SPRING 2021 SYLLABUS: English Writing for International Politics (Juniors)
Meeting Time & Location: Wednesdays 10-11:30AM & Fridays 8-9:30AM, on DingTalk.
Instructor: Mr. Julian Lee 李立安 Class Website: www.omnifoo.info/pages/IRWritingOnline.html
Office: None. The instructor will be located in Mae Sai, Thailand, as long as possible (until July, it is hoped).
Email: omniscientfool@tom.com

Jump to: "Chalkboard" file Grading Essay 1 Essay 2 Essay 3 Class Schedule Midterm Review Games

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 three essays will be the main determinants of the final grade (30% x3), and with attendance and daily grades influencing borderline cases (10%). One essay will be due at the end of April, another at the end of May, and the third at the end of June. 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. 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 to the third essay) may factor into the final grade for the course.

ESSAY GRADING CRITERIA: The instructor will write prompts for the three essays and choose the topics in consultation with students. A student wishing to write ESSAY 2 or 3 in response to a previous prompt should ask first and be aware that standards will be higher and more strict after feedback on other students' writing is available. ESSAY 1: Due Apr. 30th. Required length: 4-7 paragraphs (at least 1 introduction, 2 body paragraphs, 1 conclusion); not more than 5 double-spaced, typed pages. TOPICS & PROMPTS- See below.

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, At least two questions in the PROMPT answered, Counter-argument considered) 15, Interesting/Original? 15.

Topic 1: Categorizing China as a Country. Is China today a developing country, a “middle-income” country, or a developed country with some very poor areas, similar to the USA? (For an example of how poor some areas of the USA are, consider that the UN recently filed a report on poverty in the USA, concluding that 18 million Americans live in “extreme poverty,” which Xi Jinping recently declared to have eliminated in China.) How do you know? Points of Focus: Keep in mind that developing countries are assumed to be poor, pre-industrial (subsistence agriculture economies), and above all, weak in the world. China’s many recent achievements make it antithetical to that definition. China is fully industrialized and has the largest economy in the world at PPP, a space program, a world-class and innovative high-tech sector, the world’s best high-speed rail system, mostly replaced other forms of currency with phone payments, more billionaires and a higher life expectancy than the USA, and a military befitting a global superpower. And you surely know many more.

If you insist that China is still a developing country, state your condition(s) for when it would no longer be.

You are also encouraged to argue that the three terms are outdated, no longer applicable to entire countries as they exist today.

For the best grade, carefully consider counter-arguments to your position and evidence.

Extreme poverty in the USA video to be sent via DingTalk.

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 (with the goal of decoupling), 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 Asian 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: Why a particular movie is deeply meaningful to you. PROMPT: Tell me...1. What your favorite movie is and which movie you'll be writing about (if it's not your #1 favorite). 2. Why it's deeply meaningful to you, personally. 3. Why others should watch and appreciate it, too. 4. Who might not like it and why they are wrong. (i.e. "This movie is not for people who...") OTHER REQUIREMENTS: 1. Give both the English and Chinese name (if available) for the movie, the date (year) it was released, what genre it belongs to, and (if applicable) what the MPAA rates it (i.e. PG, PG-13, R). 2. Give a very short summary of what the movie's about, and avoid "spoilers". DO NOT summarize the entire plot or spend more than TWO SENTENCES saying what the film is about. This is also an analytical essay! 3. Quote at least one review of the movie written by a professional film critic (i.e. one who writes books about movies, works for a magazine/newspaper, or who writes for a well-known entertainment/film website: For examples of reviews, visit www.metacritic.com). You should either agree OR disagree with the quotation, giving reasons why you do. Give all the basic information about the movie (country, director, year, genre such as comedy/drama/horror/action), avoid spoilers, and DON'T choose the same movie as another student. Students are encouraged to make use of the Preferential Introduction to Motion Pictures in English for EFL/ESL Students and the instructor's page of favorite films (though some are naughty, and you shouldn't say I recommended them to you!). OPTIONAL: Is your favorite movie mostly entertaining, educational, or a combination of both? How do movies compare to books in general in these regards?

