SPRING 2018 SYLLABUS: English Writing for International Politics (Juniors)
Meeting Time & Location: Wednesdays 8-9:30AM & Fridays 10-11:30AM, in the 4th Floor Lab.
Instructor: Mr. Julian Lee 李立安 Class Website: www.omnifoo.info/pages/IRWritingS18.html
Office: Rm. 301 & occasionally Newark Bldg. Rm. 245. Office hours by appointment.
Email: omniscientfool@tom.com
Jump to: Grading Essay 1 Essay 2 Class Schedule Midterm

OVERVIEW: This course aims to improve students' English writing skills in general and specifically with regard to topics in international politics, though all language skills will be addressed and topics in all subfields of political science may be discussed. A writing course entitled "English for Academic Purposes" (EAP) may be considered approximately analogous, though again the subject material for research and writing assignments will be focused rather than general.. In each session of class, students should expect to do some writing, so a notebook and pen or pencil are REQUIRED for each class! Students should keep the same notebook throughout class to observe the progress they make throughout the course of the semester. We will do A LOT of writing in this class! Some of the writing will be corrected by your peers, so try to sit next to someone you trust to read and comment on your writing. Writing topics will be provided by the instructor and will require some preparation and previous knowledge of topics such as U.S. global hegemony, specific wars, and current events. The class will include a review of basic grammar concepts, and this will involve many exercises to practice parts of speech, sentence and paragraph structure, improve vocabulary, and translation of basic sentences from Chinese to English. Exercises intended to advance students' writing from Chinese-style English or "Chinglish" toward a more standard, academic style of an American university will be emphasized. As the ultimate goals are to write English essays reviewing other scholarly works and containing some original research, extensive attention will be paid to proper quotation methods to avoid plagiarism. This course will share a similar structure, along with some materials and activities, with a (domestic) political science version. 讲课的语言是英语。 听/看不懂英语的学生千万要提前安排助学办法。

IN-CLASS ACTIVITIES: Depending on students' receptiveness, a variety of activities will be employed in this class. Above all, class sessions will be ACTIVE, with lots of student participation and a goal of minimizing lecture time by the instructor. Likely activities will include dictations (covering material from the previous session), individual & team games, grammar exercises, and correction of homework. Occasionally, while students are working on assignments in class, the instructor will meet with students 1-on-1 to read and correct past assignments, with the goals of explaining grading criteria and providing opportunities to make sure students can express their personal ideas precisely and clearly.

ASSIGNMENTS: Most class sessions will assign homework. Homework assignments will consist of both reading and writing. Reading assignments will mostly be to read an article, book chapter, or other text online to be prepared for in-class writing exercises. Some assignments, especially those completed in class, will be handwritten, while others may be either handwritten or typed and printed from a computer. Occasionally the instructor will ask students to turn in writing assignments from in-class exercises or homework to be used as "daily grades" (平时成绩). At least twice in the semester, a dictation will be used for a daily grade.

EXAMS: This class will not have exams, unless students or higher authorities request them.

GRADING (ESSAYS): The two essays' final drafts will be the main determinants of the final grade (30% x2), supplemented by their rough drafts (15% x2) and with attendance and daily grades influencing borderline cases (10%). One final draft will be due near the midterm, and the other near the end of the semester. Prompts and requirements for such essays will be presented and discussed in class, then posted below. Students are encouraged to share drafts of essays with classmates before turning them in to the instructor. Please type and print rough and final drafts of your essays on BOTH SIDES (double-sided 双面的). Essays will be graded on clarity, structure, and how well they meet the requirements in the next section. Addressing (not necessarily following) classmates' and the instructor's suggestions for revision of the rough draft will be taken into account for the final drafts' grades. Self-expression, i.e. being able to express your own, unique thoughts will also be increasingly important as the semester progresses and technical skills improve. Grading standards will become more strict as the semester progresses, and some consideration of overall improvement of writing skills (as shown in the progression from the first rough draft to the final draft of Essay 2) may factor into the final grade for the course.

