PSC/IR 106 (2014)

PSC/IR 106: Introduction to International Relations
William Spaniel
Fall 2014
Lecture: M/W 9:00-9:50 Morey 321
Recitation: As Assigned
Office Hours: W 2:15-4:15 Harkness 320B
Email: (Do NOT email my address.)
YouTube Playlist
Problem Set #1, Problem Set #2, Data Analysis #1, Data Analysis #2

International relations is the study of how states interact with each other. This course builds a working knowledge of our field, introducing the background, theoretical, and empirical tools necessary to understand international relations today. Students will learn about important findings in a variety of subfields, including war, international political economy, institutions, and nuclear proliferation. To do so, the course emphasizes readings from original research material rather than from a textbook. Further, students will solve problem sets and analyze common international relations datasets to obtain a working understanding of the discipline’s methodological foundations.

The Second Midterm
Concluding slides here

12/8 will be a review session. The second midterm (and our final meeting) is on 12/10.

To accommodate students for the last exam, our office hours schedule is as follows:

Monday: Will 10-12, Matt 12-2
Tuesday: Doug 10-12, Brad 12-2, Gleason 2-4

Topic 12: Intervention
Slides: Here

Reading: The Critical Barrier to Civil War Settlement, Pitfalls and Prospects in the Peace Keeping Literature

Lectures: Where Does Terrorism Fester?, Commitment Problems, Exploitation and Civil War Settlements, The Critical Barrier to Civil War Settlement

Topic 11: Terrorism
Slides: Here

Reading: Sabotaging the Peace

Lectures: The Rationality of Terror, Spoiling the Peace, The Definition of Terrorism

Topic 10: Nuclear Weapons
Slides: Here

Readings: Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons?, Winning with the Bomb

Lectures: Who Has Nuclear Weapons?, Mutually Assured Destruction, Is War Obsolete?, Stability-Instability Paradox, Nuclear Pessimism, Leveraging Nuclear Strength, Covert Nuclear Strength, The Iraq War: A Rational Mistake

Topic 9: The United Nations
Slides: Here

Readings: How Much Is a Seat on the Security Council Worth? Foreign Aid and Bribery at the United Nations

Lectures: The Organization, Veto Power, Insincere Voting, Bribery, Rally ‘Round the Flag Effects, Ideology in the General Assembly

Topic 8: International Institutions
Slides: Here

Readings: The Rational Design of International Institutions, Controlling Institutions

Fun with Institutions: Airport Subsidies, College Football Helmets

Lectures: Goods, Monitoring Institutions, Collective Action Problems, Hegemonic Provision of Public Goods, Issue Linkage

Topic 7: Economic Sanctions
Slides: Here

Readings: Do Economic Sanctions Destabilize Leaders?, The Microfoundations of Economic Sanctions

Lectures: Economic Sanctions Basics, Selecting on the Dependent Variable, Selection Problems, The TIES Database, Costly Signaling, Leaders and Sanctions

Topic 6: Leaders Matter
Reminder: The midterm is on 10/22. There will be a review session from 7-8pm on 10/21 in Meliora 203. I will only be taking questions; there will be no prepared material. In place of their normal office hours, Brad will be holding his at 2-4 on Monday and Matt will be holding his at 12-2 on Tuesday. There will be no office hours or recitations on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. All of these changes are for this week only and to assist in preparing you for the midterm.

Slides: Here

Lecture: Principal-Agent Problems, Diversionary War, Gambling for Resurrection, Democratic Accountability, Leader Retirement, Fighting for Survival and Peace through Instability, Bargaining and Leaders, Pandering, Leaders and Uncertainty

Topic 5: The Democratic Peace
Slides: Here

Lecture: The Democratic Peace Theory, Explaining the Democratic Peace, Correlation versus Causation, The McDonald’s Peace Theory, The Capitalist Peace, The Rise of China

Topic 4: International Trade
Reminder: The first problem set is due on Wednesday, October 1 at the beginning of class.

Slides: Here

Lecture: Absolute Advantage, Comparative Advantage, Trade Rivalry, Resolving Trade Disputes, The Relative Gains Problem

Topic 3: The Bargaining Model of War
Readings: Rationalist Explanations for War and The Rationality of War (Chapter 2)

Slides: Here

Lecture: The Rationality of War, The Unitary Actor Assumption, War’s Inefficiency Puzzle, The Algebraic Bargaining Model of War, War’s Bargaining Range, Crisis Bargaining, Preventive War, Information Problems and Incentives to Misrepresent, Issue Indivisibility, Preemptive War, Understanding War, Militarized Interstate Disputes, Correlates of War and the Long Peace

Topic 2: Basic Models of Conflict and Cooperation
Readings: The Cult of the Offensive and The Evolution of Cooperation, Chapter 1 and Chapter 4

Slides: Here

Lecture: Conflict versus Cooperation, The Prisoner’s Dilemma, The Cult of the Offensive and the Origins of World War I, Tariffs and the Barriers to Free Trade, Arms Races, The Shadow of the Future, Grim Trigger, Benevolent Cooperation

Topic 1: The Basics (9/3 and 9/8)
Slides: Here

Lecture: Introduction, Sovereignty, Anarchy, Proximate versus Underlying Causes, The Strategic World

Note: We are assigning recitations in Morey 321 on 9/5. If you do not come or register for the class late, it is imperative you see one of us to be added to a recitation.

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