Political Science 540. International Relations.

Fall, 2017

WE 2:00 - 5:00 PM, HRZ 126

Richard Stoll
HRZ 120, x3362; stoll at rice dot edu

Office Hours

You may also make an appointment to see me or contact me by e-mail. You are also welcome to stop by my office anytime the door is open. I am always happy to talk to you about the class, graduate school, or things related to political science. If you have a question, concern, or even if you are "just curious," please contact me. If your question directly relates to the class, please contact me earlier rather than later.

Course Description and Learning Outcomes.

This course is designed to introduce you to the scholarly literature in international relations. We will cover a broad range of topics, but much of the focus will be on subjects and approaches that are commonly used by faculty and graduate students here at Rice. You will learn to critically evaluate the work of IR scholars, and develop a sense of the major issues, controversies and the current state of the discipline.

An Overview of Your Obligations

List of Journals.

The following is a list of journals that regularly publish research -- usually social science research -- on international relations: General political science journals publish some international relations research. The most obvious of the general journals are: You do not need to limit your search for articles to the above journals but I think you'll find that the above journals will usually satisfy your needs. You are free to look through other journals and if it would help please consult with me.

Special Needs.

If you have a documented disability that may affect academic performance, you should:
  1. Make sure this documentation is on file with Disability Support Services;
  2. Meet with Disability Support Services to discuss your accommodation needs;
  3. Meet with your professor/instructor to discuss implementing your accommodations.
Contact information for Disability Support Services:

Honor Code.

Rice has an Honor System. The Honor System places a great deal of trust -- but also a greate deal of responsibility -- on the student. All graded work in this course is covered by the Honor Code. I will always explain what limitations and restrictions you should observe in order to comply with the Honor Code. But there may be times when my explanations are incomplete. As well perhaps you do not understand what I have said but this may not occur to you until you begin work. Finally I may not anticipate all the issues that could arise with respect to a particular piece of work for the course. The best way to avoid any potential problems with the Honor Code is this: if you ever have any questions about how the Honor Code applies to anything in this course, contact me. Following the Honor Code is not simply something that applies to graduate school at Rice. In the profession of political science, if you do anything that would be an Honor Code violation at Rice this would most probably end your career.

Components of Your Final Grade.

Class participation 20%
Written assignments 30%
Presentations 20%
Final Exam 30%

Reading Assignments.

The course syllabus is a work in progress. Please note that I reserve the right to add or delete readings as the semester progresses. Readings that are not otherwise easily available (e.g., via the library's online resources) will be in a box on a bookshelf by my office. You are responsible for finding and retrieving materials that are online.

Course Plan.

23-Aug. Overview of the Course.

6-Sep. Introduction to the Study of International Relations.

13-Sep. Realism and Neorealism.

20-Sep. Alternatives to Realism.

27-Sep. Foreign Policy Analysis I.

4-Oct. Foreign Policy Analysis II.

11-Oct. International Security.

18-Oct. International Conflict I.

25-Oct. International Conflict II.

1-Nov. International Conflict III.

8-Nov. Civil Wars.

15-Nov. Cooperation.

22-Nov. *** Since this is the day before Thanksgiving there will be no class. ***

29-Nov. Institutions.