Syllabus for POS-420



In tandem with burgeoning globalization and economic cooperation, modern international relations continue to be characterized by strife and violence, perhaps to an unprecedented degree.  Conflict in International Relations examines the sources responsible for international strife and their effect by exploring the dynamics of conflict and aggression among individuals, groups, states, and in the international system.  Issues to be studied include the causes of war, politics of revolution and insurgency, the logic of terrorism, and the nuclear predicament – as explained by current and past theorists and practitioners.  The latter part of the course reviews possible mechanisms for managing international conflicts and perhaps even reducing them to a minimum.



After completing this course, you should be able to:  

  1. Examine past wars with a new understanding of the meanings of conflict.
  2. Expand their comprehension of present day political discords.
  3. Classify struggles in the international arena according to levels of analysis.
  4. Analyze patterns of convergence among local, state, and international systems responsible for global flashpoints.
  5. Explain the nature of CBRN Warfare.
  6. Comprehend the nature of limited warfare.
  7. Diagnose the prospects for future conflicts.
  8. Discuss potential alternatives to conflict in the global arena and their possible usefulness.
  9. Make educated assumptions about the future.


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 Textbook

ISBN-13: 978-1412961202

ISBN-13: 978-0-205-85175-1    

ISBN-13:  978-0131568006


Conflict in International Relations is a three-credit online course, consisting of six (6) modules. Modules include an overview, topics, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

Course objectives covered in this module:  1, 2, 4

Course objectives covered in this module:  1, 2, 3, 4

Course objectives covered in this module:  3, 4, 5, 7

Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8

Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 3, 4, 7, 8

Course objectives covered in this module: 8, 9


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete three written assignments, take a proctored midterm examination, 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 six (6) 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.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete three (3) written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the courses modules.  

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course website is the written assignment rubric used to aid in the grading of all written assignments.

Midterm Examination

You are required to take a proctored midterm examinations worth 25 percent of your course grade. This exam requires 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 exam is two hours long and covers material from Modules 1–3 of the course. It consists of 12 multiple choice questions followed by four essay questions.

Statement about Cheating

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

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

Final Project

Write a research paper of no more than 2,500 words (approximately 10 double-spaced pages).  This research paper should:

  1. explain the origins of the war,
  2. describe the unfolding of the hostilities,
  3. delineate its outcome,
  4. elaborate on the political ramifications in the wake of the conflict, and
  5. conclude with an assessment whether there could have been a peaceful alternative to armed violence.  

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 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:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


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:

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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