Introduction to International Studies

Course No.: IST 100

Course Title: Introduction to International Studies

Credits: 3


Catalog Description:

This introductory, interdisciplinary course exposes students to critical global issues through the lens of the arts, humanities, social and physical sciences.  The course will make connections between seemingly disparate events, and contextualize those events in an historical period.  Each discussion will consider political, socio-economic, geographic as well as cultural issues in the given context. The course satisfies the General Education-Global Issues requirement. No prerequisites.


Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Describe various aspects of globalization: economic, cultural, political, etc
  • Formulate the major causes of conflict and unrest in the contemporary world
  • Define the role of the West in the changing international order
  • Make connections between international affairs and domestic developments
  • Contemplate the concept of interdependence between the West and the “Other world”
  • Explore the non-western paradigms of thinking about the world
  • Develop geographical literacy, both cartographic and human
  • Develop an understanding of global human migration and cultures
  • Describe the negative and positive outcomes of imperialism and colonization
  • Be aware of the solutions for global controversies and dilemmas
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically examine international affairs


Required Readings:

  • Atlas, J.: “What is Fukuyama saying? And to whom is he saying it?”, The New York Times, Oct. 22, 1989.
  • Chandra, K. (2006) “What is ethnic identity and does it matter?”, Annual Review of Political Science 9 (doi: 10.1146/annurev.polisci.9.062404.170715): 397-424.
  • Gismondi, M. (2007) Chapter 3: “Positivism, idealism, and imperial power”, in M. Gismondi: 70-90.
  • Gismondi, M. (2007) Chapter 5: “Realism, tragedy, and postmodernity”, in M. Gismondi: 130-160.
  • Glaser, E.: “Bring back ideology: Fukuyama’s ‘end of history’ 25 years on”, The Guardian, Mar. 21, 2014.
  • Graham, J., B. Nosek & J. Haidt (2012) “The Moral Stereotypes of Liberals and Conservatives: Exaggeration of Differences across the Political Spectrum”, PLoS ONE 7 (12) (doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050092): e50092.
  • Hafner-Burton, E. & K. Tsotsui (2005) “Human Rights in a Globalizing World: The Paradox of Empty Promises”, American Journal of Sociology 110 (5) (doi: 10.1086/428442): 1373-1411
  • Horowitz, D. (1990) “Comparing Democratic Systems”, Journal of Democracy 1 (4): 73-79.
  • McGrew, A. (2004) “Power shift: from national government to global governance?”, in D. Held, ed.: 123-158.
  • Singer, P. (2004) Chapter 2: “One Atmosphere”, in P. Singer: 14-50.
  • Tyson, L. (2006) Chapter 12: “Postcolonial criticism”, in Critical theory today: a userfriendly guide, 2nd ed.; Routledge: 417-433 and 448-449.
  • Wallerstein, I. (2008) “The Modern World-System as a Capitalist World-Economy”, in Lechener & Boli, eds.: 55-61.