Syllabus for POS-315



International Relations I reviews paramount events and processes that have shaped global international relations in the modern era.  Since the complex practice of international politics is studied through an extensive variety of methods, principles, and conceptual approaches, the course is designed to familiarize student with the most common ones in the field.  The purpose of this intellectual pursuit is to enhance students’ capacity to analytically and systematically explore relevant domestic and international developments.


  • Understanding the concept “globalism.”
  • Levels of analysis
  • Evolving modern history
  • Foreign policy
  • On power
  • Anarchy as the essence of international life
  • The role of balance of power
  • Alliances
  • Elements of strategy in “realism.”
  • Liberal theories
  • Marxism
  • Peace studies
  • Gender theories
  • Causes and types of war
  • Conventional warfare
  • Asymmetrical warfare
  • CBRN warfare
  • International organizations
  • International law
  • Human rights
  • Approaches to international trade
  • Mechanisms for international trade
  • International finance
  • Multinational business
  • Integration theory – Europe as a case study
  • The information revolution
  • The interdependence dimension
  • Resources of the earth: problems and opportunities
  • Demographic issues
  • Tribulations of the globe’s “south”
  • Possible explanations
  • Paramount newly developed countries
  • Issues of concern


After completing this course, you should be able to:  

  1. Demonstrate familiarity with international historical events.
  2. Show knowledge of contending approaches to International Relations.
  3. Break down and interpret events according to levels of analysis.
  4. Examine past processes according to tools acquired in the course.
  5. Explain the role of power and conflict in International Relations.
  6. Explore novel international phenomena of cooperation, such as: globalization, integration, the rise of the NGOs, and the emphasis on the environment.
  7. Analyze the gap between poor nations and wealthy ones, and its implications.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the University's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbooks

ISBN-13:  978-0205971367

ISBN-13:  978-0205851645


International Relations I is a three-credit online course, consisting of nine modules. Modules include an overview, topics, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

Course objectives covered in this module:  1, 3, 6

Course objectives covered in this module:  1, 2, 5

Course objectives covered in this module:  2, 3, 4, 7

Course objectives covered in this module:  5

Course objectives covered in this module:  6, 7

Course objectives covered in this module:  6

Course objectives covered in this module:  6, 7

Course objectives covered in this module:  6, 7

Course objectives covered in this module:  2, 6, 7


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, take two proctored examinations, and complete a final project. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in ten graded discussion forums. Discussion forums are on a variety of topics associated with the courses modules.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course website is the online discussion forum rubric used to aid in the grading of all online discussion assignments.


You are required to take two proctored online examinations: Midterm and a final exam, each worth 25 percent of your course grade. Both exams require that you use the University's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures.

The Midterm Examination is two hours long and covers material from Modules 1–4 of the course. It consists of 30 multiple choice questions and 2 essay questions.

The Final Examination is two hours long and covers material from Modules 5–9 of the course. It consists of 35 multiple choice questions and 2 essay questions.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

Final Project

The final project should be a research paper of no more than 2,500 words (approximately 10 double-spaced pages) on an international event (or process) that you wished to research and to write about.  It should be a topic not covered comprehensively in the required readings of the course.  See the Final Project area of the course web site for further details.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course website is the final project rubric used to aid in the grading of the final project.

Turnitin Requirement for Final Project

You are required to submit the final project in this course to, an academic plagiarism prevention site, prior to submitting the project within your course space. You will receive immediate written feedback from Turnitin regarding writing style as well as a plagiarism gauge with tips for proper citations. You then have the opportunity to edit your assignment with this feedback in mind and resubmit it to Turnitin for additional checking. Once you are satisfied with the project, you are required to submit the Turnitin feedback (also known as the originality report)  for the final version along with the project itself within the course space.

Read carefully the information found at the following link, as it will provide instructions for this requirement:

Turnitin FAQ Web Page

The course ID and password that you will need in order to create an account may be found at the following link. Look within Step 1, locating your course ID and password by semester.

Course ID and Password by Semester

This information can also be found within Using Turnitin for Assignments. You can locate this document in the topic list area of your course space.

Students please note: You have the option of submitting any of your assignments to Submit any additional assignments through the slots with the optional label. However, submitting other assignments is NOT a requirement and you should not submit originality reports for these assignments to your mentor.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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