ESSAY GRADING CRITERIA: The instructor will write prompts for both essays and choose the topics in consultation with students. Each essay will be turned in and graded in two stages: the rough draft and the final (revised) draft. ESSAY 1: Rough Draft Due Fri., May 4th. Required length: 4-7 paragraphs (at least 1 introduction, 2 body paragraphs, 1 conclusion); not more than 5 double-spaced, typed pages. TOPICS: 1. Identity, Perception, and Threats in Realism versus Constructivism. 2. Liberal IR Theory & U.S. Engagement with or Containment of China. 3. U.S. Foreign Policy in the Early 21st Century. PROMPT- See below. Final Draft Due: _________________. Required length: 800 words, but not longer than 7 double-spaced pages. Point Distribution: On Time? 20, Clarity & Cohesiveness 20, Grammar/Punctuation/Spelling/Capitalization 10, Title 5, Format (double-spaced, fonts, margins, paragraphs indented) 5, Evidence 5, Persuasiveness 5, Analysis (Thesis w/ body paragraphs connected to it, Prompt answered, Counter-argument considered) 15, Interesting/Original? 15.

Topic 1: Identity, Perception, and Threats in Realism versus Constructivism. Background: One popular definition of a threat in IR is something/someone with both the capacity and intention to harm. From this, optimists can lighten the Security Dilemma by saying that not all states with the capacity to harm us actually mean us harm. Plenty of people (i.e. wannabe terrorists) and weak states may hate us, but they lack the capacity to harm us. By that definition, neither would be a real threat. Just as we may perceive or fail to perceive real threats (which meet both requirements), we may also perceive imaginary threats when there are none (i.e. by overestimating capacity, misreading malign intentions, or often both).

Realism contends that we can't know the intentions of other states, and so even today's allies--who could be adversaries tomorrow--threaten us by buliding their military capacity. States therefore face constant security and even existential threats from all directions. Building one's military is therefore always "good defense policy" even if it leads inevitably to arms races. A true Realist treats possible threats as real threats and is wary of considering subjective perceptions. Thus, a division exists in Realist IR between those favoring a "balance of power" and those who prefer a "balance of threats." Constructivists, by contrast, note that the identity of "the other" as either an ally or an adversary fundamentally drives how any two states will interact and whether a strong military is beneficial or threatening, respectively. Identity being relative/subjective and constructed also means that no state is naturally an enemy of another; such an identity must be built by convincing the population of a state that the other is to be feared or hated, as in Pillar's article on Iran. Even saying that two states have fundamentally "conflicting interests" wouldn't be a real dilemma, because interests are constructed and promoted by elites (which we can see in Trump's construction of U.S. national interests being very different from Obama's or Bush's). If the military-industrial complex exists and is powerful in any state, there is a financial incentive to build fear in the population, to find or create threatening enemies, even where none really exist.

PROMPT: How much more likely is a Realist to misperceive an imaginary threat because s/he is a Realist? Is a constructivist equally likely to assume that a particular threat isn't real but just an attempt to create an enemy to "manufacture consent" to build the military and/or attack the perceived threat? Give examples either from current events or history in which you believe a real or imaginary threat was misperceived. What problems can you find in the definition of a threat in the Background section, above?

SUGGESTED TEXTS TO CITE: Robert Jervis' classic "Perception & Misperception", Hamid's argument about Obama's Syrian non-intervention and an Absent U.S. Military, Zenko & Wickett on U.S. indispensability, Pillar's article, MIC texts, etc.

Topic 2: Liberal IR Theory & U.S. Engagement with or Containment of China Background: When asked, most Chinese students at NENU say they believe the U.S. has pursued an overall and consistent policy of containing China for many years, perhaps even decades. Yet clearly, if the goal or indeed definition of containment is to weaken a rival or keep an adversary from becoming stronger and spreading its influence, the USA has failed miserably at this strategy, if not yet completely (by 2025, 2030, or whenever China's GDP surpasses that of the USA, it will have failed completely. At PPP, of course, the policy would have already failed completely.) In other words, as the instructor insisted right up until Trump's new tariffs, either the USA has pursued containment very incompetently and stupidly, or the better term to describe the over-arching bilateral policy in U.S.-Chinese relations has been engagement, in which both countries have benefitted from "positive-sum games" both in terms of IPE and security cooperation. As U.S. presidents Bush & Clinton debated whether to (re-)engage China in the 1990s, eventually choosing engagement and "most favored nation" status in trade, an actual containment policy would have looked very different and may have successfully kept China relatively weak. Changing from engagement to containment would also have required a break, a clear disengagement, perhaps something like...tariffs. Indeed, the instructor has argued provocatively, from a U.S.-centric perspective, that China could not have risen without the help of the USA, that in fact China is just the latest in a long line of countries (from post-WWII Germany & Japan to the East Asain Tigers/Dragons of Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan) to prosper from deep engagement with the benevolently liberal U.S. hegemon, whose goal in leading globalization has been nothing short of spreading free trade and freedom in general (though by no means without benefitting itself also!).

