Section menuClose menu Columbia College


Master Syllabus

Print this Syllabus « Return to Previous Page

Administrative Unit: History and Political Science Department
Course Prefix and Number: POSC 292
Course Title: International Relations
Number of:
Credit Hours 3
Lecture Hours 3
Lab Hours 0
Catalog Description:

Theory and practice of how nations relate to each other.  Course meets Multicultural graduation requirement. G.E.

Course Rotation for Day Program: Offered odd Spring.
Text(s): Most current editions of the following:

Any appropriate text for an introductory course in international relations.

Essentials of International Relations
By Mingst, Karen (Norton)
Category/Comments - Basic Text
Continuity and Change in World Politics
By Hughes, Barry (Prentice Hall)
Category/Comments - Basic Text
World Politics: Trend and Transformation
By Kegley and Wittkopf (Wadsworth)
Category/Comments - Basic Text
International Relations
By Goldstein, Joshua (Longman)
Category/Comments - Basic Text
Cases in International Relations
By Snow (Longman)
Category/Comments - Reader
Global Politics in a Changing World: A Reader
By Mansbach and Rhodes (Houghton Mifflin)
Category/Comments - Reader
Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in World Politics
By Rourke (McGraw-Hill Dushkin)
Category/Comments - Reader
You Decide! Controversial Global Issues
By Drachman and Shank (Rowman and Littlefield)
Category/Comments - Reader
Course Objectives
  • To examine the major theoretical approaches to understanding international relations.
  • To explore the roles played by states and non-state actors in the international system.
  • To investigate the causes of war.
  • To describe and explain the functioning of the global economy.
    Measurable Learning

  • Describe and assess the major theories of the major theoretical schools of international relations: realism, liberalism and radicalism.
  • Identify and explain significant events in the history of international relations, including the Treaty of Westphalia, the European balance of power system prior to World War I, the world wars, colonialism and the Cold War.
  • Recognize the dynamic nature of international politics and evaluate the contemporary challenges to the traditional state-centric approach posed by non-state actors, including international organizations, social movements, multinational corporations and individuals.
  • Identify the institutions and processes of the global economy.
  • Explain different perspectives on third world development.
  • Investigate explanations for the causes of war and alternative means of enhancing global security.
  • Identify and discuss institutions of global and regional governance, especially the United Nations.
  • Recognize the increasing importance of transboundary concerns, such as environmental sustainability, terrorism, and international standards of human rights.

    Topical Outline:

  • Study of international relations and its evolution
  • Historical development of international relations
  • Theories of international relations
  • Levels of analysis
  • Nation-states and nationalism
  • International Security: - Types of conflict - Causes of war - Arms control - Peacekeeping
  • International political economy: - International trade - International financial institutions - North-South relations
  • International organizations: - United Nations - European Union - Non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations
  • International law
  • Human rights
  • Global environmental issues

    Culminating Experience Statement:

    Material from this course may be tested on the Major Field Test (MFT) administered during the Culminating Experience course for the degree. 
    During this course the ETS Proficiency Profile may be administered.  This 40-minute standardized test measures learning in general education courses.  The results of the tests are used by faculty to improve the general education curriculum at the College.


    Recommended maximum class size for this course: 35

    Library Resources:

    Online databases are available at You may access them from off-campus using your CougarTrack login and password when prompted.

    Prepared by: Brian Kessel Date: November 18, 2011
    NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.

    Office of Academic Affairs