You are here

Political Science 210

Introduction to International Relations and Global Politics

Length of Course: 14 weeks

Classroom Hours per Week: 4 hours lecture

Number of Credits: 3 Credits

Prerequisites: PSCI 100 or 202; and 12 credits

Corequisite: English 100

Text:Global Politics: Origins, Currents, and Directions. 5th ed. A. Sens and P. Stoett, Nelson Publishing, Toronto. 2014.

Course Description

How are decisions made in international politics? Has globalization impacted decision making at the global level? What are the contemporary issues impacting decision making on the international level? Why do states go to war and when does the international community get involved? What are the pressures impacting the world today that will impact relationships between states and decisions made globally tomorrow? These questions and more will be explored by students in this course. Students will develop an understanding of foundational and critical international theory. The course will examine the events that have shaped our understanding of global politics, consider current events in this context and apply this knowledge to emerging issues that will influence and inform foreign policy and international relationships into the future. Building on the ideas and concepts introduced in previous course, this course will introduce students to the foundational concepts and theoretical underpinnings of international relations and global politics. It will examine the actors and institutions that impact foreign policy making within states, as well as policy making and law at the international level. The course will also explore critical arguments that challenge the field’s dominant theoretical frames. Finally, it will examine the contemporary issues and pressures on international politics that have impacted the field recently and examine how these issues may shape global politics into the future.

Course Outline

Week Topic
Week 1 Introduction
Week 2 Contextualizing Global Politics
Week 3 Theoretical Underpinnings of International Relations
Week 4 Foreign Policy
Week 5 The Global Economy
Week 6 International Institutions and International Law
Week 7 Conflict and Security
Week 8 Human Rights
Week 9 International Politics and Development
Week 10 Migration, Population, and Global Health
Week 11 Climate Change and Environmental Issues
Week 12 Technology, Information, and Culture
Week 13 Threats and Opportunities in International Politics: the 21st Century
Week 14 Final Exam


Students’ grades will be based on their completion of the following activities:

Class Participation 10%
Assignments 25%
Project 20%
Midterm 20%
Final Examination 25%


Matt Wadsworth, PhD (ABD); MPA