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POLSC211: Introduction to International Relations

Unit 1: Introduction to International Relations   In this unit, we will begin to look at some basic concepts we use when we study international relations: What is a state? What is national sovereignty? What is national interest? How do you measure power? We will also begin to look at the different ways political scientists analyze international relations: individual, domestic, and global perspectives.

Unit 1 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 10 hours.

☐    Subunit 1.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 1.2: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 1.3: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 1.4: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 1.5: 1 hour

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- delineate the historical development of interstate relations and the place of the nation state in that development;  - describe specific issues that have relevance to the study of interstate relations, national security, war, economic integration, trade, and so forth; - distinguish between the three levels of analysis of the international system: individual, domestic, and global; - discuss the role of national power and diplomacy in international relations; - discuss the nature and development of international organizations; and  - identify and discuss global environmental issues.

1.1 The State and Anarchy   - Reading: University of California-San Diego: Professor Branislav L. Slantchev’s “Lecture 2: State and Anarchy” Lecture Notes Link: University of California-San Diego: Professor Branislav L. Slantchev’s Lecture 2: State and Anarchy Lecture Notes (PDF) 
 
Instructions: Scroll down to the heading “The Lectures” and click on Lecture 2, “State and Anarchy” (do not select the hyperlink that says “Outline”) to access the PDF of the lecture.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.2 National Sovereignty   - Reading: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Dan Philpott’s “Sovereignty” Link: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Dan Philpott’s Sovereignty (HTML)

 Instructions: Read through the definition of sovereignty in
the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.   
    
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1.2.1 Challenges to National Sovereignty   - Reading: University of Indiana: Professor Randall Baker’s “Challenges to Traditional Concepts of Sovereignty” Link: University of Indiana: Professor Randall Baker’s Challenges to Traditional Concepts of Sovereignty (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this webpage to learn about adversity facing the
concept of sovereignty.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.2.2 Sovereignty and Global Development   - Web Media: YouTube: International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change: Laurence Tubiana’s “Sovereignty and the Challenges of Global Climate Change” Link: YouTube: International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change: Laurence Tubiana’s Sovereignty and the Challenges of Global Climate Change (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Watch this speech, which addresses how a particular issue, such as climate change can conflict with notions of state sovereignty. The speaker in this video, Laurence Tubiana, is the Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (ISDIR) in France. This keynote speech was originally given at the International Human Dimensions Programme Open Meeting in 2009.

 Watching this video clip should take approximately 10 minutes.   
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
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1.3 National Interest   - Reading: James Madison University: Dr. J. Peter Pham’s “What Is in the National Interest? Hans Morgenthau’s Realist Vision and American Foreign Policy” Link: James Madison University: Dr. J. Peter Pham’s What Is in the National Interest? Hans Morgenthau’s Realist Vision and American Foreign Policy (PDF)

 Instructions: Scroll down to the bottom of the webpage, and click
on the hyperlink “click here” to open a copy of Dr. Pham’s article
in PDF format.  As you read Professor Pham’s article, pay particular
attention to the second section of the article entitled “Interest
and Power.”   
    
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1.4 National Power   - Reading: Science Alert: Hafeznia, Zarghani, Ahmadipor, and Eftekhari’s “Presentation a New Model to Measure National Power of the Countries” Link: Science Alert: Hafeznia, Zarghani, Ahmadipor, and Eftekhari’s “Presentation a New Model to Measure National Power of the Countries” (HTML or PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the full-text HTML version or select the link Full Text (PDF). 
 
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1.4.1 Tangible Elements   - Web Media: YouTube: UCLA: Professor Michael L. Ross’s “Rein in ‘Oil Bully’ Burma” Link: YouTube: UCLA: Professor Michael L. Ross’s Rein in ‘Oil Bully’ Burma” (YouTube)
 
Instructions: Watch the video for an example of how a nation uses natural resources to gain power. In this video, Professor Michael L. Ross describes how the possession of natural resources can affect a state’s international relations. Professor Michael L. Ross is a political scientist, who teaches at University of California, LA, and is the acting Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

 Watching this video should take approximately 5 minutes.   
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

1.4.2 Intangible Elements   - Reading: Google Books: Professor Stephen M. Walt’s The Origins of Alliances: “Introduction” Link: Google Books: Professor Stephen M. Walt’s The Origins of Alliances: “Introduction” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the Introduction, pages 1-16. Professor Walt’s book is considered seminal to alliance theory, and the Introduction chapter will cover his ideas at a broad level.
 
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1.5 Levels of Analysis   1.5.1 Individual   - Reading: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology: Professor Terrence Casey’s “Levels of Analysis” Lecture Slideshow and University of Michigan: Professor Emeritus J. David Singer’s “International Conflict: Three Levels of Analysis” Links: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology: Professor Terrence Casey’s “Levels of Analysis” (PDF) Lecture Slideshow and University of Michigan: Professor Emeritus J. David Singer’s “International Conflict: Three Levels of Analysis” (PDF) 
 
Instructions: First read through Professor Terrence Casey's lecture notes from his course on International Relations. Then read Professor J. David Singer's article, which can be accessed by clicking the link for a list of his publications and selecting the fifth item on the list, “International Conflict: Three Levels of Analysis.” This reading will also cover sub-subunits 1.5.2 and 1.5.3.
 
Note on the Text: Professor Singer’s article is a seminal work on how events in international relations can be explained or interpreted at multiple levels.
 
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1.5.2 Domestic   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath sub-subunit 1.4.1.

1.5.3 Global   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath sub-subunit 1.4.1.