Intro to IR

Introduction to International Relations: Virtual Class
POLT 12800, section 2
Spring 2020
Prof. Chip Gagnon
MWF 10-10:50am EDT via Zoom (from Sakai)
Virtual office hours: MWF 3-4pm EDT and by request, via Zoom.
Course website:


Updated 3/20/2020

Starting on Monday  March 23 we will be meeting virtually via Zoom at our regularly scheduled time, 10-10:50am EDT. Please refer to emails and Sakai messages I’ve sent out.  All readings are accessible via links on this syllabus and on the pdf version of the syllabus to files on Sakai.

To join class, click on Zoom in Sakai. If that does not work please see the pdf version of the syllabus (On Sakai under Resources)

Some IR blogs

Go to reading assignments for:
W 1/22 – W 2/12, Introduction and Theory | F 2/14 – M 2/17, Media and IR | W 2/19 – W 3/25, Security: Terrorism and the Future of War | F 3/27 – F 4/17, The International EconomyM 4/20 – F 4/24, Future of the International OrderM 4/27 – W 5/6, Culture and International Conflict

Why are you here?

Bombings. Wars and insurgencies. Weapons of mass destruction. Pandemics. Trade wars. Nationalism. Ethnic and religious conflicts. The rise of China. Russian influence in Europe. The war in Syria.

These are some of the topics you hear about in the news, and that we’ll be studying over the course of the semester.

What we’ll be doingUNHQ-l

One of the interesting things about international politics is that different people see it very differently.

We’ll be working to understand that diversity of views by looking at different conceptions of justice, conflicting views of human nature, competing visions of politics.

We’ll also explore some specific issues related to the international: the changing nature of warfare and terrorism; the international economy, processes of globalization of trade and investment that challenge the traditional understanding of the nation-state and have direct impacts on local communities in every part of the world, including the US; and the effect of culture — ethnic, national, religious — on international relations.

Course Objectives

  1. By the end of the course you should be able to:
  • Analyze how the theories of Realism, Liberalism, Global Humanism, and Critical Theory lead people to see international relations in very different ways
  • Describe the relationship between assumed threats and military strategies

    Shanghai / 上海

  • Outline the basic principles behind the current global economic order
  • Examine various viewpoints as applied to that economic order
  • Explain the debates on the future of the current international order
  • Examine opposing arguments on how culture shapes international relations
  • Explain which international relations theory or theories examined in class is most similar to your own perspective.
  • Recognize the relationship between the global economic order, security threats, and military strategies.
  • Describe how the main international relations theories and assumptions give people the tools necessary to understand the day-to-day events reported in the media
  • Describe how the main international relations theories and assumptions give people the tools necessary to understand what leads to disagreements about international politics
  • Critically evaluate current international events and processes
  • Analyze articles of varying complexity on international topics

2. This course has been approved by IC’s Committee for College-Wide Requirements for meeting the qualifications of the Integrative Core Curriculum.  Contingent upon successful completion of all course requirements and the uploading of required learning outcome artifacts onto Taskstream (indicated elsewhere on this syllabus), this class meets and satisfies the ICC requirements for the Social Science perspective, themes of “World of Systems” (how do people make sense of and navigate complexity?) and “Power and Justice” (how are they related and how can they be balanced?).

If you are taking this course to fulfill one of those requirements, remember that you will need to include one paper from this course in your ICC portfolio. If you have questions please talk to me or to your major advisor.

