PS 0500 (2017 Fall)

PS 0500: Introduction to World Politics
William Spaniel
Fall 2017
Lecture: Tu/Th 2:00-2:50 Cathedral of Learning 324
Recitation: As Scheduled
Office Hours: Tu 11:45-1:45 Posvar 4446
YouTube Playlist
Problem Set #1, Data Analysis #1, Problem Set #2, Data Analysis #2

World politics 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, nuclear proliferation, and terrorism. To do so, the course emphasizes readings from original research material rather than from a textbook. Students will also solve problem sets and work with common international relations datasets to obtain a working understanding of the discipline’s methodological foundations.

Topic 12: Intervention
Slides: Here

Readings: The Critical Barrier to Civil War Settlement, Pitfalls and Prospects in the Peacekeeping 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

Readings: The Strategies of Terrorism, Democracy, Foreign Policy, and Terrorism

Lectures: The Definition of Terrorism, Are Terrorists Rational?, The Frequency of Terrorism, The Profile of a Terrorist, Understanding Suicide Terrorism, Provocation and Terrorism

Topic 10: Nuclear Weapons
Slides: Here

Readings: Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons? Three Models in Search of a Bomb, Winning with the Bomb

Lectures: Who Has Nuclear Weapons?, Mutually Assured Destruction, Is War Obsolete?, Nuclear Pessimism, Why Not Proliferate?, Covert Nuclear Programs, The Iraq War

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
Readings: The Rational Design of International Institutions, Controlling Institutions, Chapter 1

Slides: Here

Fun with Institutions: Fishing Nets, College Football Helmets

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

Topic 7: Economic Sanctions
Readings: Do Economic Sanctions Destabilize Leaders?, The Microfoundations of Economic Sanctions

Slides: Here

Lectures: Economic Sanctions Basics, Selection Problems, The TIES Database, Costly Signaling, Leaders and Sanctions

Topic 6: Leaders
Announcement: To facilitate studying for the exam, I will be holding office hours on Monday 10/16 from 10 am to noon, and Matt will be holding office hours on Monday 10/16 from 2 pm to 4 pm. Our regularly scheduled office hours for that week are canceled.

Readings: International Conflict and the Tenure of Leaders: Is War Still Ex Post Inefficient?, Regime Type, the Fate of Leaders, and War

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 Theory
Reading: The Logic of Political Survival (Chapter 1)

Slides: Here

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

Topic 4: International Trade
Slides: Here

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

No readings this week. Catch up if you are behind or get an early start on the first data analysis!

Topic 3: Bargaining and 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
Slides: Here

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

Topic 0: Logistics
Slides: Here