University of Hartford
Spring, 2011
Politics 130
Phone: 768-4284
Instructor:  Michael Clancy
Office: 123b Hillyer
Office Hours: M/W 1:30-2:30; 
By Appointment
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                      Is there a logic that underlies the way in which nearly 200 countries and more than 6 billion people interact? This question has become ever more pressing early in the 21st Century as people around the world grapple with issues such as security, economic cooperation, development, and the global environment.

                    This course offers students a broad introduction and overview to contemporary international politics.  The primary goals are to 1) provide students with tools for analyzing actors, structures and processes in international relations and 2) investigate a wide range of substantive issues in contemporary world politics. Although we deal with many issues found in the headlines of daily newspaper, this is not a current events course. Instead, emphasis will be placed on analysis and explanation of more long-term patterns. After a brief introduction, students will consider various theoretical approaches to international relations. Following this, we turn to three substantive issue areas:  States, security and conflict; international political economy; and contemporary global challenges.

 Learning Objectives

                    As an introductory course in the Politics and Government Department, this course assumes no prior  knowledge of international politics. Students who take this course are expected to achieve several learning objectives, including:

  • Gaining a better understanding of the world around them
  • Getting a sense of experiencing real world problems in a way that practicioners do
  • Grasping alternative models for analyzing an underlying logic to international relations
  • Developing skills for identifying, understanding, and offering critiques of arguments
  • Writing a policy paper regarding a contemporary issue in international affairs

                The syllabus for POL 130 is electronic and will likely change over the semester. Keep in touch at:

                                Click the links below to access the remainder of the syllabus: