- Introduction to International Relations – POLT 12800
An introductory level course meant to introduce
students to the major schools of thought in the field of international relations, as well as some of the basic issues facing the global community. Requires students to understand and analyze events from different perspectives. Discussion and lecture.
- Ithaca Seminar: War, Peace, and Terrorism – ICSM 10500
(Fall 2012) This course is a seminar for incoming first-year students.
War seems to be part of what it means to be human;
wars occur in almost every society, and despite enormous efforts to prevent war, it still happens with regularity. In this seminar we’ll explore the topic of war from a range of perspectives and disciplines. Why do wars happen? How are they fought? Is technology changing the very nature of war? What do we mean by “peace”? What brings about peace? Is terrorism a form of war, or is it something else? We’ll be addressing these questions through popular, journalistic
and academic texts as well as popular films, including Starship
Troopers, Team America, and Beauty and the Beast.
- ST: Pirates, Mercenaries and Missionaries: Sovereignty in the International System(Selected Topics in Comparative and International Studies) – POLT 34002-01 (This course counts towards Comparative and International Studies requirements in the Politics major and minor)
Are today’s pirates in any way related to the pirates of the past? Is the increasing use of mercenaries a good thing for world peace? Do missionaries (both religious and secular) threaten the sovereignty of countries? We’ll explore these and other questions, focusing in particular on how pirates, mercenaries and missionaries fit into the international system and its rules. We’ll also explore their histories and their relationship to the concept of sovereignty. These groups also help us understand how today’s rules evolved over the past several hundred years. They are still active today, and we’ll take a look at contemporary pirates, mercenaries, and missionaries to get an understanding of how the international system and its rules continue to evolve. Parrots and eye patches optional.
- Crossing Borders/Global Migrations – POLT 33500
Why do people migrate? Why do the vast majority of
people not migrate across borders? Why is immigration such
a hot political topic all over the world? This course introduces students to various theories of migration. We also discuss the implications of migration for the meaning of borders, citizenship, the nation-state and identity. Discussion and lecture.
- Russian Politics (POLT-32600)
- Whiteness and Multiculturalism (POLT-33600)
What does it mean to be white in the US today? In the world? This course explores this under-studied aspect of race, examining various ways in which “white” as a racial category has been and is currently defined. Focus ranges from the personal to the global, including societies around the world. Enrollment limited to 20; seminar format (discussion).
- Ithaca Seminar: “Avatar” as International Politics: Cultural, economic and military aspects of global relations – ICSM
10500-10 (CRN 21870)
This course is a seminar for incoming first-year students.
The recent film “Avatar,” though taking place on a distant
planet, touches on a number of themes that are central to an understanding of contemporary international relations. Using the film as a starting point, we will look at such topics as war and peace, mercenaries, oil supplies, global economic relations, and cultural encounters. In addition to “Avatar” we may also bring in other popular films to illustrate these themes. Enrollment is limited to 22 students.
- European Politics – (POLT-33000)
- Yugoslavia: the wars in the Balkans
- Seminar: Violent Ethnic Conflict – POLT 40102
From Rwanda to western Europe, from Bosnia to the US,
many of the violent conflicts taking place in the world today are
framed in cultural terms, as ethnic, nationalist, or religious. Some
argue that the major cause of violent conflict in the post-cold war era has been clashes between cultures or culturally-defined civilizations. In this scenario, cultural difference itself is the cause of violence. But is cultural diversity itself enough to explain hatred and killing? Are wars actually fought over culture? What is the relationship between nationalism, cultural identity, violence, and state power? Is there a link between globalization and culturally-framed conflict? Is US foreign policy driven by culture? These are among the questions we’ll be thinking about.
- Seminar: Missionaries for Democracy: The missionary impulse and US democracy promotion – POLT 40102
This seminar addresses the question of how and why the US spreads democracy around the world through comparing
democracy promotion to traditional religious missionary work, considering the similarities and differences between the two. We’ll explore the definitions of democracy, whether democracy “travels” across cultures, the relationship of democracy promoters to target societies, and think about whether and how democracy promotion is similar to missionary work.
- Seminar on Identity, Culture and International Relations: Migration and Immigration
(this is now offered as a 300 level course, see POLT 33500 Crossing Borders/Global Migration)
- Tutorial: Political Trends in Eastern Europe (POLT-40300-01, Tutorial: Comparative/International)
- During the 1999-2000 academic year I also took part in a team-taught course, the H&S Honors Program Junior Seminar (336-300), convened by my colleague Naeem Inayatullah. The topic of the course, which was offered both Fall and Spring semesters, was Cultural Encounters. Here’s the syllabus for my section: Promoting Democracy in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia?
Last revised 5/28/2014