3. The course has the following objectives as part of the overall Politics Department mission:

  • Students will demonstrate a capacity for critical writing
  • Students will demonstrate global awareness and understanding
  • Students will demonstrate critical self-consciousness about their ethical positions vis-à-vis political and civic life
  • Students will demonstrate sensitivity to and understanding of multiple perspectives, eg, class, race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality.
  • Students will demonstrate a capacity to apply ideas to lived contexts


Course Materials

  • Required readings are in three course readers (volume 1, part 1; volume 1, part 2; and volume 2), All page numbers on the syllabus refer to page numbers in the course readers. Update: all readings are now available on Sakai, under Resources, in the folder “Readings after spring break”
  • Students should follow international issues in non-US newspapers that have substantial coverage of international issues. Examples from these sources will make up part of classroom discussion as well as some written assignments. When reading these newspapers, ask yourself what stories are not being reported, and what’s not being said in the stories that are being reported. Also think about how their coverage differs from the information you are seeing in the US media.
  • All but one of the assigned readings are included in the course reader. Readings for the first week are available on Sakai. Some of the readings are also on web sites. All readings are now available in Sakai.  These can be accessed by clicking on the links  on the web version or the pdf version of the syllabus.

Readings listed as “Required” are mandatory — you should have read and thought about them before class — and serve as background for the class discussion. Readings listed as “Suggested” are not required, but provide further background and information on the topic under discussion.

The readings are of varying complexities; some are quite difficult. If you have any questions on the readings, please ask in class, or stop by my office.

I would suggest taking notes on the readings as you do them to ease review for exams. The exams require an indepth understanding of specific assigned readings, so it is in your interest to do all required readings carefully. The amount of reading is generally small enough that you should have time to carefully read and take notes on the readings before each class.

 Istanbul / İstanbul


What does “doing the readings” mean?

It doesn’t mean just sitting down and mechanically going through the articles; that’s a sure way to make even an interesting article boring.

Reading is an active and interactive process between the reader and the text. If you’re really reading a text you are also reacting to it. I’ve included a wide range of texts in order to provoke a wide range of responses from readers.

Reading should also be a reflective process. To really understand an article deeply it is usually necessary to read it and think about it, and then read it again, and think about it, and discuss it with others, write about it and read it yet again. I’ve found that even after many readings, when I read a text in order to explain it to someone else I get new perspectives on the author’s arguments and assumptions, on the text’s strengths and weaknesses.

So when I say “do the readings,” I mean “engage yourself with the ideas of the text.” I understand that some of the texts are quite complex and that not all of them are entertaining. But struggle is part of the reading experience. If something’s not clear, if it’s confusing, talk about it with others outside of class, and/or bring it up in class.

If it’s a long or complex reading, don’t try to do it all in one sitting; take breaks, come back to it, read it in small doses. As I mentioned above, taking notes on a text while you read it or re-read it is also a very good way to engage the text and to make sure you understand it.

If you do not understand the readings after we discuss them in class, please speak to me immediately. Some of the readings are very challenging, and I expect you to speak with me if anything is not clear. Don’t wait until it’s too late.


The final grade in the class will be determined by:

  • Class participation (20% of final grade): This part of the final grade will be based on participation in class, which includes:
    • Attendance. I expect students to be present at every class. For every absence after the fourth one, your final grade will be reduced by a grade (that is, from an A to an A-, for example). Much of the learning in this class happens in the classroom, in discussions. If you are missing class you are missing a crucial part of the course.
    • Being prepared. I expect you to have done the assigned readings for the day and to have thought about them before class. Being consistently unprepared will significantly affect your final grade.
    • Participation. Classroom discussion of readings is a key part of the learning process. By actively taking part you also improve your chances of doing well on the written assignments. I understand that this is more difficult in a virtual setting but please make every effort to take part.

Written assignments. Please note that essays are due  by 4pm on the due date.  Please submit the paper on Sakai by the due date.  The grade is reduced by a grade (eg, from A to A-) for each day an assignment is late. It is your choice whether to hand the assignment in by the due date or afterward, but please be aware of these consequences.

    • Take home exam #1. Due M  2/17 by 4pm. (25% of final grade) A take-home exam on major IR theories. Submit on Sakai and give me a hard copy.
    • Take home exam #2.  W 4/8 by 4pm. (25%) A take-home exam on issues of terrorism and the future of war.  Submit on Sakai and give me a hard copy.
    • Take home exam #3. Due M 5/11 by 4pm. (30%) A take-home exam on the global economy and on culture in international relations.  Submit on Sakai and give me a hard copy.

