2018-2019 Academic Catalog 
    Oct 17, 2021  
2018-2019 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PSCI 289 - Advanced Topics in International Relations - Capstone Seminar

Focus changes with each offering, depending on faculty interest. Recent topics: U.S. Foreign Policy; International Humanitarian Law; Terrorism; Intervention; and Ethnic and Nationalist Conflicts. Open to juniors and seniors. Can be taken twice.


This capstone seminar-Global Order and Disorder-is inspired by the series of dramatic events that is shaping the international order and the transatlantic alliance constructed at the end of the Second World War. The re-ordering of global power and trade relations is marked by Trump in Washington DC, which coincides with the growing tide of nationalism in Europe and elsewhere. Theresa May in Great Britain, Geert Wilders’ near victory in Netherlands, Viktor Orban in Hungary, and Marine Le Pen’s strong showing in France. These movements are feeding off each other and spawning racism, anti-immigration sentiments, xenophobia, protectionism, and eroding the coherence of the post-Cold War global order. Meanwhile, China is quietly stepping into the global leadership vacuum created by the retreat of the United States and United Kingdom behind protectionist walls. Beijing has positioned itself as a steady, forward-oriented, and benevolent alternative to the United States. Chinese assertiveness is strongly evident in the contested waters of South China Sea and in North Korea. China is also expanding its political reach through the ‘One Belt-One Road’ (OBOR) initiative, which is creating an alternate trade and investment system. Trump’s ‘America First’ policy and the clumsy dalliance with the Russian leader-Vladimir Putin-and the variety of intelligence leaks and claims of widespread hacking have sowed seeds of confusion in the U.S-Russia relationship. Russia is also increasing its influence through disinformation and with its oil and gas wealth. It is also expanding its influence in the Russian near abroad and in the Middle East by supporting the Syrian and Iranian regimes. The purpose of this course is to examine broad patterns of order and disorder in interstate relations by analyzing power, economic, and military relations among major and minor powers.


Anticipated Terms Offered: EACH SEMESTER