While it is quite understandable for the Chinese Communist Party to give itself (almost) sole credit for China's rise, further evidence of the effects of U.S. engagement can be seen in the GDP growth rates in the PRC (chart jpg to be posted soon): they climbed slowly in the 1980s after Deng Xiaoping's "Reform & Opening," accelerated after George Bush granted China "Most Favored Nation" trading status in the early 1990s, a policy continued and made permanent under President Clinton in 2000, then skyrocketed in the 21st century with accession to the WTO under full-scale globalization and U.S. unipolarity. In short, an argument could be made that access to the U.S. market, paired with free-trade and open financial markets encouraging foreign-direct investment (FDI) and other capital flows under globalization (a worldwide trend led by the neoliberal economic policies of the hegemonic USA), are at least as responsible for the rapid growth of the PRC economy since the end of the Cold War. All along, of course, IR Realists like John Mearshimer and "Blue Team" members (China hawks) like James Mann have called the engagement policy terribly misguided, demanding containment instead (and going largely unheeded). Your instructor defies you to name another country which has prospered from America's liberal, global hegemony more than the PRC!

PROMPT: If you believe the USA's main goal in its relationship with China is to contain it, when exactly did the policy change from one of mutually beneficial engagement? If you believe the USA's engagement with China has played a major role in China's rise, do you think it can continue indefinitely, or do Trump's tariffs mark the beginning of the end of our friendly competition? Could/would China have risen to where it is today without the help of the USA? If so, how? If not, why not? Obama said he wanted China to be strong; do you believe the USA failed at keeping China weak, merely allowed it to become strong, or actively helped it to become strong? How sincere have U.S. presidents until Trump been about wanting to be seen as a global leader of the liberal world order, in which international law and institutions like the UN reduce security competition in favor of collective security? If China's GDP becomes the world's largest, thereby marking its arrival as the most powerful country, will it be a "responsible stakeholder" in this liberal world order, seek to replace it with something more Chinese (like "tianxia" or at least something more in China's interests), or will it shirk its global responsibility and let the liberal world order decay naturally? To what extent do you think the U.S. engaged China out of hope that free trade and economic development would turn it into a liberal democracy like most wealthy, Western countries, and since this hasn't happened, how much of a factor do you think this is in the possible (or recent) shift in policy away from engagement toward containment? For Realists: As the global hegemon in the post-Cold War unipolar system, could the USA have kept China's GDP at about the same level as it was in the early 1990s if it wanted to? How/why not?

SUGGESTED TEXTS TO CITE: Mearshimer's works on Offensive Realism, John Pomfret's interview by the NY Times about his new book on the history of U.S.-China relations, Tsuneo Watanabe & Suisheng Zhao on U.S.-China relations, Schweller & Pu, Thucydides Trap readings, Peter Navarro on trade policies, etc.

Topic 3: U.S. Foreign Policy in the Early 21st Century Background: From President George W. Bush to Barack Obama, while tactics differed greatly in terms of when and how to use the military and in terms of unilateral or multilateral action, there was a consistent theme of internationalism and global leadership, including a desire to cultivate America's soft power while pursuing interests that were--at least rhetorically--also global interests. Trump's campaign and first year in office, by contrast, have swung rhetorically towards isolationism and an abandonment of any pretense of global leadership and an explicit reordering of priorities to put "America First." Alarcon describes a great continuity in the views of U.S. presidents and other elites in Congress, but Trump's campaign especially suggested a radical break, however largely unrealized by early 2018. The stability and continuity of U.S. foreign policy in Trump's first year may have relied upon the resistance of what Cohen and others have called the "grownups" in the administration, two recently replaced by figures (Bolton & Pompeo) who have openly disparaged diplomacy and seem to be in line with Trump's apparent preference for an overwhelmingly dominant military. Trump's universally acknowledged inexperience and impulsiveness could yet be a dangerous combination, but his populist base (largely blue-collar workers whose primary foreign policy concerns are reducing America's military footprint abroad, protectionist trade policies, and restriction of immigration) could be another restraining factor, as Trump himself was the first Republican known to blame George W. Bush for 9/11 and calls the 2003 Iraq War a "huge mistake." Few would dispute that had Hillary Clinton been elected, continuity in U.S. foreign policy would have been much more assured.