ESSAY 2: Due Sun., June 6th. GRADING OF ESSAY 2 POINT DISTRIBUTION: On Time? (15); Clarity & Cohesiveness w/ at least two questions from the prompt addressed (15); Grammar/Punctuation/Spelling/Capitalization (10); Title (5); Format (Student’s name in digital file and above title, paragraphs indented, length, margins, font) (5); Evidence (5); Persuasiveness (5); Analysis (10); Two direct quotations of outside sources, cited formally w/ bibliography (15); Interesting/Original? (15).

OTHER REQUIREMENTS: Outside Sources = use (quote directly) at least two sources originally in English. Bibliography = include a bibliography of outside sources at the end of the essay. The format will be discussed in class.

Topic 1: China, the USA, and the LWO

BACKGROUND: Since the end of the Trump Administration, American IR scholars assess the current health of the “liberal world order” differently but seem largely to agree that it requires American leadership to regain vitality and confront the “challenges” posed to it by a rising China. Most of you, by contrast, insist that China is already what Westerners hoped to make it: a “responsible stakeholder” in the order of the 21st century. In recent interviews, the new U.S. Sec. of State, Anthony Blinken, calls it a more neutral, “rule-based” order but still says China isn’t playing by the rules. Joseph Nye seem to think Pres. Trump irreparably damaged the order, that Biden shouldn’t try to reconstruct it, but instead try to rebuild U.S. soft power and find other ways to spread liberal (Western) values like human rights and liberal (Western) democracy, with the implied assumption that Kant’s “perpetual peace” can only attain when all countries are basically the same, tolerating every kind of human diversity but intolerance itself. As Kagan and Brands note, however, most Americans are tired of bearing the responsibility of providing “global public goods” like peace, stability, and advocacy of free trade and feel that other countries (especially China) have benefited far more than it has in “leading” the world. Hillary Clinton said she didn’t want her grandchildren “to grow up in a world led by China,” but if you’re right about China’s support for global governance, perhaps it would not be significantly different from how the 21st century has gone so far, or at least not the “shabby” world of power vacuums and great power competition that Kagan envisions as the only alternative to (near-)hegemonic global leadership from the USA. The Belt and Road Initiative offers a preview of what more ambitious Chinese foreign policy might entail, but Westerners already doubt its benevolence and whether it could (or should) be extended all across the world.

PROMPT: What would a world led by China look like, and how would China lead it while keeping Xi Jinping’s promise not to “seek hegemony”? How would China continue globalization, which has so far been nearly equivalent to Westernization for much of the world? What specific examples can you provide that China wants to keep the liberal world order as it is, rather than seeking to replace its int’l institutions with those such as the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) and AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) which are led by China and appear to some to be in direct competition with Western organizations? To what extent do you think the liberal world order is real (i.e. having real influence and interests of its own rather than just a tool of great powers as Realism contends), neutral rather than Western or American, and a positive influence on international relations? To what extent would you agree or disagree that the USA is “indispensable” (no other country can replace it) and “exceptional” (benevolent and putting global interests before its own selfish ones) in leading the liberal world order? Are those using different terms like the LWO, globalization & global governance, the “rule-based” international order, and the American-led international order talking about the same thing or not, and to what extent does the terminological variety indicate that no such thing actually exists?

SUGGESTED TEXTS TO CITE: Brands, Nye, and Kagan on the liberal world order. Schweller & Pu on what China will do with the order once it becomes more powerful than the USA (support it, replace it, or shirk responsibility for maintaining it).