Please note: You cannot pass the course unless you have handed in all written assignments.


Academic honesty

The Student Conduct Code of Ithaca College, Appendix II states that “Academic honesty is a cornerstone of the mission of the College. Unless it is otherwise stipulated, students may submit for evaluation only that work that is their own and that is submitted originally for a specific course.”

You must use quotation marks and citations for words that you have taken directly from a source. Likewise, you must use citations for closely paraphrased wordings of the original.  Needless to say, copying from other students is also a violation of this policy.

Students who plagiarize will receive a grade of F for the course and will be referred to Judicial Affairs for academic misconduct.

Meaning of grades:
A = excellent: intense effort and remarkable achievement.
B = good: good effort and pretty good understanding
C = okay: barely adequate amount of effort or effort that is somewhat misfocused or mistargeted
D = inadequate effort or mistargeted effort
F = little or no effort or complete misunderstanding of expectations
(Thanks to Naeem Inayatullah for these characterizations.)

If you get below a C, you should immediately come to see me so we can discuss your paper or exam.

If you have any questions about the class, the readings, the discussions, or anything else, I will be more than happy to meet with you during virtual office hours, MWF 3-4pm on Zoom, or at another time; please contact me by e-mail at

Daily Assignments

  • Page numbers refer to the typed numbers at the bottom of each page of the course readers

I. Introduction: Thinking about the international

In this first section we pose the questions we hope to answer in the course. We look at the assumptions that underlie how people think about international politics, examine a number of approaches to understanding international relations and world politics, and relate them to issues of interest.

W 1/22 Introductions. Questions of War and Peace. Is peace a good thing? How do we come to see the world in particular ways?

F 1/24 Thinking about the international: The Crimea Crisis, 2014
Required reading:
Map of Crimea Crisis, p.1
– Obama, “Statement by President on Ukraine”, pp.2-4
– Putin, “Interview to German TV channel ARD” (excerpts) (Sakai), pp.5-8
– Mearsheimer, “Getting Ukraine Wrong”, pp.9-12
To think about:
What are the differences between Obama’s and Mearsheimer’s analyses of the Crimea situation? Why is Obama critical of this move?  Why does Mearsheimer disagree with that criticism? What are the implicit assumptions that each makes?

M 1/27 Poverty and Health as international issues?
Required reading:
– Kidder, “The Good Doctor”, pp.13-23
– Coughlin & Ives, “WikiLeaks Haiti: Let them live on $3 a day”, pp.24-27
Suggested reading:
– “Wikileaks Haiti: The Nation Partners With Haïti Liberté on Release of Secret Haiti Cables”
– Web site of Partners in Health
– Farmer, Whither Equity in Health? The State of the Poor in Latin America” (online, pdf)
To think about:
As you read this article, think about how health issues such as AIDS or social issues such as poverty are international issues. Can AIDS or poverty be understood through by looking at relations between states? Is health care a human right? Why does Paul Farmer believe it is? What kind of framework could help us understand the international politics of AIDS? Does it even make sense to talk about the international politics of poverty? How does Paul Farmer understand these issues? Think about the moral and ethical aspects as well as security aspects of the issues. Does morality have a place in international relations? Do citizens of wealthy countries have moral responsibilities to poor people in other countries? How would one go about establishing those responsibilities?

W 1/29 Thinking about World Politics: Perspectives and Approaches
Required reading:
– Goldstein, “IR as a Field of Study”, pp.28-32.
To think about:
What is a theory? Why are there competing theories in the social sciences? What is an assumption? How can we understand the complexity of the international? How do we define the international?

F 1/31 International Politics: Realism
Required reading:
– Mearsheimer, “Anarchy and the Struggle for Power”, pp.33-46
– Mearsheimer and Walt, “Keeping Saddam Hussein in a Box”, p.47-49
To think about:
How do Realists see world politics? What do they consider as important, and what do they see as less important? How is Mearsheimer and Walt’s argument in the second article an illustration of a Realist world view?

