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North Idaho College • Coeur d'Alene • Social & Behavioral Sciences • Political Science

International Politics and Problems POLS-237

  • Fall 2012

  • Section 1

  • 3.0 Credits

  • 08/27/2012 to 12/20/2012

  • Modified 08/28/2012

Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Richard Tanksley


Office Location: MOL 201F

Phone: 769-3325

Office Hours -  Mon 12:00-2:15, Tue 12-12:45, Wed 9:45-10:15 & 12:00-2:30 or by appointment

Meeting Times

Tuesday, 2:30-3:45 in STR 102 + Internet


This course examines the causes of war and the determinants of peace between nations. Special attention is also devoted to the future prospects or roadblocks toward global governance. Students will learn about various topics that nations face when relating to each other such as foreign policy, development, human rights, terrorism, energy, the environment, and international economic issues. Additionally, the major theories of international relations and the assumptions that are important to each theory are discussed. Lastly, the United Nations and other international organizations will be introduced along with the covenants and treaties that such groups administer. This course is ideal for anyone interested in global politics and fulfills a program requirement and a social science requirement for the A.A. and A.S. degrees. Lecture: 3 hours per week


The textbook required for this course is Lamy, Masker, Baylis, Smith, & Owens (2012), Introduction to Global Politics. (brief edition.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199765836                                                              

You will also be required to access articles from the internet and library as needed.


POLS 237 International Politics and Problems


This political science course is designed to broaden student’s understanding of the world community. Specifically, this course examines the relations between states and particular issues that are shared globally. As a result of taking this course students are expected to achieve the following:

·      Apply basic international relations (IR) terminology in explaining relationships between states in discussions and exams.

·      Gain an understanding of the progression of IR in a historical/cultural context.

·      Utilize IR concepts and theories to gain an understanding and exploration of current events through article summaries and discussions.

·      Identify and explain the social or aesthetic values of different cultures. Specifically, students will identify contemporary global issues from multiple perspectives in the context of different peoples and cultures in the world from discussion and exams.

·      Analyze the role and significance of diverse countries and cultures as they interact with each other through writing assignments and discussion.

·      Demonstrate a basic understanding of international institutions such as the U.N., non governmental institutions, and state actors.

·      Explain the historical context of international conflict as well as economic, political and legal relationships between countries.

·      Demonstrate an understanding of the allocation of human or natural resources within societies. Students will identify population issues in regards to consuming resources and hazards to the environment and examine international conflict in regards to competition for resources and the quest for power.

·      Learn about the most urgent global issues confronting us today such as human rights, the environment and terrorism.

·      Think and make more informative judgments about the United States relationship with other countries and our roles/responsibilities in the world.


The assessment of these outcomes will include exams, discussion, attending governmental meetings and court sessions, writing assignments and class participation.  



Tentative Schedule & Assessment             Tentative Dates               % of grade        # of points


Exam 1 - Chapters  1-5                                     Oct 16                                     25                  250

Exam 2 - Chapters  6-10                                   See Finals Schedule               25                  250

Current events                                                  Rolling dates                             5                    50

Topical Paper (topic)                                         Sept. 18

Topical paper (draft)                                          Oct. 23                                                         

Topical paper (final)                                          Nov. 20                                    20                  200

Assignments                                                     To be determined                    15                  150

Class Participation                                                                                            10                  100

Total grade                                                                                                      100%            1,000

The schedule for the entire course will be approximately one chapter a week in chronological order. It is the student’s responsibility to keep up, especially during absences. In addition, some outside readings will be assigned. If at any time you have questions about assignments, grades or other concerns please feel free to see me during office hours, or email me.

Exams are designed to assess how well each student is learning the material. Exams will generally be multiple choice, short answer and essay questions.

Current events – Each student will be awarded up to a cumulative 50 points for bringing current event topics to class. There will be time in each class to discuss these events. Points will be awarded based on presentation and a student’s written notes.

