SPRING 2016 SYLLABUS: Classic Readings in International Politics (International Relations for EFL Learners)
Meeting Time & Location: Tuesdays from 8-10AM, Rm 2
Instructor: Mr. Julian Lee 李立安 Class Website: www.omnifoo.info/pages/IRforGradEFL.html
Office: 4th floor, Rm 401
Email: omniscientfool@tom.com
Jump to: Presentation Grades Class Schedule

OVERVIEW: This class will familiarize students with major theoretical approaches to the study of international relations, including analysis of current events. Given language barriers, more time will be spent explaining concepts and terms than in a non-EFL IR class. However, as most students are assumed to be graduate students who will soon be teachers themselves, the extra time alotted to this class will go toward student presentations in each class of between 10-30 minutes, including Q&A. 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 PRESENTATIONS: Each student will be required to make a short presentation on a topic mentioned in one of the class readings for 10-30 minutes. After presenting, the student should field questions from the instructor and classmates to offer a chance for discussion. Presentations may include a Powerpoint presentation to be projected on the screen in front of the class, but it is NOT necessary. Presenting with a partner is also an option, but unless there are too many students and not enough time or topics (unlikely) no presentation group may be larger than a pair. Each class reading would be an ideal presentation topic, but if a student has his/her own idea for a presentation s/he may propose it to the instructor. If a particular class topic or reading is relevant to your research interest(s), you are especially encouraged to present it!

PRESENTATION TOPICS AS OF EARLY APRIL: EARLY PRESENTERS: 1. Green Li on "Nye's Soft Power", 2. Jane Qin on "The Crimean Crisis", 3. Mike Yang on "Realism in Sino-American Relations", 4. May Huang on "Clashes and War WITHIN Huntington's Civilizations" ... MIDDLE PRESENTERS: Agatha Bai on "Realism in the South China Sea", Kristy Jia on "Relative Vs. Absolute Gains" ... LATE PRESENTERS: Claire Chen on "Complex Interdependence ", Victor Wang on "Sino-Gambian Relations & Recognition under Globalization", Joe Zhang on "Neoliberalism & International Anti-terror ", Gigi ___ on "Germany and the Lead-up to WWI", Rambo Liu on "The Future of the TPP"

ASSIGNMENTS: For each theoretical approach/paradigm, students will write a personal assessment paragraph. The paragraph should be at least five sentences long and contain a brief summary of fundamental assumptions, subtheories, and/or applications as well as some analysis of strengths and weaknesses. To get a good grade some reference should be made to the assigned readings. Personal assessment paragraphs will be counted as "daily grades" (平时成绩).

EXAMS: There will be no exams in this class, as it is intended for graduate students who no longer take exams for course grades.

GRADING: The in-class presentation, midterm and final exams will be the main determinants of the final grade, with attendance and daily grades influencing borderline cases.

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: Students wishing to practice their English are welcome to join the instructor for lunch on Mondays and Wednesdays from 11:40 to 12:30 on the first floor of Cafeteria #1. The instructor needs sports partners; let him know if you are good at badminton or tennis. Once the weather warms up, the instructor will announce times and locations for a regular meet-up for a popular American college sport: frisbee!

Care to see what Julian's other classes are doing? 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.

Every effort will be made to present class materials in a fair manner which does not unconciously or excessively privilege Western thought and theories over Chinese and other approaches. However, given the instructor's training in a U.S. university, the majority of the material will be presented as closely as possible to an "Intro to IR" class in the USA. Anyone wishing to object officially, of course, has the option of reporting the instructor to the hotline reported below:


It is hoped that will not be necessary, and we can use this class to learn and discuss collegially how China and the U.S. view international politics!



WEEK 1 (3-1 ): Class introduction. READINGS: Goldstein & Pevehouse, Ch. 1,

WEEK 2 (3-8): What Is IR Theory? excerpt of Samuel P. Huntington, “The Clash of Civilizations”

WEEK 3 (3-15): The international system of nation-states and alternative world views. State security under anarchy. READINGS: Mullen & Poplin, “The New Great Game: A Battle for Access and Influence in the Indo-Pacific,” Foreign Affairs, Sept. 29, 2015. Goldberg, Jeffrey, "The Obama Doctrine," The Atlantic, April 2016.

WEEK 4 (3-22):

WEEK 5 (3-29): Introducing IR Paradigms. 1: Realism. READINGS: Mearshimer, “Can China Rise Peacefully?” The National Interest, Oct. 25, 2014.

WEEK 6 (4-5): Classical Realism (Cont.). READINGS: Lawson, Classical Realism of Thucydides & Machiavelli and Waltz's Neorealism & Scientific IR & American Neoconservatism

WEEK 7 (4-12): Finish Realism (Neorealism, Polarity of the system, rationality & "games", Offensive realism as outlier), explain criteria for grading student presentations & give warning on what to expect in Q&A sessions.

WEEK 8 (4-19): First & second student presentations: Green Li on "Nye's Soft Power" & Jane Qin on "The Crimean Crisis". 2: Liberal IR. READINGS: Lawson, Liberal International Theory.

WEEK 9 (4-26): Third & fourth student presentations: Mike Yang on "Realism in Sino-American Relations" & May Huang on "Clashes and War WITHIN Huntington's Civilizations" READINGS: Moravcsik, "Taking Preferences Seriously: A Liberal Theory of International Politics," International Organization, 51, 4: pg. 513-553 (1997).

WEEK 10 (5-3): Finish Liberalism presentation. Discuss pros & cons of American hegemony.

WEEK 11 (5-10): Begin discussion of 3: Constructivism. READINGS: Onuf, Constructivism User's Manual & Book Chapter 7 Fifth & sixth student presentations: Agatha Bai on "Realism in the South China Sea", Kristy Jia on "Relative Vs. Absolute Gains"

WEEK 12 (5-17): Finish Constructivism presentation. Begin 4: Feminist IR. READINGS: Enloe, "Making Feminist Sense of International Politics," Ch. 1 (Other chapters optional). Seventh & Eighth student presentations: Claire Chen on "Complex Interdependence ", Victor Wang on "Sino-Gambian Relations & Recognition under Globalization"

WEEK 13 (5-24): Really finish Constructivism presentation and try to present most of Feminism. Ninth student presentation: Joe Zhang on "Neoliberalism & International Anti-terror "

WEEK 14 (5-31): IR Theories answer questions about "The Lion in the Room", Begin International Political Economy (IPE) Development Strategies. Final student presentation: Gigi on "Germany and the Lead-up to WWI". READINGS: Falkner, "Introduction to IPE, Ch.1-3" , Gruber, "Trade, Growth, Poverty" .

WEEK 15 (6-7): International Political Economy (IPE) Globalization's Winners & Losers.

WEEK 16 (6-14): Look at World Currencies & play Vocabulary Game.

WEEK 17 (6-21): Final Review Game. Class picture.