Topic 2: Sovereignty, Drone Strikes, and the U.S. Global War on Terror. BACKGROUND: Since 9/11, the USA has called its global counter-terror strategy a “war” in which the “war zone” is anywhere groups and individuals plotting terrorist acts may reside. Pres. Trump’s designation of Iran’s Gen. Qasem Soleimani in Jan. 2020 as an “enemy combatant” or terrorist and thereby a legitimate target for a drone strike was perhaps the most extreme, controversial, and recent example of how thin the line is between “targeted killing” (which the U.S. claims to be legally justified) and assassination (which the U.S. claims is illegal and denies doing). Despite officially retiring the term “Global War on Terror,” Pres. Obama escalated the use of drone strikes as a counter-terror tactic, and despite his expressed disdain for Obama’s foreign policy, Trump authorized even more, without the pretense of increasing transparency and legal justification. As more countries gain armed drone technology, whether from domestic development or sales from countries like the USA, China, and other major arms exporters, different definitions of terrorism and who is a terrorist, along with the relative ease of use, ability to be covert, and low financial costs, could be leading to both a global arms race and an escalation of violence around the world, the use of force as a “first resort” rather than a “last resort.” See, for a recent example, the use of drones in the recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenia and Azerbaijan, two countries which are not exactly at the forefront of military technology.

PROMPT: Is an objective definition of terrorists and terrorism, standardized all around the world, possible? How long can the U.S. continue its current counter-terror strategy of using drone strikes to kill suspected terrorists in foreign countries without “due process of law”? To what extent do drone strikes outside of traditional, declared war zones undermine the concepts of national sovereignty and international law as a whole? Are drones a revolutionary “game changer” for the use of force or just another conventional weapon that will fall out of fashion when their tactical advantages are neutralized? Does the global proliferation of drones reverse “Pax Americana”? Is interstate drone warfare the future? What might happen if terrorists and other “armed non-state actors” acquire drones armed with “weapons of mass destruction” (WMDs)? To what extent has terrorism eroded the assumption that the primary threats to states come from other states rather than non-state actors?

SUGGESTED TEXTS TO CITE: Articles from last semester about drones, armed non-state actors, and drone operators. The instructor's paper from 2015 on Chinese drones. Works by Michael Walzer, Daniel Brunstetter, and others on the morality of war (Just War Theory, jus ad vim, etc.).

Topic 3 : Climate Change, Pandemics, and Non-Traditional Security Threats Background: Interstate war in the 21st century has so far been rare and at a smaller scale than the great power wars and proxy wars of the 20th century. 2020 has arguably demonstrated that non-traditional security threats such as pandemics are at least as dangerous in terms of killing people as wars are. Environmentalists may finally have the attention of world leaders who had hitherto ignored the possibility that climate change may be an existential threat to the entire human species. Despite the obviously growing importance of these problems, vested interests, especially “the military industrial complex” seem unlikely to relinquish their grip on government purse strings. In 2020, the U.S. military budget was $721.5 billion, while its budgets for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were $9 billion, for climate change research $47.6 billion (including $8.3 billion for int’l assistance), and for global health programs $9.1 billion. Presumably China and other countries mostly have similar budget priorities. If nuclear security, especially with regard to North Korea, may be added to the list of non-traditional threats, that makes three major and specific arenas for greater cooperation between China to offset our competition. Notably, as we discussed last semester, U.S. conservatives (and presumably similarly minded people in other countries) remain skeptical of climate science, epidemiology, and the high levels of spending for global cooperation and governance.

PROMPT: Would it be possible for superpowers and great powers to shift their national security foci to be more like Costa Rica, a small, middle-income country which has no military and spends $100 million (nearly 1/5 of its GDP) on environmental protection? Short of full Costa Rica-ification, what would be a more appropriate spending ratio for the USA (, China, and other great powers)? U.S. protection and recent increases aside, would you argue that Japan’s relatively low military budget since WWII has made the country less secure? Do you agree or disagree that shifting focus to such “non-violent” threats would result in a more “positive-sum game” for international security, as responding to transnational threats requires more International cooperation? How much might such cooperation cool down the competition between China and the USA? What are the practical obstacles to such a shift in priorities, and how specifically might they be overcome in the future (i.e. as a result of climate change becoming more severely and urgently threatening, a more deadly pandemic than SARS or Covid-19, etc.)? How should high-income countries and LDCs share the costs of addressing such non-traditional threats where economic development might be impacted? Are high (and increasing) military budgets a big waste of money? If so, at what specific point will states’ priorities change decisively in favor of addressing these two transnational, non-traditional security threats?