Topical papers require students to choose a research question and investigate appropriate academic sources. A separate handout will be provided for this assignment.

Assignments will be handed out periodically and will require student demonstration of their knowledge of concepts and topics in international relations.

Class Participation consists of discussion of current events in IR, as well as analysis of the text and readings. Grading of participation will be based upon the following:

Active participation in discussions PLUS major demonstration of IR concepts and theory         = A

Active participation in discussions PLUS moderate demonstration of IR concepts and theory   = B

Limited participation in discussions PLUS limited demonstration of IR concepts and theory      = C

Attendance with limited participation and no demonstration of IR knowledge                             = D

Failure to attend or no participation                                                                                              = F


The Grading scale for the entire course:         

92 to 100% =  A                      90 to 91.9% = A-    

88 to 89.9% = B+                    82 to 87.9% = B                      80 to 81.9% = B-

78 to 79.9% = C+                    72 to 77.9% = C                      70 to 71.9% = C-

68 to 59.9% = D+                    62 to 67.9% = D                      60 to 61.9% = D-

Below 60 = Fail

Course Policies


  • It is your responsibility to attend classes. Excessive absences will affect your grade. Please be on time and expect to stay for the entire class. Chronic tardiness and/or those who leave early without permission will be assessed two absences.    
  • Make-up policy: Students are allowed to make up graded work or tests if an absence is due to participation in school-sponsored activities, provided an email notification is sent before an absence. All assignments that are late will receive a 5% deduction per week.
  • If you miss a single exam, arrangements to retake the exam should be made as soon as possible. Make-up exams are given entirely at my discretion and may be formatted differently.

 Classroom Conduct:

  • Please pay attention during class and avoid distracting others. Please turn off cell phones, do not text, web surf, read the newspaper or enter into side conversations during class. It is embarrassing to everyone if I have to ask you to leave during a class for misconduct.
  • In addition to the division's policies on academic dishonesty, there is no excuse for plagiarism. Copying and pasting or using other's intellectual ideas in any manner will result in a grade of Fail and college disciplinary action. If you use someone else's exact words, you need quotation marks and a citation. If you use another's thoughts, you need a citation no matter how small the assignment is.



Additional Items

Academic Freedom - Student academic performance may be evaluated solely on an academic basis, not on opinions or conduct in matters unrelated to academic standards. I encourage everyone to express their own views and opinions while respecting others who may hold different views.

Instructor Comments - I congratulate you on your quest to learn more about international governance and the world political system. May you have a rewarding and successful semester. If at any time during the course I can be of individual assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Science is the search for truth - it is not a game in which one tries to beat his opponent, to do harm to others. We need to have the spirit of science in international affairs, to make the conduct of international affairs the effort to find the right solution, the just solution of international problems, not the effort by each nation to get the better of other nations, to do harm to them when it is possible. - Linus Pauling

Division Policies

For a complete explanation of the North Idaho College Statement on Academic Honesty & Academic Integrity please ferfer to Policy 5.06 & Procedure 5.06.01: 

Academic Dishonesty
Violations of academic integrity involve using or attempting to use any method that enables an individual to misrepresent the quality or integrity of his or her work at North Idaho College. These violations include the following:

Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, or study in any academic exercise.
Fabrication: falsifying or inventing any information or citation in an academic exercise.
Plagiarism: knowingly representing the words or ideas of another as one’s own in an academic exercise.
Violation of Intellectual Property: stealing, altering, or destroying the academic work of other members of the community or the educational resources,materials, or official documents of the college. Facilitating Academic Dishonesty: knowingly helping another to attempt to violate any provisions of this policy.

Student Responsibility
As outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, all North Idaho College students have both rights and responsibilities: Please access www.nic.ferpa.StudentCode/index.htm for complete information that pertains to this subject.

