Poli 211 - Syllabus
Political Science 211
Introduction to International Relations
This course will introduce you to the major concerns of scholars
and practitioners of international relations. As you will soon
discover, we have a lot of interesting questions to ask, but very
few pat answers. The major objective of the course is not to
teach you about recent history or current events, although some
elements of both of these will be included in the lectures,
readings, and class discussions. The heart of the course deals
with the actors on the international scene, the types of actions
and interactions they exhibit, and the ideas that have been
proposed by various scholars to account for all these things.
In addition to lectures twice a week, students will be assigned
to a tutorial section which will meet once a week. We will
arrange tutorial sections during the first week of classes. With
a little luck, tutorials will begin to meet in the second
week of classes. Students are expected to attend tutorials and
contribute to discussion. Failure to do so will have an adverse
impact on your grade. Please also note that the lectures will
parallel the readings, but not necessarily repeat them. Students
who wish to earn a good grade in this course are advised to
attend lectures and tutorial, and do the readings.
Students are not required to attend lecture. But be aware of the
Students are required to attend tutorial and your tutorial grade depends on
participating in your section.
- As noted above, the lecture material is different from the reading.
- You will not have access to Dr. Stoll's lecture notes or the slides used in lecture.
Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:
Written assignments (2-4) 20%
Midterm exam 25%
Final exam 45%
Tutorial grade 10%
Failure to take the final exam will result in a grade of F for the course.
Bureaucratic Odds And Ends
Any course of this size requires a fair amount of bureaucratic
procedure to keep things from getting out of control. The most
important parts of the Poli 211 bureaucracy are described below.
Bowing to reality, there will be a makeup exam given for the
midterm and the final. A sign-up list will be posted by Dr. Stoll's
office door (120 HRZ);
students will be advised in lecture when the list
will go up, and when it will be taken down. The makeup will be given at
one time and in one place, and will not be the same exam that is
given to the rest of the class. The makeup may occur several days
later or several days earlier than the regular exam.
Somtimes other issues arise that make it difficult or impossible for a
student to meet her/his obligations. Dr. Stoll is willing to work with you to devise
alternative arrangements. But in order for this to happen some verification
of the problem is needed. In many cases the best way for you to verify that you have a problem
is to have your College Master e-mail Dr. Stoll. The Master does not need to disclose the details of your problem,
just confirmation that there is a problem. If that is not possible, communicate with Dr. Stoll and he will tell you what alternative verification will be needed.
All of the grading in the course will be done by your tutorial
leader, with the following exceptions:
- Dr. Stoll will grade all makeup exams.
- Dr. Stoll will grade all work by "mystery students."
- Dr. Stoll will do any re-grading.
Students should be aware that we always check to see if tutorial
leaders are grading by the same standards, and if necessary, make
adjustments (for your information, adjustments are very rarely
necessary). If you wish to register a complaint about a grade,
you must observe the following procedures:
- You have 1 class week from the time the answer key for a piece of
work is available to lodge a complaint.
- Before you submit the work to be re-graded, you are advised to check the
answer key (available on the bookshelf by Dr. Stoll's office).
- Turn in the work to the Poli 211 regrade box (the box is labeled "Stoll To
Be Regraded") on the bookshelf to the right of Dr. Stoll's office
with an indication on a separate piece of paper (if appropriate)
of what part of the work you think should have a better grade. Do not put
any marks on the assignment or exam.
- Dr. Stoll will re-grade only the part(s) you request. Your new grade
may be higher, lower, or the same as the original grade.
The following books have been ordered for the course. All of the
required reading is contained in these books.
Russett, Bruce, Harvey Starr, and David Kinsella. 2008.
World Politics: The Menu for Choice. Ninth Edition.
Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thompson. You can also rent the book or purchase as an e-book using this link.
Stiles, Kendall W. 2009. Case Histories in International
Politics. Sixth Edition. New York: Pearson Longman. ISBN: 978-0-205-73995-0.
Please make sure that you
have access to the correct editions of the books.
Reading assignments from Russett, Starr and Kinsella (RSK)
will be announced in lecture;
all reading assignments from Stiles will be announced in
If you have any problems during the course, be sure to get in
touch with Dr. Stoll or your tutorial leader.