SUGGESTED TEXTS TO CITE: Stewart Patrick in WPR, Robert E. Hamilton, Holmes on Heritage.org, Costa Rica's military abolition anniversary , the UN on Costa Rica's environmentalism example, documents on the Paris Accord on Climate Change, national pandemic prevention documents & those from the WHO. Articles from last semester’s presentations on climate change.

ESSAY 3: Due at the end of the semester on July 14th. Since the prompts came late, the "on time value" has been reduced to five points. Required length: 800 words, but not longer than 7 double-spaced pages. GRADING OF ESSAY 3 (POINT DISTRIBUTION): On Time? (5); Clarity & Cohesiveness w/ at least two questions from the prompt addressed (15); Grammar/Punctuation/Spelling/Capitalization (10); Title (5); Format (Student’s name in digital file and above title, paragraphs indented, length, margins, font) (5); Evidence (5); Persuasiveness (5); Analysis (10); Two direct quotations of outside sources, one from a source in English & the other from a Chinese source, cited formally w/ bibliography (20); Interesting/Original? (20).

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, alphabetized by authors'/editors' surnames, at the end of the essay. The format will be discussed in class. TOPIC: Students may choose between Topic 1, Topic 2, OR Topic 3.

Topic 1: Comparison of the major theoretical approaches to IR

Background: We’ve now covered Realism, Liberalism, and Constructivism in class, and you’re invited to compare and contrast them in terms of the reasonability of their assumptions, the accuracy of their descriptions and predictions, and their usefulness (or lack thereof) in the 20th and 21st centuries up to the present day. If you don’t want to compare each in the abstract, you are encouraged to speculate about what each of the theoretical approaches would prescribe that one or more specific countries do in terms of national strategies and foreign policy.

PROMPT: Do you consider yourself a realist, a liberal, or a constructivist, and why? If no theoretical paradigm fits you perfectly, as is likely, which assumptions and other parts of each make sense to you, and which seem wrong or too extreme? To what extent is each based on Western ideas and viewpoints, and are they universally applicable, not applicable to China, or only of utility from a Eurocentric perspective?

SUGGESTED TEXTS TO CITE: Articles from each presentation (by Schweller & Pu, Kagan), theoretical texts from your courses in Chinese

Topic 2: A Return to Realism? A Return to Global Hegemony? Background: Since the unexpected, unpredicted, and possibly refuting end of the Cold War, IR Realists in the West have either adopted Hegemonic Stability Theory (HST) and Power Transition Theory (PTT) and warned the world to “ignore Realism at your peril” until a world of balancing and great power competition returns or moved cautiously towards acceptance of the other paradigms (Liberalism, Constructivism, and maybe even Feminism) as more than just “idealism” and perhaps more useful than structural, neorealism to describe IR in the 21st century. Whether Trump weakened or strengthened the USA with a more isolationist foreign policy may be subject to debate, but since the 2008 global financial crisis and Covid-19, American hegemony has been in greater doubt than at any time since the 1980s. In the 1980s, the Cold War seemed like it might continue indefinitely, U.S. global power was challenged not only by the Soviet Union but also by the rise of its own ally, Japan. A combination of the USSR’s collapse, Japanese economic stagnation, and a technological boom propelled the USA out of “decline” and instead toward the greatest concentration of global power the world has ever known. Pres. Biden may not be a neoconservative, but he certainly intends to return the country to a more active role in the world, and it would be foolish to ignore the fact that the U.S. military still has bases all around the world, arguably still dominant in every region.

PROMPT: Is the world today still unipolar, and if not, was it ever really (Nye thinks not)? Some foresee “a new cold war” between the USA and China and already call the current system bipolar again. Why are they right or wrong? Still others, perhaps emphasizing the rise of the BRICs, believe that we are entering a newly multipolar world which will require us all to dust off our “balance of power” and “balance of threat” concepts and skills. Could you imagine U.S. global hegemony being reestablished yet again if China falters like Japan? Of what use is any particular sub-theory (HST, PTT), variation (i.e. defensive, offensive, classical, structural), or the Realist paradigm as a whole today?

