International Relations (Undergraduate) Course Descriptions

HIST

HIST 1100 -  World Civilizations before 1500
Examines the evolution of ancient and pre-modern cultures throughout the world with a focus on the development of the ideas, values, and social, cultural, and political institutions that have shaped the civilizations and the subsequent history of the world. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

HIST 2090 -  Encounters with History
A topics course devoted to an in-depth examination of chronological subperiods or distinctive themes in history. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

Examples of a course offered at Webster Vienna Private University:

HIST 2090 - Encounters with History: Music & Politics  
From Beethoven to Pussy Riot, from opera to hip-hop, music has always been filled by political content. Whether supporting power or criticizing it, whether a catalyst or a mirror of cultural changes, music has been used –and misused- all along its history. This cross-cultural course introduces students to the relevant connections between music and politics. It analyzes the content, meaning and effect of music for politics and vice versa. We will follow a topical rather than a chronological basis and students will be exposed to artistic movements, political and historical events. The musical content will therefore reflect this approach with the result that students will be introduced globally to music rather than stylistically.

HIST 2090 - Encounters with History: National Socialism 
The course explores the history of the political ideology of “National Socialism,” from its origins and theoretical foundations to how it worked out in practice in Germany during the so-called “Third Reich” from 1933 to its end in 1945. We will do so by reading and discussing texts suitable to address major topics of the history of National Socialism. The purpose of the course is to familiarize you with key aspects of National Socialism, which are essential for a critical historical understanding of the Third Reich and its ideology.

HIST 2230 - The Age of Total War: Europe 1890-1945
An exploration of European politics, society, and culture during a period dominated by two world wars. Topics include imperialism and great power competition, the Great War, social reform and class conflict, transformations in gender, the Russian Revolution, Nazism and Fascism, World War II and the Holocaust.  

HIST 3100 -  Diplomatic History
Studies the foreign affairs of the major developed areas of the world: e.g., Europe, the United States, Japan. Prerequisite: 6 credit hours of pertinent history or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.  

HIST 3150 -  International Affairs
Employs regional or topical approach to selected international periods and issues, with attention given to knowledge of historical events preceding and influencing the topic under analysis. Content varies. Prerequisite: 6 credit hours of pertinent social studies or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

Examples of topic courses offered at Webster Vienna Private University in the past

HIST 3150 -  International Affairs: European Integration
This course focuses on the core institutional features of the European Union, its decision-making structure and selected policy issues of European integration after the new Treaty of Lisbon entered into force in December 2009. The first series of sessions seeks to acquaint students with the historical development of the European Union and its basic organizational, functional and legal features. The EU is first a foremost a legal community, law also being the means of integration. Thus, the study of European law is an integral part and necessary pre-condition for the understanding of the EU complex multi-level governance system. The second series of sessions concentrates on some of the key issues involved, such as the on-going debate on the ‘democratic deficit’ of the European Union, the distribution of competences between national and supranational actors, the sovereign debt crisis and the EU’s measures to uphold the currency union, and the role of the Union as a global actor.

INTL

INTL 1500 – The World System since 1500
Examines the origin and evolution of the current world system. The course explores the political, cultural, technological, social, and economic forces that have shaped world history from 1500 until the present.

INTL 2030 – International Law
Introduces public international law, including the law of international institutions. Topics include the sources of international law, questions relating to state jurisdiction and state responsibility, the regulation of the use of force, and the legal aspects of the structure and functions of the United Nations.

INTL 2100 – Model U.N.
Studies the structure, operations, and politics of the United Nations. Attention will focus on current U.N. issues, and students will be required to participate in classroom simulations. Students will attend the Collegiate Midwest Model U.N. and represent a country as U.N. delegates.

INTL 2610 – Advocacy, NGOs, and Civil Society
Studies multilateral activities designed to promote economic, social, and technical progress. Examines international cooperation in such "nonpolitical" fields as trade, economic development, communications, health, humanitarian assistance, and environmental protection.

INTL 2620 –  Ideological Influences in International Relations
Examines ideologies and value systems such as liberal democracy, pragmatism, materialism, nationalism, racism, and internationalism in light of their influence on foreign policies of the major Western countries and of selected developing nations.