PROMPT: In comparison to Bush & Obama, how much does Trump care about soft power? With figures like Bolton (a neoconservative responsible for the second Iraq War) & Pompeo (an "America First" nationalist) now in the highest foreign policy positions and military spending growing ever higher, to what extent will Trump's stated goals of isolationism and retrenchment (i.e. ending rather than starting wars, generally drawing back U.S. military forces, and rebuilding strength at home) be possible? To what extent do you see Trump's base demanding and successfully getting changes in U.S. foreign policy? Have U.S. interests changed with a new president, a relative reduction in the USA's power, or have each of the past three presidents just used different rhetoric and tactics to pursue a largely unchanged (or unchangeable) strategy for its national interests? How weak was the U.S. military, and how much more restained was its use under President Obama?

SUGGESTED TEXTS TO CITE: Nye on soft power, Finnemore on being "The Unipole," MIC texts, "The Obama Doctrine" , Stern on Obama's counter-terrorism, Fukuyama's "After Neoconservatism," Kaufman on the Bush Doctrine, Milner & Tingley on presidential influence, Trump's connection to manufacturing, Kazin on Trump's populism, a review of Perry Anderson's "American Foreign Policy and Its Thinkers", Alarcon, Cohen, Khan, etc.

ESSAY 2: Rough Draft Due _________________. Required length: 4-7 paragraphs (at least 1 introduction, 2 body paragraphs, 1 conclusion); not more than 5 double-spaced, typed pages. TOPIC: _________________ PROMPT- _________________ Final Draft Due: _________________. Required length: 800 words, but not longer than 7 double-spaced pages. GRADING OF ESSAY 2:

OTHER REQUIREMENTS: Outside Sources = use (quote directly) at least one source originally in English and one source originally in Chinese (to be translated into English while including the original text and citation). Bibliography = include a bibliography of outside sources at the end of the essay. The format will be discussed in class. TOPIC: Students may choose between Topic 1 OR Topic 2.

Topic 1: _________________ Background: _________________

PROMPT: _________________

SUGGESTED TEXTS TO CITE: _________________

Topic 2: _________________ Background: _________________

PROMPT: _________________

SUGGESTED TEXTS TO CITE: _________________

For both essays, you will lose points if... 1. you don't print double-sided 双面的 ; 2. You try to answer both prompts (don't do it!); 3. You try to address every single thing in the "Background" section or very little (or worse, none) of it; 4. Your essay doesn't have a single, unifying thesis to tie your points together, or you don't directly address each part of the prompt; 5. You don't have a bibliography/works cited section or citations (in-text or footnootes) for outside sources/direct quotes; 6. Your Chinese source doesn't include the original text in Chinese; 7. Your essay is too long or short

SUGGESTED ONLINE FORUMS FOR YOUR PARTICIPATION (EXTRA WRITING PRACTICE): Global Voices

Care to see what Julian's other classes are doing and have done? Visit the NENU landing page for his reading, writing, public administration, and IR theory courses. All classes should have received a copy of EFL student guides to Western music and Western movies. Feel free to share and distribute them.

RECOMMENDED FILMS RELEVANT TO INTERNATIONAL POLITICS (EXTENDED FROM CLASS HANDOUT): DOCUMENTARY - The Act of Killing/The Look of Silence; The Age of Stupid; Blue Gold; Collapse; Crossing the Line; The Eleventh Hour; Enemies of the People; The Fog of War; Miscreants of Taliwood; Narco Cultura; No End in Sight; Qatsi series; Religulous; Shake Hands with the Devil; Soundtrack to War; Standard Operating Procedure; The Unknown Known; Water Wars; The Yes Men/The Yes Men Save the World. FICTION/DRAMATIZATION - Ararat; Argo; Blood Diamond; Canadian Bacon; Cloud Atlas; Come and See; Contagion; Dirty Pretty Things; Dr. Strangelove; Europa Europa!; Hotel Rwanda; The Hurt Locker; The International; The Killing Fields; Letters from Iwo Jima; Lilya 4Ever; The Lives of Others; Mammoth; The Mouse That Roared; The Pianist; Quilombo; Sicario; Sin Nombre; Sleep Dealer; Snowpiercer; Star Trek (all); When the Wind Blows; World War Z; Zero Dark Thirty

WECHAT POLICY: It is the instructor's policy not to add current students to social media, though some past students which are again current will not be removed. Please contact the instructor via email rather than by WeChat, text message, or phone unless extremely urgent. After the course is over, the instructor welcomes social media inquiries.