SUGGESTED TEXTS TO CITE: Kagan, Schweller & Pu, texts on Realist IR theory & U.S. hegemony in Chinese

Topic 3: Chinese Foreign Policy in Asia. Background: Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, most Western observers seem to agree that the PRC has become not only more assertive (telling other countries what it believes to be true and what other countries should do) but also aggressive (in topic areas that are probably too sensitive to describe here in detail). Pres. Obama’s “Pivot to Asia” (or “Asia-Pacific Rebalancing”) is likely to have been directed, in part and possibly primarily, at China, in a strategic move to “hedge” in case the PRC ends up as anything less than “a responsible stakeholder” in the regional and global “status quo.” In Realist terms of Power Transition Theory (PTT), the West increasingly doubts that China is a “status quo power” but is instead “revisionist” (seeking to challenge the current order, especially in Asia). U.S. scholars and journalists in particular doubt Xi’s promise to “never seek hegemony,” arguing that China’s increasingly vocal and substantive opposition to U.S. marine patrols in the South China Sea for “freedom of navigation” are adding up to (if not already amounting to) a Chinese declaration akin to America’s own 19th century Monroe Doctrine, which established the USA’s regional hegemony and its own “sphere of influence” by telling other great powers (European powers, specifically) to stay out of the Americas. Obama believed that China’s behavior was even causing its smaller neighbors, especially Myanmar, Vietnam, and other countries making territorial claims in the South China Sea, to fear China and draw closer to the USA. Whether that was still true under the Trump Admin. (or will be again under Pres. Biden) is subject to interpretation and debate. Be aware that your instructor is perfectly capable of reading the official propaganda for the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) by himself and does NOT want you to simply recapitulate it; you are welcome to quote and analyze it, however.

PROMPT: What is your response to Western observations that China since 2010 has become more assertive & aggressive (be sure to define what you think these terms mean, with real-world examples of China’s regional behavior that either illustrate or contradict the terms)? Are Western observers misperceiving an attempt by China to declare its own Monroe Doctrine and establish a “sphere of influence” in Asia like what Russia has in Central Asian and Eastern European countries like Belarus, Ukraine, and others? To what extent is China’s rising power itself driving its expansion of foreign policy ambition? To what extent is irredentist nationalism the driving force to (re-)claim control over people, territories, and waters “taken from China by imperialists while it was weak”? If the standard of areas formerly under Chinese control is used, should Outer Mongolia, Siberian lands north of the Heilongjiang River, and parts of Northern Vietnam (under what nationalist scholars call “Great Ming Revivalism”) also be part of “national reunification” (and if not these, why not?)? Both within and beyond the context of the BRI, how much will Chinese foreign policy (incl. infrastructure projects like building rail lines in Mainland SE Asia) build upon what has historically been called “Chinese economic dominance” of SE Asia? In terms of projecting power regionally and globally, would it be fair today to call China a “superpower” (as Prof. Susan Shirk of the U. of CA, San Diego, did way back in her 2007 book, “China: Fragile Superpower”)? Why/why not?

SUGGESTED TEXTS TO CITE: The Obama Doctrine, BRI analysis in English & Chinese (and sparingly from its official texts)

For all essays, you will lose points if... 1. You try to answer more than one prompt/write on more than one topic (don't do it!); 2. You try to address every single thing in the "Background" section or very little (or worse, none) of it; 3. 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; 4. (Essay 2 & 3 only) You don't have a bibliography/works cited section or citations (in-text or footnootes) for outside sources/direct quotes; 6. (Essay 2 & 3 only) Your Chinese source doesn't include the original text in Chinese; 7. Your essay is too long or short


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



WEEK 1 (3-10, 3-12): WED.- Course introduction. Distribute glossaries on Reading & Writing, Critical Thinking, Security & IPE, etc. Sentences, Paragraphs, and what they build to. Learn to "extend a sentence" without breaking grammar rules. HOMEWORK: Winter Vacation Story (Assignment)Sign up for 1-on-1 session to discuss your first assignment (Winter Vacation Story) Distribute glossaries on Reading & Writing, Critical Thinking, etc. Introduce dictation exercise and practice a test dictation. Sentences, Paragraphs, and what they build to. HOMEWORK: Winter Vacation Story (Assignment) FRI. - No group meeting. Collect Winter Vacation Story (Assignment). Talk about sentence structure: simple, compound, complex, sentence fragments and run-on sentences. Grammar point: Expressing regrets with past participles of verbs. Academic VS. Non-academic writing. 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.

