Introduction to Geopolitics and International Diplomacy – PPOG 506

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 11/12/2020

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 Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (5)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 400–500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. For Forums 1, 2, 4, and 5, the student must reply to at least 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 200 words.

Community Leaders Candidate Submission Assignment

The student will submit the names and titles of the 2 people he/she will interview and then briefly mention why he/she selected those 2 people. The student may choose from local, state, national, and international figures with international experience in trade, military, international missions, foreign relations, or an international student or someone who is knowledgeable in any of those areas.

Book Reviews (2)

The student will write a 5–7-page critique (not including the title page and bibliography) on each of the following books: The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (Book Review 1) and To End a War (Book Review 2). Each Book Review must include the following sections: introduction, summary, critique, personal response, and conclusion. The student must use 5–6 quotations from the book to support his/her claims and show at least 7 connections to a geopolitical framework. The student must refer to the rubric found in Blackboard for complete assignment requirements. The Book Reviews must be written following current Turabian format.

Community Leaders Interview

The student will conduct 2 interviews with individuals employed by an organization or community in geopolitics. Each interview must contain 10–15 questions and observe a 30-minute maximum time limit. The student must record audio of both interviews for official transcription. Audio and written content must be a close match and include all parenthetical thoughts. The transcript must use current Turabian format.

GAPS Analysis

Political turbulence is a key factor for decision makers when considering entering, expanding, or terminating operations in a country or region. This is a group assignment. After you have been placed in your group by your instructor, your group will select a country. The group will 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: Start early and work for a few weeks to learn about your selected country. The GAPS Analysis, a combined group document, must be 5–7 pages and adhere to current Turabian format.

SWOT Analysis

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 student will then compare and contrast research results with his/her classmates’ results in the group discussion board area. The SWOT Analysis must be 5–7 pages, include at least 1 scholarly source per page, and adhere to current Turabian format.

Policy Briefing Memo

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 connections to a geopolitical framework must be communicated, and 5–6 references to the book must be included. The Policy Briefing Memo must follow current Turabian format.