INTL 2630 – New States in World Politics
Introduces the political process in the non-Western world and a survey of different methodological approaches to the study of non-Western systems. Emphasizes analysis of foreign policies and the role of new states in world politics.

INTL 2680 –  International Relations Theory
Analyzes the nature of international society and of the forces affecting the behavior of states in their relations with one another.

INTL 2700 – Methods of Political Inquiry
Explores the nature of political inquiry and the conceptual approaches to the study of politics and government. Students examine and compare some major modes of political inquiry: discursive, systematic, philosophical, and scientific. Prerequisite: usually sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.

INTL 3100 –  International Political Economy
Explores, historically and conceptually, the theories and practices of international political economy. The course examines the interplay of politics and economics at the global level. It introduces students to ways of understanding the modern world system as a unity of international, political, and economic processes. Prerequisites: sophomore standing or above plus POLT 1050 or 6 credit hours of relevant political science, history, or international relations courses.

INTL 3200 – Comparative Politics: Western Europe and the United States
Compares Western European and U.S. political culture, constitutional structure, and governmental development, with particular attention given to contemporary problems. Prerequisite: usually sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.

INTL 3220 – Current European and American Diplomatic Issues
An overview of post-World War II development; examines issues affecting international politics, using guest lecturers, field trips, and simulations projects. May be repeated for credit with varied content. Prerequisite: usually sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.

INTL 3240 – United States Foreign Policy
Surveys the constitutional and political factors entering into the formulation, execution, and substance of the U.S. foreign policy, with special emphasis on contemporary problems. Prerequisite: usually sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

INTL 3260 – International Communications
Examines the philosophy, process, problems, and potentials of communication across cultural boundaries. Emphasizes interrelationships between communications and social, political, economic, and cultural factors that affect international communications. Prerequisite: usually sophomore standing or permission of the instructor. Cross-listed with MEDC 3260.

INTL 3290 –  Politics of International Economic Relations
Focuses on the interrelationships between politics and economics within the Western, North-South, and East-West systems. Prerequisite: ECON 2030 or permission of the instructor.

Examples of topic courses offered at Webster Vienna Private University:

INTL 3290 – Politics of International Economic Relations: Monetary Relations
Building on the course on International Political Economy, this course will go into depth to analyze the interplay between politics and economics in financial and monetary policy and international monetary relations. After covering some basic theoretical and historical ground, the course will use a practical case-study approach to such issues as options for exchange rate policy, financial liberalization and financial crises, international economic coordination, international banking supervision and regulation, and the causes and possible solutions for the Euro crisis.

INTL 3300 – Governments and Politics of Eastern Europe
Overview of the political and governmental organization of the communist and post-communist countries of Eastern and Central Europe. Encompasses contemporary social and ethnic structures, institutions, practices, and ideologies; includes interregional relations and the international position of those states that formed the "Soviet bloc" in the decades after World War II. Prerequisite: usually sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.

INTL 3330 –  International Economic Integration
Examines customs unions, common markets and free trade, capital and labor movement, international economic aid, and development programs. Explores conflict, cooperation, and unification of world economic policies. Prerequisite: usually sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.

INTL 3420 –  International Relations Practicum
Students will work with a community or public organization in an area related to international studies. Students will be expected to develop their understanding of a foreign culture, particularly in the areas of policy formation, decision making, and communications.

INTL 3500 –  Environmental and Energy Security
This course introduces students to the role that environmental and energy issues play in causing and exacerbating conflict between groups and states in the international system. Students will learn theories of international conflict and then apply them to pressing issues in environmental studies. 

INTL 3700 –  International Organizations: Structure and Political Conflict
Analyzes the international organization to determine whether it is an effective instrument for achieving peace and security and for the promotion of human welfare. Attention is given to the adjustment of political conflicts by international organizations, and to interactions between different types of multinational enterprises and various levels of government.

INTL 3800 – International Security
This course explores the nature of international conflict in the world from the perspective of international relations, focusing extensively on the causes, conditions, and consequences for war (both historical and contemporary), and the possible paths to peace.

