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.


  1. Understanding the concept “Globalism.”
  2. Levels of Analysis
  3. Evolving modern history
  4. On Power
  5. Anarchy as the essence of International Life
  6. The Role of Balance of Power
  7. Alliances
  8. Elements of Strategy in “Realism.”
  9. Liberal Theories
  10. The Domestic Front
  11. Marxism
  12. Peace Studies
  13. Gender Theories
  14. Causes and Types of War
  15. Conventional Warfare
  16. Asymmetrical Warfare
  17. CBRN Warfare
  1. International Organizations
  2. International Law
  1. Human Rights
  1. Approaches to International Trade
  2. Mechanisms for International trade
  3. International Finance
  4. Multinational Business
  5. Integration Theory – Europe as a Case Study
  6. The Information Revolution
  7. The Interdependence Dimension
  8. Resources of the Earth: Problems and Opportunities
  9. Demographic Issues
  10. Tribulations of the Globe’s “South”
  11. Possible Explanations
  12. Paramount Newly Developed Countries
  13. 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 College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbooks

  1. Goldstein, Joshua S., and Pevehouse Jon C. 2011. International Relations. 9th Edition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Longman.

ISBN-13:  978-0205723904

  1. Art J. Robert, and Jervis Robert. 2011. International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues. 10th Edition. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Longman.          

ISBN-13:  978-0205778768


International Relations I is a three-credit online course, consisting of ten (10) modules. Modules include an overview, topics, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1:  Globalization

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

  1. Module 2:  The Realist School of Thought

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

  1. Module 3:  The Cooperative approach to International Relations

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

  1. Module 4:  Less-Conventional Approaches to International relations

Course objectives covered in this module:  2, 7

  1. Module 5:  Conflict

Course objectives covered in this module:  5

  1. Module 6:  International Law, Transnational Actors, Universal Rights

Course objectives covered in this module:  6, 7

  1. Module 7:  Worldwide Trade

Course objectives covered in this module:  6

  1. Module 8:  International Integration

Course objectives covered in this module:  6, 7

  1. Module 9:  Global Demographics and the Environment

Course objectives covered in this module:  6, 7

  1. Module 10:  The Have Nots  

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 (10) 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 (2) proctored online examinations: Midterm and a final exam, each worth 25 percent of your course grade. Both exams require that you use the College'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 1–5 of the course. It consists of 50 multiple choice questions.

The Final Examination is two hours long and covers material from Modules 6–10 of the course. Like the midterm, it consists of 50 multiple choice questions.

Statement about Cheating

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

  1. Looking up any answer or part of an answer in an unauthorized textbook or on the Internet, or using any other source to find an answer.
  2. Copying and pasting or, in any way copying responses or parts of responses from any other source into your exams. This includes but is not limited to copying and pasting from other documents or spreadsheets, whether written by yourself or anyone else.
  3. Plagiarizing answers.
  4. Asking anyone else to assist you by whatever means available while you take an exam.
  5. Copying any part of an exam to share with other students.
  6. Telling your mentor that you need another attempt at an exam because your connection to the Internet was interrupted when that is not true.

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.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions (10)—20 percent
  2. Midterm exam (proctored, modules 1–5)—25 percent
  3. Final exam (proctored, modules 6–10)—25 percent
  4. Final project—30 percent

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 nonarea of study course), 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:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.

  1. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course, how to schedule exams, and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.

  1. Arrange to take your examination(s) by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.

  1. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.

  1. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.


Students at Thomas Edison State College 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.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College 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 College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.


Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. 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, 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.

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