M 2/3 Multilateral Liberalism
Required reading:
– Russett & Oneal, “The Kantian Peace in the 21st Century”, pp.50-61
– Albright, “The End of Intervention”, pp.62-63
Links of Interest:
– George Bush’s June 1, 2002 speech at West Point
To think about:
– How do Liberals see world politics? What makes a country Liberal? How does the Liberal view of domestic society influence their view of international relations?
– How do Liberals decide whether the use of military force is called for?  What makes Albright’s argument not a Realist argument?  What might a Realist response to that be?

W 2/5 Liberalism continued: Unilateral Liberalism
Required reading:
– Rhodes, “The Imperial Logic…”, on Sakai first half, (stop at “A dissent” on p.141)
To think about:
– What different assumptions do multilateral and unilateral Liberals have that lead them to see the world so differently? Although the unilateral Liberal policies Rhodes is discussing rely heavily on US military power and hegemony, this is not a Realist argument.  What makes these policies Liberal, rather than Realist?
– What do you think a Multilateral Liberal critique of Unilateral Liberalism would be? Remember the last section of the Russett and Oneal article. Specifically think about how the assumptions that Russett and Oneal lay out in the first reading are the basis of the arguments in the Rhodes reading.
– Given the priority on US military hegemony, why is the unilateral liberal position laid out by Rhodes not a Realist one?

F 2/7 Snow day, no class

M 2/10 International Politics: Global Humanism
Required reading:
– Gurtov, “World Politics in Global-Humanist Perspective”, pp.64-73
– O’Connell, “Pope in Bolivia Calls for ‘Structural Changes’ in World’s Economy”, pp.74-79
– Hobden and Jones, “The US, The United Fruit Company, and Guatemala”, p.80
– Look over Kidder, “The Good Doctor” pp.13-23, and Coughlin & Ives, “Wikileaks Haiti…” pp.24-27
Suggested Readings:
– Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation (in particular sections on “Some challenges of today’s world” and “The inclusion of the poor in society”)
“Vatican Document: All Economic Activity Has Moral Dimension”
Link of interest:
In the Human Interest, Gurtov’s blog
To think about:
How do Globalist Humanists see world politics? What is more important, and what is less important for them than for Realists and Liberals? How is the worldview of Paul Farmer, and of Pope Francis, reflective of a Global Humanist perspective?

International Politics: Critical theory
Required reading:
– “Critical Theory, Constructivism, and Post-modernism”, p.81
– Miedzian, “‘Real Men,’ ‘Wimps,’ and Our National Security,” pp.83-91
– Willer, “Men overcompensate…”, p.95-96
To think about:
How does gender and other aspects of identity shape the way people use power and their perception of how the world works?

W 2/12 Conclusion of the Theory section
To think about:
The ways in which identity, beliefs, experiences affect the way we understand the world and how we interact with others.

II. The Media and International Relations

Most people get most information about international politics and US foreign policy from the mass media, especially television. What is the impact of media on international relations? What gets covered and why? What are the links between government and the media? What is the impact on how we think about the international? What kind of information is available online?

F 2/14 – M 2/17 Democracy, the media, and foreign policy
– In class: Film, The Panama Deception
Discussion of film: Democracy, media and foreign policy
Suggested readings:
– Mark Cook and Jeff Cohen, “The Media Goes to War: How TV Sold the Panama Invasion”

Take home exam #1 Due  by M 2/17, 4pm (25 percent of final grade)

III. Security: Terrorism and the Future of War

This section of the course considers the term “security,” which is one of the focuses of traditional international relations.  We discuss in particular the issues of terrorism and the future of war, both in terms of presumed threats as well as in terms of how wars are or should be fought.

W 2/19 Historical background: The aftermath of the Cold War
Required Reading:
– Klare, “The Geopolitics of War”, pp.97-106
– Cooley, Unholy Wars, “Introduction”, pp.107-112
– Williams, “Rise of ISIS Terror Army…”, pp.113-115
Suggested reading:
– Shavit, Al Qaeda’s Saudi Origins
To think about:
The relationship between how the US fought the Cold War and the challenges it sees afterwards; the comparative power of its identified main adversaries during the Cold War and now; the continuity in the Cold War and post-Cold War eras.

