180
(International Politics)

Instructor: Prof. Brian C. Ventura
Term: First Semester AY 2010-11
Class Meeting: M Th 4:00-5:30 Room: R205
Consultation Hours: MTh 11:00-12:00, 1:00-2:30 ,T F 2:30-5:00 or by appointment
Prerequisite: Pol. Sci. 11 and 14 Section: 1 Credits: 3 Units
E-mail Address:
Office: Division of Social Science Faculty Room, Bulwagang Tomas Fonacier

Course Description

This course provides an overview of the history, concepts and issues in international politics. The class will examine both the relationship between states and between state and non-state actors, with the goal of identifying the enduring rules, (if any) and changing trends in the relationship of various actors across borders.

More specifically the course aims to;

• Define the basic concepts and terms in the understanding of international politics
• Trace the historical development of the international system and the various actors within in from the Pre-Westphalian period, the Westphalian period, the Cold War, Post Cold war, up to the present
• Evaluate the arguments of various perspectives in the understanding and study of international system.
• Identify and explain the enduring issues and changing trends in the relationship of various actors in the international system.

Assessment Scheme:

Assessment of students’ performance in this class will be based on the following;

Components Grade percentage
Midterm Examination 30%
Final Examination 30%
Paper and Presentation 25%
Quizzes and Assignment 15%
Total grade 100%

Class Participation: It is expected that students are prepared before coming to class every meeting. This means that you have read, reread, and comprehended, assigned reading/s before entering the class, or at least have tried your best to do so. Coming to class means that you are interested to contribute and learn in classroom activities. Participation in discussion means raising pertinent and well grounded points or questions and not merely reading the book in front of the course instructor and your classmates. Names will be called randomly, unless there are volunteers. It should be noted that class participation includes not only answering but asking pertinent and discussion worthy questions as well. You will also engage in informal debates and argumentation, therefore skills in construction, defense, and offense of argument is important. However, it is imperative that exchange of ideas should always be in a cordial manner. If you disagree with a certain idea or person, disagree in an agreeable manner.

Quizzes and Assignments: Quizzes are not announced. These are given to check whether you have done your reading assignments or not. It is always in essay form. It is therefore implied that aside from your knowledge about the thinkers, written communication skill is also important.

Midterm and Final Examinations: After discussing the readings, students’ understanding and ability to analyze and evaluate the basic concepts and ideas of thinkers will be assessed in two or three long examinations. Examinations will be a mixture of objective and essay questions. It should be reiterated that not only knowledge about the ideas of the thinkers will be assessed but your ability to communicate your ideas as well. It is important that you know how to properly present your ideas and to establish strong arguments to support it. It is also important that you will carefully understand the instructions in the examination. Not following the instruction will result to a grade of 5 for the exam. The coverage and schedule of exam will follow the order of the course outline.

Stand Paper and Presentation: The class will be divided in to three or four groups that will present one of the topics listed in part VII of the topic outline. If the group would like to propose a different topic, the group must argue the importance of the topic and present an outline for approval. This is called a Stand Paper because every group will have to evaluate the various sides of the argument surrounding their chosen topic, with each member representing one stand in the class presentation and in his or her paper. Follow the bellow instruction carefully;

Stage One. Before the class presentation, an outline must be consulted to the instructor. The outline must include 1. the topics to be discussed 2. the persons assigned for a given topic. 3. a comprehensive list of literature covering the major issues of the topic chosen 4. current example proving the point of each argument Consultation must be scheduled as a group.

Stage Two. During the presentation the group must 1. provide handouts to the instructor and the whole class 2. use visual aids. 3. divide the time within the group accordingly.

Stage Three. After the presentation a final paper will be submitted. The paper should follow the following instructions; 1. only 8 to 10 pages. 2. must use not less than 15 sources, with 13 books and journal sources and only two online sources. 3 be submitted on or before the due date. 4. follow the APSA style guide.

