Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249; not open to students with credit in POLI 15H.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area IV: Social & Behavioral Sciences
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Critically analyze any of the contending theoretical formulations of International
  • Critically analyze the role of the United States in the International Political Economy:
  • A successful student will understand the role of NATO, the UN and national state leaders in decision-making on intervention.


Analysis of the central elements of international relations, including: contending theoretical formulations of international relations, factors of sovereignty, nationalism, relations between the core, semi-periphery and peripheral countries, the role of the World Trade Organization in international trade relations, international terrorism and global warming. The international struggle for global hegemony and the impact of terrorism on world politics are systematically analyzed in the context of an increasingly unipolar world.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Analyze the world capitalist system in global world economy.
B. Perform comparative analysis of north/south trade relations in global economy.
C. Investigate problems of international organizations and global trade relations.
D. Analyze semi-peripheral and peripheral nation states relations with core nations in global economy.
E. Analyze and synthesize contending theoretical formulations of international relations.
F. Apply any or a combination of contending theoretical formulations of international relations to a specific problem in international relations.

Course Content

A. Introduction to the intellectual foundations of international relations as an academic discipline
1. Liberal institutionalism
2. Hobbesian realism and its contemporary variant of neo-liberalism
3. Marxist and neo-Marxist thinking
4. Contribution of dependency theory to international relations theory
5. Contribution of world systems theory to international relations theory
B. Liberal theories of international relations
1. Origins of liberalism in reaction to mercantilism
2. Contributions of Adam Smith and David Ricardo
3. Assumptions of liberalism as rational, utility-maximizing actors
4. Limitations of economic role of government
C. Marxist theory of international relations
1. Origins of Marxist perspective as a reaction to liberalism
2. Assumptions of Marxist perspective
3. Classes as dominant actors in the political economy
4. Classes acting in their material economic interests
5. Exploitative nature of capitalism and the international division of labor
D. The realist theory of international relations
1. Intellectual contributions of Hobbes, Machiavelli, Colbert and List
2. Emergence of realism in the 1930s
3. Assumptions of realism
4. Nation-states as dominant actors
5. Nation-states as power-maximizers
6. Nation-states as rational actors
7. Theory of hegemonic stability
8. Realism, political processes, and complex interdependence
9. Roles of international organizations
E. Contribution of dependency theory to international relations theory
1. Dependency as a socio-economic and political concept
2. Structural dependency as a socio-economic and political concept
3. The gap between rich and poor countries
4. Domestic inequality
5. Convergence and divergence
6. The state, growth, and inequality
7. Role of multilateral agencies in dependent underdeveloped states
8. The World Trade Organization in international trade
F. World systems theory contribution to international relations theory
1. Emergence of world capitalist system in 16th century Europe
2. Role of agriculture in the development of world capitalist system in 16th century
3. Incorporation of areas into world system
4. Concept of core, semi-periphery, and periphery
5. Contemporary function of world capitalist system
G. Role of non-government organizations (NGO) in the international political economy
1. The role of the United Nations in international relations
2. The role of specialized agencies of of the UN in international relations
3. The role of UNCHR in international conflict

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught as an online section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Weekly reading of required texts and demonstrating knowledge of literature through active participation in class discussions
B. Oral presentations on assigned topics, demonstrating synthesis of literature
C. Analytical research paper that demonstrates critical, analytical, research and writing skills and substantial knowledge of research topic
D. Midterm essay examination
E. Final essay examination

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Formal weekly lectures
B. Group oral presentations on assigned topics
C. In-class discussions on assigned topics of critical importance to issues
D. Small group discussions on current issues in international relations

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Goddard, C. Roe, Patrick Cronin, and Kishore C. Dash. International Political Economy: State Market Relations in the Changing Global Order. 3rd ed. Boulder, CO: Lynne Reiner Publishing, 2008.

Handleman, Howard. The Challenge of Third World Development. 4th ed. New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2006.

Kaufman, Joyce P. Introduction to International Relations Theory & Practice. NY: Rowan & Littlefield Int'l Publ., 2013.

Kaufman, Joyce P. A Concise History of US Foreign Policy. NY: Rowan & Littlefield, 2013.

McWilliams, Wayne C., and Harry Piotrowski. The World Since 1945: A History of International Relations. 8th ed. Boulder, CO: Lynne Reiner Publishers, 2014.

Mingst, Karen A. Essentials of International Relations. 4th ed. NY: W.W. Norton & Co., 2007.

Stark, Jeffrey (ed). The Challenge of Change in Latin America & the Caribbean: A North-South Reader. Univ. of Miami Publ., 2001.

Seligson, Mitchell, and John T. Passe-Smith. The Political Economy of Global Inequality. 8th ed. Boulder, CO: Lynne Reiner Publishers, 2014.

World Policy Journal articles.

Viotti, Paul R., and Mark V. Kauppi. International Relations & World Politics: Security, Economy, Identity. 5th ed. NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2013.

Foreign Affairs articles.

Latin American Perspectives. (print journal)

School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University. (print journal)

NOTE: Although some texts are older than the suggested "5 year or newer" standard, they remain seminal pieces of scholarship (texts) in this area of study.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Weekly assigned readings from texts, of over 200 pages, on module for week

B. Five to six pages of written outline of required weekly reading assignments

C. Development of research paper topic, its thesis and outline

D. 15 page critical analytical research paper assignment utilizing the scientific method



Political Science