 

WEEKLY SCHEDULE:

WEEK 1 (3-7, 3-9): Instructor will be returning from the Golden Triangle this week, so students should prepare the following assignment, which will be collected, corrected, and graded upon the instructor's arrival. Winter Vacation Story (Assignment) INSTRUCTIONS: To give the instructor an introduction to your writing skills, write 1-3 paragraphs about the most interesting thing you did or that happened during this year's winter vacation. Try to tell an interesting or even entertaining story, but don't write more than a couple (2) pages. Try to "engage the senses" (what did things sound, smell, and feel like?). If you don't know what to write, use the first paragraph to "set the scene" and give the setting (time & place) where you were and who was with you, then use the rest of your essay to describe what happened. This may be handwritten or typed and printed (double-sided) and will be collected in the second session of class. FRI.- Course introduction. Distribute glossaries on Reading & Writing, Critical Thinking, etc. Sentences, Paragraphs, and what they build to. Learn to "extend a sentence" without breaking grammar rules. HOMEWORK: Winter Vacation Story (Assignment)

WEEK 2 ( 3-14, 3-16): WED.- Collect Winter Vacation Story assignment. Academic VS. Non-academic writing. Sign up for 1-on-1 session in Julian's office to discuss your first assignment (Winter Vacation Story) Introduce dictation exercise and practice a test dictation. Talk about sentence structure: simple, compound, complex, sentence fragments and run-on sentences. HOMEWORK: Write three sentences using past participles of verbs to express how you wish your winter vacation had gone differently. (i.e. Do you have any regrets? What do you wish you had done/not done/done differently?) Be ready to talk about Sentence Structure exercise in next class. Read a handout on U.S. foreign policy generally here. FRI. - Return & explain graded "test" dictations. Grammar point: Expressing regrets with past participles of verbs. Talk about U.S. foreign policy in general, based on the handout. HOMEWORK: Write one paragraph on what you specifically want to improve about your writing and what you want to learn and do this semester (semester goals in this class and generally, essay topics you'd find interesting). Read the three articles about Trump's foreign policy, below, and on pdf here.

WEEK 3 ( 3-21, 3-23): WED.- Trump's foreign policy: Eliot A. Cohen on "Trump's Lucky Year" (transcribed here), also negatively here by my former classmate at UCI, Sahar Khan, and in favor of here by Dan McLaughlin at National Review. HOMEWORK: Write one paragraph answering one of the following questions... 1. Even the article above listing Trump's accomplishments seems to doubt his fitness for office and future prospects. After Trump's first year in office, how much real difference have you noticed in U.S. foreign policy? Can one president fundamentally change U.S. foreign policy? 2. To what extent do you agree or disagree that Trump has gotten "lucky" to have had few or no major int'l crises in his first year of office? Which of the "hot spots" mentioned do you think will be his first serious diplomatic challenge, and why? 3. Which of the three author's accounts provides you with the most accurate analysis of Trump's foreign policy in his first year, and why? Which of their points do you agree with or disagree with strongly, and why? Read Pillar on the U.S. need for a villain, pg. 7-9 especially, from Pillar, 2016, Political Science Quarterly, 131:2: pg.365-385 "The Role of Villain: Iran and U.S. Foreign Policy" & focus on the introduction & conclusion to Alarcon on USFP in his book chapter on "Exceptionalism & Providentialism". Read (or review) instructor's handout on bilateral, interstate relations. FRI.- Discuss current events: Are we witnessing the end of globalization? Who is the new National Security Advisor, John Bolton? Finish discussion of Trump's foreign policy with the McLaughlin article. Optional reading: In The Asia Times, a fellow TA at UCI, where the instructor studied, talks about working with the director of the Trump Administration's National Trade Council, Peter Navarro 彼得 纳瓦罗, whose ideas are likely an impetus behind the new tariffs.

