POL 102 - Fall 2016

General Information


Professor Chad Rector (make an appointment)
Tuesdays and Fridays, 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Rowley Hall, Room G205

Syllabus

In fall 2016 I have fixed office hours on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10:00 to 10:55 a.m. and 1:00 to 1:55 p.m. (on each of those days that classes are scheduled). At those times please feel free to come by my office without an appointment. I also have rotating office hours at least 4 hours per week (usually much more); to meet me at one of those times you must make an appointment. To see the schedule and make an appointment use this calendar. (You must be logged in to gmail or Marymount email. Scroll to the right to see future weeks.) All meetings are in my office, Ireton G108.

Assignments:
Exams from prior semesters. Note that assigned readings change from year-to-year, so past exams may refer to different authors. All three exams will follow roughly this format. 


Grades

Final course grades will be determined on a fixed scale, not on a curve. Each assignment is worth a fixed number of points, listed below; these add up to 100. Each assignment will be returned with a numerical score. Course grades will be based on the total number of points out the 100 possible, with 90-100 an A, 80-89 a B, 70-79 a C, 60-69 a D, and 59 and below an F.

Course grades will be based on a weighted average of the following:
  • Three exams. 15% each, 45% total. Each exam consists of two parts: 5 short-answer identification questions worth 2% each (choose 5 out of 8) and 1 essay question worth 5% (choose 1 out of 2). Students who miss exams will have one chance to take a makeup and will be marked down unless they have a valid medical or university business excuse. The exams will be written in class without books, notes, computers, phones, audio devices, or other aids. Students found violating the Marymount principles of Academic Integrity will fail the course and be formally charged through the University’s Academic Integrity process.
  • Three short papers. 15% each, 45% total. The specific assignments will be posted online three weeks before each due date. Students turning in papers containing plagiarism will fail the course and be formally charged through the University’s Academic Integrity process. Papers will be marked down one point for each day (or fraction of a day) late for the first five days after the deadline; any paper late more than five days may be turned in for up to half credit at any time before the final exam.  
  • Paper outline. 5%. You must meet with me in my office at least once one-on-one prior to either the first or second paper assignment. I will provide ample opportunity for students to set times for these meetings. At this meeting, you must bring a completed outline of your paper. The outline must include source references, a thesis statement, and a summary of each contributing fact and idea.
  • Study group. 5%. You must meet with me in my office at least once as part of a study group. A group is at least three students. At this meeting, you must bring a completed outline of at least one topic relevant to the second exam. The meeting must be prior to the exam. I will post a specific assignment and deadline here as it gets closer. 
There are substantial opportunities for extra credit:
  • Class participation. Up to 3% may be given to students who regularly come to class prepared to discuss the readings and apply them to contemporary issues, and make sustained contributions to the class.
  • Extra credit games. We will play several games in class over the semester. Students who are in class will receive extra credit points which can significantly improve final course grade, depending on how they do in the game. Games will not be announced ahead of time, cannot be made up, and will not be held on recognized religious holidays.
  • DC event. 5% for a first event and 3% for a second. Attend an event in the DC area on any subject related to world politics, broadly defined, and write a blog post summarizing your experience. Specific instructions about attending and reporting on events are here. See examples here. Posts must be well-written to receive credit; I will send back poorly-written posts for revisions before they are accepted. You will receive 5 extra credit points for one event and post, and 3 points for a second. All events must be completed and posted December 21. Blog posts are kept private by default, but we may make selected posts public by mutual agreement.

Any student who misses 7 or more class sessions will automatically fail the course. Students will not be penalized for missing a class for a recognized religious holiday.

Papers will be marked down one point for each day (or fraction of a day) late. Students who miss an exam will have one chance to take a makeup and will be marked down unless they have a valid medical or university business excuse. Students will not be penalized for missing a class assignment for a recognized religious holiday. The exams will be written in class without books, notes, computers, phones, audio devices, or other aids.

I may, at my discretion, check any written assignments for plagiarism at any time during or after the semester, using electronic or other means. Students found violating the Marymount principles of Academic Integrity will fail the course and be formally charged through the University’s Academic Integrity process. By accepting this syllabus and enrolling in the course, students acknowledge that they have reviewed the University’s standards of academic integrity.
Course Schedule and Readings

Reading assignments should be completed before the class session under which they are listed. “FLS” refers to chapters in the textbook by Frieden, Lake, and Schultz. Other readings are linked from the course website.



Part 1: Conflict

Tuesday, August 30
Introduction and overview (slides)

Friday, September 2
Violence and Political Objectives (slides) (video)
Reading: Carl von Clausewitz, On War, Chapters 1-2 (
link)

Tuesday, September 6
Preferences (slides)
Reading: FLS, Chapters 1 and 2

Friday, September 9
Private information and incentives to lie (slides) (video)

Tuesday, September 13

Pre-emptive and preventive war (slides) (video)
Reading: FLS, Chapter 3


Friday, September 16
Nuclear weapons and the early Cold War (slides) (video)
Reading: George Kennan, The Sources of Soviet Conduct (
link) and Louis Menard, Fat Man (link)

Paper #1 due Saturday September 17

Tuesday, September 20
Ideology, religion, and violence (slides)
Reading: FLS, Chapter 4

Friday, September 23
Balancing behavior (slides) (video)

Tuesday, September 27
International Institutions and war (slides)
Reading: FLS, Chapter 5

Paper #2 due Wednesday September 28

Friday, September 30
Terrorism (slides)
Reading: FLS, Chapter 6

Tuesday, October 4
Review

Friday, October 7
Exam #1

No class Tuesday, October 11
University holiday

Part 2: Cooperation

Friday, October 14
Climate (slides) (video)
Reading: Garrett Hardin, Tragedy of the Commons (
link)

Tuesday, October 18
Environmental cooperation
Reading: FLS, Chapter 13

Friday, October 21
Trade (slides)
Reading: start FLS, Chapter 7

Tuesday, October 25
The World Trade Organization  (slides)
Reading: FLS, Chapter 7

Friday, October 28
Migration  (slides)

Paper #3 due Sunday October 30

Tuesday, November 1
Review

Friday, November 4
Exam #2

Part 3: Structure

Tuesday, November 8
International organization (slides)

Friday, November 11
International Law (slides)
Reading: FLS, Chapter 11

Tuesday, November 15
Human rights
 (slides)
Reading: FLS, Chapter 12

Friday, November 18
Nuclear proliferation (slides)
Reading: FLS, Chapter 14

Tuesday, November 22
American foreign policy (slides)

Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 29
China

Friday, December 2
Syria and Iraq (slides)
Reading: Syria's War

Tuesday, December 6
Russia (slides)
Reading: The Two-Putin Problem

Friday, December 9
Review and discussion

Friday, December 16 (noon to 2:30)
Third Exam