Rating Scale and Grading Policy: Since due dates are nonnegotiable no grade of “INC” will be given in this class. Those who are unable to submit the requirement/s in due time will have a corresponding grade of “5.0” for that specific component. Conversion of the percentage grade into the final grade will follow this matrix.

Percentage Final Grade
100% 1.0
95-99% 1.25
90-94% 1.5
85-89% 1.75
80-84% 2.0
75-79% 2.25
70-74% 2.5
65-69% 2.75
60-64% 3.0
55-59% 4.0
54% and below 5.0
General Class Rules:

Attendance and Tardiness: Students with more than six unexcused absences will be automatically given a grade of five (5) unless he or she has formally dropped the course. It is your responsibility to apply for dropping if you have exceeded the limit of unexcused absences, not an Instructor’s prerogative. Arriving fifteen minutes (15 min.) after the start of the class is considered late. Arriving half an hour after the start of the class is considered absent. Three late marks is equivalent to one absent mark.

Rule for Mobile Phones: Mobile phones should be set in silent mode inside the class. If you need to make an important SMS, MMS conversation, or Phone call, you should excuse yourself from the class and conduct your business outside.
Due dates: Submission schedules for this class should be promptly observed. Late submissions of assigned works are not accepted. It will be helpful if you finish and print assigned papers at least 24 hours before the due. Be alert with any possible changes in schedules so you won’t be confused. Do not hesitate to ask the instructor if you feel uncertain. It is better to be sure than sorry.

Class Discussion: Names will be called randomly. Once your name is called you have the right and the duty to contribute. Language is not a barrier for articulating ideas so long as mutual understanding is guaranteed. Being absent on the previous meeting/s means that it is your responsibility to review the discussion on the day/s when you were absent. You are an important participant in learning therefore your contribution in class room learning is highly valued.

Students’ Responsibility: It is expected that you are reading and understanding the literatures assigned to or pertinent with the topic before coming to class. The role of the instructor is only to facilitate in the birthing process of ideas and to assess students’ performance. Grades are not made but only calculated based on the set of given provided by the students’ performance.

Course Schedule: The discussion will follow the outline. In case of any unforeseeable and unavoidable interruptions a make up class will be scheduled in a mutually convenient and feasible time and place.

Academic Honesty: Plagiarism is a serious academic offense punishable by a grade of 5.0 or expulsion. You are expected to observe proper rules in citing sources and to provide appropriate credits to borrowed ideas. Cheating during examination and quizzes will also be subject to similar rule.

Topic Outline

June Topic Readings

10 and 17
I. Introduction: Concepts, Actors and Levels of Analysis

A. Definition and Scope
a. international relations
b. international politics
c. world politics
B. Actors in the International System
a. state
b. inter-governmental organizations
c. non-governmental organizations, four types
d. individuals

Viotti and Kauppi Chapter 1


C. Levels of Analysis
a. individual level
b. state level
c. system level

Viotti and Kauppi Chapter 1

24 and 29
D. Historical Context
a. four types of Pre-Westphalian international system
b. Westphalian system
Viotti and Kauppi Chapter 2

Mingst Chapter 2
July Topic Readings

1, 5 and 8
E. Cold War and the post Cold War
a. Cold War period bipolarity
b. Post Cold War, “End of History,” “Clash of Civilizations” or “More of the Same”?

Mingst Chapter 2

Fukuyama, National Interest Summer 1989

Mingst and Snyder,
Huntington, Chapter 4

Mingst and Snyder, Waltz, Chapter 3

12, 15 and 19
II. Theoretical Perspectives and the study of International Politics

A. Theoretical Perspectives
a. Idealism
b. Realism
c.. Liberalism
d. Radicalism
e. Constructivism
f. A critique of mainstream IR theory-the Third World view
Mingst, Chapter 3