WEEK 4 ( 3-28, 3-30): WED. - Discuss Pillar & Alarcon. Presentation on Liberal IR theory. HOMEWORK: Write one paragraph answering one of the following questions... 1. Both Pillar & Alarcon see the U.S. justifying its foreign policy actions, including militarily, not in terms of self-interest but in terms of universal values and morality. To what extent do you think Americans' belief in their righteousness is genuine--if not pure or objectively true, at least sincere--or just rhetoric used to put a benevolent spin on old-fashioned imperialism? "Behind closed doors," do you think Americans drop the nice-talk and just want natural resources and world domination? 2. Alarcon suggests that there is generally bipartisan agreement between Democrats and Republicans about the larger themes of U.S. foreign policy, but even in 2014 we can read a deeper preference for the isolationism the Trump Administration may be bringing into play. Pillar, too, says Americans don't want to cross their "ocean moats" unless there is a dire, indeed evil, threat. To what extent do you agree with Alarcon that the preference for isolationism (spending money to solve domestic problems) or internationalist engagement and leadership is divided among populists and elites, respectively? 3. Trump's base and "America First" slogan suggest that the past belief in U.S. exceptionalism, motivating each previous president in Alarcon's outline (pg. 43-6), was in fact putting global and others' interests before those of America's own. What would you say to a Trump supporter who told you that past foreign policy was too generous and not serving U.S. interests? 4. U.S. support for Israel and opposition to the Islamic Republic of Iran undoubtedly have some connection to what Alarcon calls a God-given, "messianic" mission for a nation that's far more religious than other developed, Western states in Europe. To what extent do you think U.S. foreign policy is guided by religious convictions, and how might such spiritual beliefs complicate what Realists suppose to be a rational pursuit of material, mundane interests? 5. Methodology question: Pillar & Alarcon both write in a narrative style that some more social-science-minded IR scholars would criticize as editorializing or relying on anecdotal evidence. Do you find their arguments convincing and conclusions important, or does their non-theoretical, policy-centered approach lessen their value as academic research to make a lasting contribution to the subfield of IR? Read about the U.S. Military-Industrial Complex on NPR, The New York Times , and The National Review. FRI.- pdf of readings here. Watch Pres. Eisenhower warn of the peril of the Military-Industrial Complex in his 1961 farewell speech. See also Bill Plympton's 1984 short cartoon, "Boomtown" .

WEEK 5 ( 4-4, 4-8): WED.- Watch a video explaining the U.S. federal budget in terms of "mandatory" versus "discretionary" spending. How does the Complex work, and how do "hawks" dispute it? Discuss how the Military-Industrial Complex fits into previous sessions' readings. Read the handout on bilateral interstate relations. HOMEWORK: Write one paragraph answering one of the following questions... 1. Clearly there is a debate about whether the Military-Industrial Complex is driving defense spending unnecessarily or such spending is just "good defense policy" and normal in a dangerous world full of adversaries and other threats. Which side do you believe, and why? 2. If the Military-Industrial Complex essentially forces the U.S. to increase its military spending forever, both in response to real threats and to maintain GDP, what implications does this have for IR, especially with regard to the challenges of securing world peace, under conditions of "The Security Dilemma?" 3. The USA and its large military once wanted to be seen as a "benevolent hegemon," using its might to preserve a largely peaceful world order or "Pax Americana" rather than simply advancing its own, selfish interests. To what extent do you think that was true, and to what extent does an "America First" doctrine paired with larger military spending increases under Trump upend that image and/or reality? SUN.(HOLIDAY MAKE-UP SESSION)- Continue reading of bilateral interstate relations, with examples of states in each of the four first categories. Types of paragraphs, topic sentences, and summaries.

WEEK 6 ( 4-11, 4-13): WED.- Finish bilateral relations handout with discussion of engagement versus containment. In-class assignment: write a 1-paragraph summary of one of last week's readings, or Alarcon's chapter, or Cohen's article. Collect notebooks. HOMEWORK: Read about Thucydides' Trap and Brzezinski's interview about Xi Jinping's reference to it. Be ready to answer these discussion questions: 1. Why is Thucydides' Trap a "trap"? 2. What evidence is there for the existence of such a trap? 3. What creates the trap? 4. Think of a future where the U.S. and China fall into the trap and another in which the trap is avoided. What is done differently? 5. Why is much of the world, especially Realist political scientists, skeptical of China's claims never to "seek hegemony"? FRI.- Discuss Thucydides Trap. Presentation on Realism in IR theory. HOMEWORK: Read excerpts of academic articles and the instructor's paper on Hegemonic Stability Theory (HST). Optional: get another dose of Offensive Realism and pessimism from John Mearshimer, as interviewed by Peter Navarro, an outspoken member of the Business School at the University of California, Irvine (where I attended my Ph.D. program)