North Idaho College, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, provides both services and accommodations to students who meet the guidelines provided in these acts.  For a complete description, please see:

Please contact the North Idaho College Center for Educational Access in Seiter Hall, Room 100 for assistance.  Phone:  208-769-5947

To withdraw from all courses a student must obtain a college withdrawal form from the Registrar's Office, secure the signatures of those persons indicated on the form, and return the form to the Registrar's office. No student may withdraw from the college after the final date of withdrawal from courses except for compelling and extraordinary reasons. In such circumstances a student must petition the Admissions and Academic Standards Committee for late withdrawal from college using the college withdrawal form available in the Registrar's Office.


For complete information regarding student withdrawals, please see the North Idaho College Policy 5.04.01: 

Institutional Policies

Student Code of Conduct

The Student Code of Conduct applies to any student enrolled at North Idaho College.  This includes, but is not limited to, face-to-face classes and Internet classes.

Student Responsibilities

As students undertake to fulfill the obligations and duties outlined in this document, the college community of which they are a part undertakes to respect the basic freedoms of students. In recognition of students’ rights and dignity as members of the college, North Idaho College is committed to the principles found in the NIC Student Handbook.

Center for Educational Access/Disability Support Services

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, North Idaho College provides accommodations to eligible students who experience barriers in the educational setting due to learning, emotional / mental, physical, visual, or hearing disabilities.  Instructors will provide accommodations to students only after having received a Letter of Accommodation from the Center for Educational Access. 

If a student would like to request accommodations, he or she must contact the Center for Educational Access so that a Letter of Accommodation may be sent to the instructor.  Students requesting accommodations must contact the Center for Educational Access at the beginning of each semester.


By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You also understand that collection costs and legal fees will be added if the services of a collection agency are utilized.

If you are registered for a class and do not attend, you will still be liable for the tuition unless you drop the class.


Last day for students to withdraw from semester-length classes:

Instructor-Initiated Withdrawal: Instructors have the right to withdraw students for academic reasons up until the same date; in doing so, instructors must notify students through NIC e-mail within 48 hours of submitting documentation to the Registrar's office, and students have the right to appeal the instructor's decision. For more information, see the NIC Procedure:

Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy: All withdrawals, whether for individual classes, total withdrawal from school, or instructor-initiated are not considered to be satisfactory progress for financial aid.  See the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Policy:

Additional withdrawal information:


An incomplete is assigned only if the student has been in attendance and has done satisfactory work to within three weeks of the end of the semester (or proportional length of time for a course of less than a semester in length).  Incompletes are issued only in cases of extenuating circumstances, such as severe illness or injury.  Incompletes are not issued in cases in which the student is simply unable to complete his/her work within the specified semester or session.  If a final grade of "I" is recorded, the instructor will indicate in writing to the Registrar what the student must do to make up the deficiency.  The instructor will indicate in the written statement what permanent grade should be entered if the Incomplete is not removed by the deadline.

All incomplete grades must be removed within six weeks after the first class day of the following term, excluding the summer session.  If the Incomplete is not removed by that date, the grade reverts to the grade indicated by the instructor's written statement authorizing the incomplete.

Discrimination and Harassment

North Idaho College has a zero tolerance policy for any acts of discrimination or harassment of any kind.  For more information, please see the NIC Student Handbook, Code of Conduct Article III and Article VIII. Compliance efforts with respect to these laws and regulations are the responsibility of each member of the campus community and are under the direction of the Dean of Students Office for Student Issues (2nd floor, Edminster Student Union Building, (208) 676-7156) and the Human Resources Office (Sherman Administration Building, (208) 769-3304) for employee issues.

Institutional Statement

DROP FOR NON-PAYMENT:  By registering at North Idaho College, you agree to provide payment by the due dates. You will be dropped from classes if payment is not received by  5 p.m. Pacific Time on the third day of the semester. Students on the waitlist will be given the option to register for classes after students are dropped for non-payment.

REMOVAL FROM CLASS FOR NON-ATTENDANCE:  Attendance is based on your participation in this class. Failure to attend may result in your being removed from this class and may result in your financial aid award being reduced. You are responsible for confirming the accuracy of your attendance record.