INTL 4280 –  International Economics
A policy-oriented course that covers both international financial relations and international trade relations and includes such topics as international monetary policies, international regional trade organizations, trade problems of developing countries, and international mobility of productive factors. Prerequisite: ECON 2030 or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

INTL 4600 –  International Relations Seminar
In-depth analysis of international relations. Prerequisites: usually senior standing or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

INTL 4700 – Senior Thesis
Allows senior students to pursue significant independent research/ writing projects in international relations. Prerequisites: senior standing and approval of the department.

POLT

POLT 1000 – Topics in Politics
Introduces the study of contemporary politics, focusing on understanding current events or enduring themes (power, war, justice, etc.) of politics. Students practice oral skills or writing needed to effectively engage in political discourse and communication. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 1050 – Introduction to International Relations
This course examines how state and non-state actors confront contemporary global problems. It also introduces students to the subfields of international relations: international security, international political economy, foreign policy, international relations theory, international organizations and international law.

POLT 1060 – Introduction to American Politics
Presents the basic concepts, structures, and functions of the United States political system and an analysis of the role of individuals in the practice of American politics.

POLT 1070 –  Introduction to Political Theory
Introduces philosophical issues and concepts of political thought from antiquity to the present through examination, from different perspectives, of democracy, sovereignty and authority, justice, liberty, and the relationship between the individual and the state. Cross-listed with PHIL 2300.

POLT 1080 –  Introduction to Comparative Politics
This course is an introduction to the systematic and analytical study of states/societies in the world using the comparative method. Students learn to compare countries on such topics as state legitimacy and capacity, ethnic conflicts, political ideologies and institu-tions, economic poverty and development, political violence, the impact of globalization, and environmental problems.

POLT 1550 –  Introduction to Political Argumentation and Debate
Introduces students to the basic principles of debate, emphasizing the development of research, critical thinking, and oral presentation skills. Students research one or more contemporary public policy issues and are expected to attend and participate in campus debates on those issues. The course is open to students of all majors.

POLT 2060 – Politics and Gender
Interdisciplinary examination of women in the public sphere. Draws on studies in history, political science, sociology, and psychology in order to understand more fully the role of women in politics and society.

POLT 2070 –  Politics of Race and Ethnicity (3)
Interdisciplinary examination of race relations and associated political issues. May be broadly focused on a variety of racial relations or on two or more historical contexts, or may adopt a more specific focus: e.g., black/white relations within the context of history and politics in the United States.

POLT 2100 –  Model U.N.
Studies the structure, operations, and politics of the United Nations. Attention will focus on current U.N. issues, and students will be required to participate in classroom simulations. Students will attend the Collegiate Midwest Model U.N. and represent a country as U.N. delegates.

POLT 2250 – Politics in the Industrialized World
Examines the politics of those countries customarily considered part of the affluent north. Topics may include evolution of political party systems, the evolution of communist systems, environmental and peace movements, economic integration of countries, planning and market mechanisms, trade policies, ethnic conflicts, governmental influence in collective bargaining systems, the welfare state, and tax revolts. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 2500 –  Interdisciplinary Approach to Politics (3)
Integrates the contributions of other disciplines--history, psychology, sociology, economics, literature, media, philosophy--into the study of politics and the role politics plays in the nongovernmental arena. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 2550 –  The Politics of the Developing World
Focuses on how the majority of the world's people, those living in the poorest nations, are governed. Topics include colonialism and neocolonialism, tradition and modernity, dependency, and the nature of contemporary revolution in the Third World. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 2600 –  Research Methods and Approaches in Political Science
Introduces the student to the research methods, models, and frameworks of contemporary political analysis. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

POLT 3310 –  Conduct of Foreign Policy (3)
Examines the techniques and problems of foreign policy decision making in the contemporary nation-state system. Prerequisite: POLT 1050 or POLT 1060.

POLT 3320 –  American National Institutions
Offers an in-depth study of one of the following topics: the presidency, Congress, political parties and elections, and judicial politics. The topic varies from semester to semester and may be repeated for credit if content differs. Prerequisite: POLT 1060 or permission of the instructor.

