Fundamentals of International Relations – INTL 500

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

The course offers a critical knowledge foundation of various perspectives, issues, and controversies that comprise contemporary international relations and policy today. Students will engage relevant topics like the structure and actors of the international system; the theory and practice of conflict and cooperation; political economy and international trade; international organizations and human rights; global governance and development; and international security and terrorism. They will be strongly encouraged to reflect upon how each of these topics may be informed by, integrated with, or deviate from a biblically informed world view.

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

Not since the last 30-year war from 1914–1945 has the world experienced such cataclysmic destruction costing 60–80 million lives or more. Yet, historians, diplomats, foreign policy analysts, and scholars among others, believe the ingredients exist for another possible round of violence between great powers each with unimaginably more powerful weapons at their disposal than ever before. If knowledge, expertise, and analytical skill can help us avoid stumbling blindly into this fate once again, it will be in part because citizens, statesmen, soldiers, scholars, policymakers, and people of faith began their training with courses like Fundamentals of International Relations.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Name basic actors and institutions that make up the international system.
  2. List the basic causes of international conflict and cooperation, whether expressed as theories or practices of actors, institutions, systems, values, or policies.
  3. Describe how global business, finance, and trade variously influence actors in the international system.
  4. Explain how international organizations and international law behave as agents of global governance, norm creation, transnational policy-making, and human rights enforcement.
  5. Explain how each of the outcomes listed above may be informed by, integrated with, or deviate from a biblically informed world view.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 400–500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 200–250 words.

Essays (3)

The student will write a 5–7-page research-based paper in current Turabian format that focuses on the topic relevant to the course readings for the Module/Week in which it is located and all previous learning. The paper must include at least 5-7 references in addition to the course textbooks, presentations, and the Bible.

Research and Reflection Paper

The student will view the film Ghosts of Rwanda and write a 5–7-page research-based paper in current Turabian format that focuses on that historic event. The paper must include at least 5–7 references in addition to the course textbooks, presentations, and the Bible.

Midterm Exam

This exam will cover the Reading & Study material in Modules/Weeks 1–4. The exam will be open-book/open-notes and contain 2 essay questions.