F 2/21 Terrorism: Strategic or Pure rage?
Required reading:
Lemann, “What Terrorists Want: Is there a better way of defeating Al Qaeda?”, pp.116-123
Bush, excerpts from Sept. 20, 2011 speech, pp.124-125
Campos, “Undressing the terror threat”, pp.126-129
Suggested reading:
– Pape, Rowley and Morell, “Why ISIL Beheads its Victims”
To think about:
What is the definition of terrorism? What are the causes of terrorism? What 2 views of terrorism’s causes and solutions does Lemann identify in the article? How does Bush’s speech illustrate the “pure rage” view? What do you think explains the puzzle that Campos raises?

M 2/24 Terrorist motives
Required readings:
Pape, “The Logic of Suicide Terrorism,” Interview with Robert Pape, pp.131-137
Cole, “Sharpening Contradictions”, pp.138-140
To think about:
If we look at terrorism from this perspective, what should or can be done about it? Also think about how this approach is different than the others we’ve discussed.

W 2/26 The Future of War: RMA, Counterinsurgency (COIN) and Asymmetrical Conflicts
Required reading:
Lemann, “Dreaming about war” excerpts (On RMA), pp.141-143
Lieven, “Soldiers before missiles: Meeting the challenge from the world’s streets” (on COIN), pp.144-150
Record, “Why the Strong Lose,” (on COIN), pp.152-165
To think about:
– What does success mean for the RMA? What about for COIN? How and why do they differ?
– What are Lieven and Record’s underlying assumptions about warfare?? How do they differ from those of RMA proponents?  How do their assumptions drive their views on policy?

F 2/28 Counterinsurgency continued
– Excerpts from “Obama’s War” (Frontline)
To think about:
From what you see in the documentary, what are the main challenges to the counterinsurgency strategy? Think about the arguments for it. Think also about the different views on the causes of terrorism.

M 3/2 Future of war: Netwar and Hybrid war
Required reading:
Arquilla, “The New Rules of War”, pp.168-179
Stowell, “What is hybrid war” and “To counter hybrid threats…”, pp.180-183
Zalan “‘Russian sources’ targeted EU elections...” pp.184-185
Link of interest:
– “The Advent of Netwar,” a 76 page report on the concept by Arquilla and a co-author.
To think about:
Does Arquilla’s concept of “Netwar” differ from what Lieven and Barnett are talking about? How does it relate to “Hybrid war”?  What is the threat in these concepts? How are other states adapting their military strategies towards a netwar/hybrid war model?

Volume 1, part 2 of the reader starts here

W 3/4 War and peace
Required readings:
Barnett, “The Pentagon’s New Map,” pp.186-195
– Critique: Yglesias, “The Space Race,” pp.196-197
To think about:
What are the assumptions implicit in Barnett’s analysis? What are the main values, priorities, and motivations of key actors in his analysis? How does Lieven’s suggested war-fighting strategy fit with Barnett’s grand strategy? How do Yglesia’s assumptions lead him to such a different conclusion than Barnett?

F 3/6 TBA

M 3/9 – F 3/13  Spring break, no classes

M 3/16 – F 3/20 Extended break, no classes

Please note: the following is the new schedule, some of the readings are in a different order than originally scheduled:

M 3/23 War, history, and empire
Required reading:
– Barkawi, “On the Pedagogy of ‘Small Wars'”, pp.198-216
To think about:
How does Barkawi’s approach differ from those we’ve read already? What are his assumptions regarding wars fought by the US and other great powers? How do his conclusions differ from the ones we’ve discussed to date? What would be his take on the various military strategies we’ve discussed?

W 3/25 Human Security
Required reading:
Deloffre, “Human security in the age of Ebola” (on Sakai only)
To think about:
The meaning of the word security.  What are the biggest sources of insecurity for most people? What’s the most effective way to provide security in those terms?


