International Law, Policy, and Politics – PPOL 650

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

International Law, Policy, and Politics will provide an introduction and overview of the dynamic interplay between peoples, nations, governments and international organizations. This course introduces the student to both the history and the current status of international relationships, including the rise and impact of globalism, the global influences of radical Islam, and the shifting influence and power of nations.

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


Over the last twenty years, we have observed a definitive global shift with the fall of communism and the rise of terrorism. During this time, humanity has witnessed the economic and military strength of nations wax and wane, centers of influence change as the role of the traditional superpower is altered, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) assume varied functions in responding to international crises. Interwoven throughout history and world events is the involvement of international law and policy. Used to assist in accommodating the diverse interests of multiple parties, international law has morphed into its own legal system of sorts, recognized by countless national governments and NGOs. According to Henderson, international law and policy are “indissolubly intertwined” as politics and law shape and guide each other on the worldwide scale.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (5)

There will be 5 Discussions throughout this course. The student is required to create a thread in response to the provided topic for each discussion. Each thread must be at least 400 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 at least 250 words.

Summary & Reflection Assignments (7)

The student will summarize and reflect on the main principles of the assigned readings. The student must critique ideas in light of a biblical worldview. The summaries must be at least 100–125 words, and the reflections must be at least 150–200 words.

Issue Analysis Paper Assignment

The student will choose an issue from the options provided and submit a paper analyzing an issue related to the intersection of international law, policy, politics, and diplomacy. The student must identify a major international crisis, provide a factual background, collect data describing the process used to resolve the crisis, explain whether the plan used was the best course of action, and explain the outcome. The student is required to compare the effectiveness of the plan in light of all the international issues, identify the specific strengths and weaknesses of the approach, and note how diplomacy was used to address the crisis. The student must also include a review of alternate plans that may have been effective in resolving the issue. The assignment must be 5–7 pages.

Book Review Assignment

After reading Our Global Neighborhood, the student will write a 5–7 page paper on the information in the book. For the first third of the paper, the student will summarize the book. In the second third of the paper, the student will critique and evaluate the book. In the final section, the student will apply the reading to current events in public policy.

Briefing Paper Assignments (5)

Briefing Paper: Topic Proposal Assignment

The student will choose from the topics provided and submit a 1-paragraph Topic Proposal paragraph which identifies the policy problem that will be analyzed in the final submission paper.

Briefing Paper: Annotated Bibliography Assignment

The student will create an annotated bibliography in current APA format which consists of 10–15 scholarly citations that will be used in the Final Briefing Paper. Each annotation must be 200–250 words. For each annotation, the student will give a description of the value of the source for the Final Briefing Paper as well as of the author’s credibility.

Briefing Paper: Outline Assignment

The student will create a full outline for the Final Briefing Paper.

Briefing Paper: PowerPoint Presentation Assignment

The student will create a 10–15-slide PowerPoint presentation about the current public policy he/she has chosen to assess for the Final Briefing Paper.

Briefing Paper: Final Submission Assignment

The student will prepare a policy briefing paper assessing a current public policy in light of principles found in international law, policy, and politics studied in this course. The student must assume the role of a policy maker, using the paper to advocate for a specific policy. The goal is to prepare a final report for a “client” or “principle” of 10–15 double-spaced pages exclusive of an abstract, references, and appendices. Citations must be consistent with the current APA style guide.