Introduction to Geopolitics and International Diplomacy – PPOG 506

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

Introduction to Geopolitics and International Diplomacy will provide a Judeo-Christian perspective on international affairs; American foreign policy; international governments, groups, organizations and coalitions; sovereignty issues; the influence of Christianity and competing worldviews on the changing global arena; and the role of America in the world.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


The nuances and varieties of international politics require a broad overview introduction before finer points can be analyzed accurately. This course will provide such an overview along with key principles that can guide the student in the finer points of geopolitics.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Articulate an understanding of globalization.
  2. Explain issues relating to United States sovereignty, geopolitics, and foreign relations.
  3. Compare and contrast different perspectives on globalization and conflict.
  4. Describe major worldviews that compete in the global arena.
  5. Describe the major institutions within the American foreign policy system.
  6. Articulate a biblical worldview perspective toward foreign policy.

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 the Course Overview. 

Discussions (5)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. Each thread must be 400–500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. Each reply must be at least 200 words.

All discussions must use the Turabian citation style.

Book Review Assignment

The student will write a 5–7-page book review (not including the title page and bibliography) on the following book: The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order  by Samuel Huntington. The Book Review must include the following sections: introduction, summary, analysis (praise and criticism), personal response, and conclusion. The student must use 5–6 quotations from the book to support his/her claims and present at least 7 geopolitical relevant points. The student must refer to the rubric and instructions found in Blackboard for complete assignment requirements. The Book Review must be written following the current Turabian format.

The student will choose a current (foreign) world leader and write a concise paper on that leader's psychological profile. The student will have to identify strengths and weakness of the leader, his/ her ability to compromise, the US’ s interest in the chosen leader’s country and politics, and other such elements. This assignment should be between 3-5 pages (not including title page and bibliography). For complete instructions on the assignment, the relevant  grading rubric and assignment instructions should be consulted. The assignment must be written following the current Turabian format. 

GAPS Analysis Assignment

Political turbulence is a key factor for decision makers when considering entering, expanding, or terminating operations in a country or region. You will select a country and endeavor to understand and manage the political risks affecting:

  • The active social, political, cultural, and economic environment;
  • The political stability and sustainability structure;
  • Access to strategic human, natural, and economic skills and resources;
  • Access to allies and enemies;
  • Local and regional partnerships;
  • Supply chains and trade routes; and
  • Access to energy, commodities, and technology.

Advice: Adhere to current Turabian format.

Policy Briefing Memo Assignment

The student will write a Policy Briefing Memo that is a summary of facts pertaining to an issue and includes a suggested course of action. The student will gain the origin of the idea from the Friedman book. The paper will consist of a precise statement or set of instructions intended to inform another individual who may have solicited assistance to study and make recommendations on a matter. For example, an executive assistant may provide a briefing paper to a manager or chairperson for a board meeting. As the term suggests, briefing papers are short and succinct. Usually written in outline format, a briefing paper must be 1–3 pages. The student’s briefing paper must provide a summary of an issue, explain a situation that needs correcting, identify any political, cultural, social, and/or financial implications, and recommend a course of action, including arguments for and against the suggested action. At least 7 geopolitically relevant elements must be emphasized , and 5–6 references to the book must be included. The Policy Briefing Memo must follow current Turabian format.

SWOT Analysis Assignment

The student will conduct a SWOT analysis by examining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a country with issues separate from the chosen country in the GAPS analysis report. The student will use this analysis as an analytical technique to support strategic decisions. The SWOT Analysis Assignment must be 5–7 pages, include at least 1 scholarly source per page, and adhere to current Turabian format.

Situation Analysis Assignment

For this assignment, the student will read the book To End a War  by Richard Holbrooke. From this book, the student will pick a situation Holbrooke had to face. The student will then write a 3-page analysis with clear and concise points on what happened and what he/she would have done the same or differently had he/she been in Holbrooke’s place. In the analysis, the following must be included: what happened and why, followed by what the student would have done and why. If the student would not have done anything differently,  logical arguments must be included to explain why Holbrooke’s strategy was the best answer to that situation. For details on the assignment, the relevant rubric and assignment instructions must be consulted.