IV. The International Economy

The globalization of the international economy is one of the main features of the international system since the end of WWII, and especially in the past few decades. It’s also become a major factor in domestic politics around the world. In this section we look at the development of the international economic system and discuss some issues linked with globalization of the economy.

F 3/27 The Global Economy: Background
Required reading:
Mingst, “International Political Economy,” pp.217-246
Creskoff, “The Truth about the US and International Trade”, pp.249-250
To think about:
What are the arguments for trade? Who wins and who loses? How are winning and losing defined?


M 3/30 The Global Economy: Neoliberalism
Required reading:
Rosecrance, “The Virtual State“, pp.251-267
Friedman, “It’s a Flat World, After All”, pp.268-280 (volume 1 of the reader ends here)
To think about:

Rosecrance is writing in the mid-90s. What does he see as the future role of the state? How does he define security? What is his argument in favor of the liberal global economy? What are the assumptions implicit in Friedman’s analysis; do you see how his basic assumptions are the same as Rosecrance’s? What are the main values, priorities, and motivations of key actors in his analysis? How does his argument differ from and update Rosecrance’s? What changed over the previous 10-15 years?

Volume two of reader starts here

W 4/1 Critique of Neoliberalism
Required reading:
Rodrik, “Sense and Nonsense in the Globalization Debate”, Volume 2 of reader, pp. 281-290
To think about:
The things that Rodrik is focusing on contrasted to what Rosecrance and Friedman’s focuses are. Remember this critique was written at about the same time as Rosecrance’s article. Think about how it resonates with criticisms of the global economy that we are hearing now.

Note: Friday April 7 is the last day to withdraw from the course.

F 4/3 The Global Economy: Other views
Required reading:
Chang, “The Lexus and the Olive Tree Revisited” pp.292-302
Vidal, “Wikileaks: US targets EU over GM crops” pp.306-307
To think about:
Contrast the claims about the benefits of globalization made by Rosecrance and Friedman with Chang’s argument, and with the issues raised in the last two readings. Are states justified in pressuring others to adhere to their notion of free trade? Is protectionism ever justified?  Should sovereignty ever be subordinated to trade issues?

M 4/6 – W 4/8 New Rulers of the World (on Sakai, located in the Media Gallery for the course)
Link of interest:
“Files reveal details of US support for Indonesian massacre”
To think about:
How and why does the analysis of the film differ from Rosecrance’s and Friedman’s analyses?

Take home exam #2 W 4/8 by 4pm (25 percent of final grade) Submit on Sakai

F 4/10 Global economy: what’s missing?
Required reading:
Gray, “The World is Round”, pp.308-316
To think about:
What is Gray saying is important that Friedman (and Rosecrance) is missing? Why does he disagree so strongly with Friedman’s analysis?

M 4/13 Global economy, democracy and multinational corporations
Required readings:
Reich, “How capitalism is killing democracy”, pp.317-322
Greider, “Pro patria, pro mundus”, pp.323-327
To think about:
What is the tension that Reich describes between a capitalist economic system and a liberal democratic political system? Should corporations be loyal to their home states in any way? To their workers? To democracy?

W 4/15 China as an economic superpower
Required reading:
Jacques, excerpts from When China Rules the World, pp.349-354
Barboza, “China’s Industrial Ambition Soars to High-Tech”, pp.357-359
Manuel, “China is quietly reshaping the world”, pp.360-364
Monteiro, “China, BRICs Push to Shift World Order Among Trade Threats”, pp.365-366
Link of interest:
Photoessay on the New Silk Road (New Yorker)
To think about:
If the international economic order is determined by the most economically powerful actor, what might a Chinese-dominated global economy look like?  What shifts are currently occurring in the global order, according to Jacques, Manuel, and Monteiro? Why are they happening? How are they happening? Think about the US military strategies we discussed earlier in the semester.

