POL 103: Introduction to International Relations
In the introductory course in International Relations we will examine the primary factors influencing the behavior of states and the patterns of interaction – particularly those of conflict and cooperation – that take place among states and other actors in international relations. We begin with an overview of perspectives on the study of international relations and complement this with an examination of the evolution of the international system over the last few centuries. We then turn to the theories that have constituted the leading approaches to the study of international relations. This provides us with a basis to analyze the extent to which relations among states and other actors are ones of conflict and/or cooperation. We then move on to the question of why states pursue certain policies and actions rather than others in our examination of foreign policy. From here we turn to an overview of the international political economic system, focusing on the particular system that evolved after WWII. We end the course by discussing issues relevant to the future of international relations.
POL 252: North-South Dialogue
By focusing on the distribution of power and wealth between the “developed” and “developing” countries of the world, this course explores the political and economic factors that have made inequality a central characteristic of the relationship between the global North and the global South. This semester we will engage in an extended exploration of the concept of “development,” asking just what it means to be “developed,” how development is best conceptualized, defined, and measured, and how development might best be achieved. We will also closely examine the potential changes in the distribution of power between the global North and the global South during the last two decades as well as the impact that globalization is having on the nature of North/South relations. We will focus on the growing debate regarding the use of microfinance as a development strategy as well as food crises and the politics of food production strategies. We’ll ask to what extent each of these types of strategies can and has been used to promote development, the type of development each promotes, and the limitations of these strategies as a means of promoting development and narrowing the North-South gap.
POL 275: Latin American Politics
This course is designed as an introduction to Latin American politics. Latin America is a region of the world in which the interaction of political and economic forces – both of an internal and an external nature – is constantly in evidence. For that reason, in this course we will focus on the political issues surrounding economic development in the Latin American context – the political and economic “preconditions” for development, the major actors involved in the development process, the policy choices that have been made by various regimes in Latin American countries, and the political and economic consequences that have stemmed from the policies.
POL 303: Topics in International Politics (Women and the Political Economy of Development)
Within the context of the political science major, this is a course in the subfield of international relations. In keeping with the use of the levels of analysis in international relations, we will examine the impact that factors at the level of the international system, the nation state, and the individual level of analysis have on gender and development. We will also employ levels of analysis less typically employed in the study of international relations, such as the household. In this course we will examine the impact that development has on women as well as the central role that women play in the development process. What we shall see is that, as one of the quotes at the top of this page implies, although women have only “gotten” a decade’s worth of recognition, they have been a central, if oft-ignored, part of the development process. The roles that women play in household production, in the care of their families, and in the formal and informal economies will be analyzed. In the course of acquainting students with the major issues and debates centering on gender and development, we will employ perspectives ranging from political scientists’ focus on political participation and the empowerment of women, to economists’ efforts accurately to measure women’s contributions to development, to critiques of mainstream gender theories. We will also seek to assess strategies that address equity issues as well as attempting to foster women’s participation in and benefits from development programs.
POL 351: The Political Economy of Armed Conflict
War is a form of organized social activity. Engaging in this activity requires the use of economic and other resources. This course will explore the reasons that states and non-state actors opt to devote valuable and often scare resources to fighting wars. We will examine the economic motivations that actors have for engaging in political violence, the costs – economic and otherwise – of conducting war, and the consequences that follow for states and societies of having participated in armed conflict. This course employs a political economy approach to study both interstate and intrastate conflicts. Our examination of the relationship between war and economics will take us from the role that these factors played in the development of the modern nation-state to civil wars and the virtual collapse of the state in some contemporary civil conflicts. This course also employs service learning as part of its pedagogy. One of the means by which students will learn about the implications armed conflict has for individuals and societies is through their interaction with veterans in Adams County.
POL 403: International Relations Capstone (Globalization)
This course fulfills Gettysburg College’s capstone requirement. Within the context of the political science major, this is a course in the subfield of international relations. The focus of this course is on globalization. Globalization is a term that has been used to describe the increased movement of goods, money, people, ideas and knowledge across national borders. The process of globalization has led to increased political, economic, and cultural interconnectedness among the world’s populations. At the global level, globalization has been identified as the source of a number of challenges to the role of governments in international relations and the global economy. In this course we will investigate a number of debates concerning globalization, focusing on the positive and negative effects said to stem from this process. Our study of globalization will take us from a historical examination of the nature of globalization over time to various manifestations of the process of globalization and its impacts at the societal, national, and global levels. Is globalization an inexorable process as the statements by Annan and Clinton above seem to suggest? Does globalization have different types of effects on different actors in the international system? Does globalization generate and/or dissolve) power structures? What effect does globalization have in determining hierarchies, inequalities and opportunities? Can globalization be managed in such a manner as to dampen its ill effects and strengthen the positive effects? These are among the central questions we will attempt to answer in this seminar during the course of the semester.