Mingst and Snyder, Walt, Chapter 2

Mingst and Snyder,
Morgenthau, Chapter 2

Mingst and Snyder, Doyle, Chapter 2

22, 26 and 29
B. Approaches to the study of International Relations
a. Systems Approach
c. Scientific School
d. Policy Studies
e. Political Economy
f. Pure Theory
g. English School
h. International Studies
i. International Law
j. Marxist Approach
k. Civil Society Approach
l. Culture and Sociology Approach
m. Peace Studies

Handouts will be supplied a meeting prior to the discussion
August Topic Readings

2, 5 and 9
III. The State

A. the State as a primary actor
a. elements of the state
b. state vs. nations
c. changing conception of sovereignty
B. States in Various Perspectives
a. Realist
b. Liberal
c. Radical
C. Defining and Using State power
a. Natural, Tangible and Intangible
b. Hard, Soft and Smart Power
c. Diplomacy, Economy and Use of Force

Mingst, Chapter 5

Mingst and Snyder, The Economist, Chapter 5

Mingst and Snyder, Herbst, Chapter 5
August 12, 2010 Midterm Examination

16, 19 and 23
IV. Foreign Policy
A. Definition and Organizational Structure
B. Models of foreign policy decision making

a. rational model
b. organizational process, bureaucratic politics
c. individual decision making
d. poliheuristic approach

Mingst, Chapter 5 (119-125) and Chapter 6

Mingst and Snyder,

Hermann and Hagan,
Chapter 6

Mingst and Snyder
Foreign Policy,
Chapter 6

26 and 30
V. International Security
A. Perspectives in International Security
a. conventional security
b. collective, common and comprehensive security
B. Liberal approach,
a. collective security and arms control
C. Realist approach
a. balance of power
b. deterrence
D. Perspectives on the Causes of War
a. individual
b. state and society
c. systemic

Mingst, Chapter 7

Mingst and Snyder, Clausewitz,
Chapter 7

Mingst and Snyder, Doyle, Chapter 7

September Topic Readings

2 and 6

VI. International Political Economy
A. the rise of global political economic relationships
a. rise of international transactions
b. states’ role in economic policy making
c. economic issues become public issues

Mingst, Chapter 8

9 and 13
B. Approaches to understanding IPE
a. Realist as skeptics
b. Liberals as optimist
c. Radicals as antagonist
C. Institutions vis-à-vis Power, Competition, and Development
a. the Bretton Woods Institutions
b. the Multinationals
c. the NGOs
Mingst, Chapter 8

Mingst and Snyder,
Kapur, Chapter 8

Mingst and Snyder, Birdsall, Chapter 8

September 20, 2010 Due for Stage One

September 27, 2010 Final Examination
October Topic Readings

1, 5 and 8
VII. Take a Stand in International Political Issues
A. Regionalism
a. advancing globalisation or a form of protectionism?
B. Migration and International Relations
a. a non-traditional security issue or a matter of political economics?
C. International Environmental Politics
a. reinforcing or challenging world order?
D. Democratic Peace Theory
a. Waging war to promote democracy: right or wrong?
E. The UN and International Politics
a. UN: instrument or challenger of the major powers?
F. Nuclear Weapons and Security
a. Nuclear Weapons: an instrument of security or insecurity?

Suggested Readings will be provided, students also need to research and refer to the above list or readings.
October 13, 2010 Due for Stage Three


American Political Science Association. 2006. Committee on Publications. Style Manual for Political Science. [cited June 17, 2009]. Available from

Browm, Chris, and Kirsten Ainley. 2005. Understanding In (Kennedy 1987)ternational Relations. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Fukuyama, Francis. 1989. The End of History? The National Interest.

Mingst, Karen. 2003. Essentials of International Relations. New York: W.W Norton & Company Inc.

Mingst, Karen, and Jack Snyder. 2001. Essential Readings in World Politics. New York: W.W Norton & Company Inc.

Viotti, Paul R., and Mark V. Kauppi. 2001. International Relations and World Politics: Security, Economy and Identity. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.


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