W 4/15 The Global Economy and the Coronavirus pandemic
Required reading:
Farrell, ‘Will the Coronavirus end globalization as we know it?” (on Sakai only)
To think about:
Efficiency and vulnerability

V. Future of the World Order

M 4/20 The Liberal International Order
Kundnani, “What is the Liberal International Order”, pp.367-375
To think about:
Why did the US set up a Liberal global order? How does it benefit from that order? What are the challenges that Kundnani points to?

W 4/22 The rise of China and the international order
Required reading:
Rose, “The Fourth Founding”, pp.377-388
Yan, “The Age of Uneasy Peace”, pp.389-395
To think about:
The future of the liberal international order

F 4/24 China and the international system: New Order?
Jacques, “A new sun rises in the east”, pp.396-400
Kaczmarski, “Silk Globalization“, pp.401-427
To think about:
What are the factors that Jacques points to when he argues that China will alter the international order when it becomes more powerful.  What is Kaczmarski’s argument on this point? Think about the extent to which the international order is or is not a reflection of the historical values and identities of the most powerful actors.

VI. Culture and Conflict

One of the striking aspects of the current international scene is that concurrent with globalization and removing borders, there are also growing numbers of violent conflicts at local and regional levels in which cultural themes (ethnic, religious, etc.) are prominent. Why this apparent contradiction? Is there a relation? What is the relationship between culture and human rights?

M 4/27  Civilizations and Cultures in Conflict?
Required reading:
Huntington, “Clash of Civilizations?”, pp.428-455
To think about:
What are Huntington’s assumptions about culture and conflict? Why does he think that the nature of international relations is shifting in such a fundamental way? Does consuming western goods change a culture? Is that a good thing? What are the causes of violence? To get peace does everyone have to become like us? What would Huntington say about Rosecrance’s argument?

W 4/29 Clash of Civilizations: Another view
Required reading:
Sen, “Civilizational Imprisonments”, pp.456-461
To think about:
What is a culture? What do you have in common with someone who shares a culture with you? What does Sen mean by culture?

F 5/1 Islam: Another view
Required reading:
Esposito, excerpts from The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?, pp.462-471
Mehio, “How Islam and Politics Mixed,” pp.472-474
Friedman, “Turkey Wings It”, p.475-476
Tharoor, “The long history of Muslims and Christians killing people together” pp.477-479
To think about:
How does the way Esposito, Mehio, Friedman and Tharoor talk about Islam differ from Huntington’s use?

M 5/4 Ethnic mobilization and conflict
In class showing of excerpt from “Beauty and the Beast”
Required reading:
Bowen, “The Myth of Global Ethnic Conflict”, pp.480-489
Maas, “Bystanders,” p.491
Drakulic, “What Ivan Said,” pp.492-497
Gagnon, “Serbia’s Road to War”, just read the introductory section (pp.498-499, up to section head “reformists vs. conservatives”)
Bonner, “Rwandans in Death Squad Say Choice Was Kill or Die,” pp.506-509
Suggested reading:
To think about:
What are the motivations of the participants in this violence? Think about the power of fear.

W 5/6 Culture and Human Rights 
Required readings:

Sen, “Universal Truths: Human Rights and the Westernizing Illusion” pp.510-513
Shaheed, “Cultures, Traditions and Violence Against Women: Human Rights Challenges” pp.514-520
– “We cannot accept cultural imperialism” (The Herald, Zimbabwe) pp.521-522
Koyama, “The Uganda Controversy: Solidarity vs. Imperialism in LGBT Organizing” p.523
Grant, “Thinking more broadly about cultural imperialism: LGBT rights around the world”, pp. 524-525
Kaoma, “Only Fools Believe? Pastor Rick Warren and Global Homophobia”, pp.526-528
Shepherd, “The Politics of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Legislation”, pp.529-530
To think about:
Shaheed’s definition of culture. Are human rights culturally specific, or universal? Is enforcing or claiming universal human rights a form of imperialism? What is an alternative way of thinking about universal human rights?

F 5/8 – M 5/11 Conclusions

Take home exam #3 due M 5/11, 4pm (30 percent of final grade).