WEEK 2 ( 3-17, 3-19): WED.-Return & explain graded "test" dictations. Learn to "extend a sentence" without breaking grammar rules. Handout on sentence structure. FRI. -Give answers for Sentence Structure exercises. Review handouts on "How to Talk Like a Political Scientist from the USA" and "Basic Political Structures & Functions in the USA."

WEEK 3 ( 3-24, 3-26): WED. -prefixes & examples of bilateral interstate relations. FRI.- Bilateral interstate relations (cont.)

WEEK 4 ( 3-31, 4-2): WED. - TBA HOMEWORK: Recommended readings by Watanabe and Zhao on the ongoing history of U.S. engagement with the PRC. FRI.- Bilateral interstate relations: friendly, competitive, adversarial relations HOMEWORK: two paragraphs on 2/3 topics

WEEK 5 ( 4-7, 4-9): WED.- Policy paradigms from accommodation, non-engagement/containment, to engagement FRI.- Chinglish elimination exercise 2. HOMEWORK: Quote one of the articles on The Thuydides Trap

WEEK 6 ( 4-14, 4-16): WED.- Discuss the two articles on The Thucydides Trap and work on quotating outside sources with this handout. HOMEWORK: Edit your paragraph on The Thucydides Trap to include context and a signal phrase around your quotation. FRI.- Quoting exercise based on Allison's article.

FRI.- Quoting exercise. HOMEWORK: 3 examples of giving signal phrases and context to quotations from Allison's text on TTT.


WEEK 7 ( 4-21, 4-23): WED.- Topic sentences practice. HOMEWORK: Unscramble an example paragraph, and prepare to talk about academic articles, using this guide and this article on the topic you requested at the end of last semester, non-traditional security. FRI.- Discuss academic articles in general and McDonald's article on ecological security.

WEEK 8 ( 4-28, 4-30): WED.- Introduction paragraphs in an essay. FRI.- Conclusion paragraphs & counterarguments in an essay. Begin presentation on Liberal IR.

WEEK 9 ( 5-5 NO CLASS, 5-7): FRI.- Finish Liberal IR presentation. HOMEWORK: Essay 1 due.

WEEK 10 ( 5-12, 5-14): WED.- Small conversation groups. FRI.- Titles exercises HOMEWORK: Compare the scholarly backgrounds of three authors of article on "the liberal world order."

WEEK 11 ( 5-19, 5-21): WED. - Second quotations handout exercises. FRI.- Finish Quotations 2 exercises. General statements.

WEEK 12 ( 5-26, 5-28): WED.- Discuss the three articles on the liberal world order. HOMEWORK: In one or two paragraphs, compare the three articles. FRI.- Citation styles (in-line, footnotes, end notes) & bibliography/works cited/references sections.

WEEK 13 ( 6-2, 6-4): WED.- Presentation on Realism as a theoretical approach to studying IR FRI.- Continue Realism presentation

WEEK 14 ( 6-9, 6-11): WED.- Finish presentation on Realism FRI.- Presentation on Constructivist IR theory

WEEK 15 ( 6-16, 6-18): WED.- Finish presentation on Constructivist IR theory FRI.- Articles on Constructivist IR theory

WEEK 16 ( 6-23, 6-25): WED.- Quoting & citing Chinese language sources FRI.- Final Chinglish Elimination Exercise

WEEK 17 ( 6-30, 7-2): WED. - Final Review Game FRI.- Writing & Drawing "game"

ESSAY 3 DUE July 14th.


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);