WEEK 7 ( 4-18, 4-20): WED.- Test dictation. Return graded notebooks. Chinglish Elimination exercises. Talk about topic, prompt, and format of ESSAY 1 rough draft. HOMEWORK: Read Schweller & Pu's article, "After Unipolarity". FRI.- Introductory paragraphs and "hooks." Discuss Schweller & Pu in the context of HST. HOMEWORK: Choose your topic for ESSAY 1 and write a possible introduction paragraph with a "hook." Read Tsuneo Watanabe on Sino-American relations since Nixon. Suisheng Zhao on continuing engagement in light of Xi's "New Model of Major Power Relations."

WEEK 8 ( 4-25, 4-27): WED.- Discuss Watanabe & Zhao's articles. HOMEWORK: TBA. FRI.- TBA

WEEK 9 ( 5-2, 5-4): WED.- TBA. HOMEWORK: Have rough draft of Essay 1 ready to turn in by Fri. FRI.- ESSAY 1 ROUGH DRAFT DUE. Exchange & comment on two classmates' rough drafts. Basic translation from Chinese to English: General Statements. HOMEWORK: Word Choice exercise: Yield Make Let Allow

WEEK 10 ( 5-9, 5-11): WED.- Correct & discuss Word Choice exercise. FRI.- How a Western academic IR journal article is structured.

WEEK 11 ( 5-16, 5-18): WED.- FRI.-

WEEK 12 ( 5-23, 5-25): WED. - ESSAY 1 FINAL DRAFT DUE. FRI.-

WEEK 13 ( 5-30, 6-1): WED.- FRI.-

WEEK 14 ( 6-6, 6-8): WED.- FRI.- ESSAY 2 ROUGH DRAFT DUE

WEEK 15 ( 6-13, 6-15): WED.- FRI.-

WEEK 16 ( 6-20, 6-22): WED.- FRI.-

WEEK 17 ( 6-27, 6-29): WED.- FRI.-

ESSAY 2 FINAL DRAFT DUE _________________.

 

TBA = To Be Announced.

This syllabus is subject to change and will be updated throughout the semester. Check back regularly to be fully informed!

Potential Topics, Readings, Assignments, etc. (Including those suggested by students): Political Psychology; Research Methodology (Quantitative, Positivist);

North Korea: John Bolton's original provocative editorial (no VPN/subscription needed here) on military options and his more recent legal case for pre-emptive strikes versus the arguments for engagement from Perry & DiMaggio; Consider U.S. foreign policy in the late 20th & early 21st centuries through two documentaries centered on highly consequential U.S. Secretaries of Defense Robert McNamara & Donald Rumsfeld by Errol Morris, "The Fog of War" & "The Unknown Known." ; Media...selections from Powers & Jablonsky's book "Real Cyber War: The Political Economy of Internet Freedom" . Just War Theory & three orientations toward the morality of war: Realism, JWT, and Pacifism. Causes & consequences of the Sino-Vietnamese War.; AI & technology in war... Gordon reviews a book on how drones change the ethics of war. NY Times on fully-automated, weaponized UAVs. My advisor at the Univ. of California, Irvine, Daniel Brunstetter, recently reviewed a book of arguments for and against the U.S.'s use of drones in counter-terrorism. Discuss the ethics and practicalities of drone strikes as a counter-terror tactic under the Obama Administration and the possibility of fully automated, weaponized UAVs which are not guided by humans. Is drone warfare the future, and are drone strikes an "act of war"? HOMEWORK: Answer one or more of these questions in two analytical paragraphs: 1. Compare the advantages and disadvantages of drone strikes as a counterterrorism tactic and decide whether they aid or harm U.S. global counter-terror strategy. 2. Would you trust Pres. Obama, Pres. Trump, or Xi Jinping with a presidential "kill list" for drone strikes? Why/why not? 3. Should machines be allowed to kill without human guidance? Why/why not? 4. Are drones/armed UAVs the future of warfare? Why/why not? 5. Are drone strikes acts of war which undermine state sovereignty when used outside of active war zones (i.e. in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia), or are critics overreacting?

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