POLT 3400 – Comparative Politics
Examines political institutions and issues in two or more political systems, or focuses in-depth on the politics of a country or geographic area. Prerequisite: POLT 1080, POLT 2250, POLT 2500, POLT 2550, or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 3550 – Competitive Political Argumentation and Debate
Prepares members of the debate team for participation in intercollegiate debate. Students research and debate topics selected by the College Educational Debate Association. Students are required to attend regional and national debate tournaments. Prerequisites: POLT 1550 and permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit.

POLT 3590 – Theories of Human Rights
Examines the historical development of theories of human rights and their relation to civil liberties, international law, social organization, and different conceptions of community, individualism, and the state. Also examines the most significant human rights documents in their historical context. May focus on specific cases and questions of current concern. Prerequisite: POLT 1070, PHIL 2300, or GNST 1600. Cross-listed with PHIL 3590.

POLT 3650 –  Internship
Students are placed in private or public service organizations. Such experience is designed to augment a student's knowledge of political organization, policy formation, decision making, paralegal practices, and related areas. A total of 6 credit hours of internship may be used to satisfy departmental degree requirements, with a maximum of 3 credit hours counting as upper-level coursework. Prerequisites: junior standing and permission of department chair; specific Prerequisites will vary according to topic.

POLT 4000 –  Research Requirement
Required of all political science majors in conjunction with a designated 3000-level or 4000-level course. Recognizes successful completion of the departmental research requirement.

POLT 4100 –  Advanced Studies in International Politics
Allows students to pursue advanced studies in international politics or one of its subfields. Specific subject matter varies from semester to semester. Prerequisite: 6 credit hours of political science (international or comparative focus) or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 4200 –  Advanced Studies in Political Theory
Allows students to pursue in-depth study in political theory. Specific subject matter varies from semester to semester. Prerequisite: 6 credit hours of political science, including a prior course in political theory, or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 4300 – Advanced Studies in American Politics
Allows students to pursue advanced studies in a variety of subfields of American politics. Specific topics vary from semester to semester. Prerequisite: 6 credit hours of political science, including a prior course in American politics, or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 4350 – Advanced Studies in Judicial Politics
Allows students to pursue advanced studies in the subfield of judicial politics. Specific topics may vary from semester to semester. Requires students to complete a research paper in the area. May be repeated if content differs. Prerequisite: POLT 1060 or POLT 2400.

POLT 4400 –  Advanced Studies in Comparative Politics
Allows students to do advanced-level work in comparative politics. Specific topics vary from semester to semester. Prerequisite: 6 credit hours of political science, including a prior course in comparative politics, or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 4600 –  Political Science Seminar
Offered periodically when specific expertise is available. Topics of interest to students of contemporary politics are studied. Prerequisite: usually senior standing or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit if con-tent differs.

Examples of Political Science Seminar topic courses offered at Webster Vienna Private University in Fall I 2015:

POLT 4600 –  Political Science Seminar: Political Functions of the Arts - Consensus versus Conflict 
The arts are frequently seen as the most important expression of the culture of a nation or an ethnic group, e.g. in the form of the cultural heritage. Thus, they play an eminent role for creating social cohesion and collective identities. On the other hand, since the early 20th century, important strands of artistic production saw their role mainly in contesting existing power relations and representing societal conflicts.
The course will discuss these different functions ascribed to the arts (1) out of the perspective of political and arts theories. (2) It will assess government politics towards the arts and (3) political activism in the arts field with regard to the question if they rather strive for consensus or conflict. Concrete examples for both forms of a political use of the arts will be part of the course.
This is a writing-intensive course (W).

POLT 4610 –  Reading Course: Advanced
Prerequisites: permission of instructor and filing of official form. May be repeated for credit if content differs.

POLT 4620 –  Overview
Designed to improve students' skills in analysis and oral communication within the disciplines of history and political science. Consists of a series of informal discussions with department faculty, culminating in a formal oral examination. Subject matter varies yearly. Prerequisites: senior standing and major in history, political science, or international relations.

POLT 4700 –  Senior Thesis
Allows senior students to pursue significant independent research/ writing projects in political science (including legal studies). Prerequisites: senior standing and approval of department chair

 

SOCI

SOCI 2750 - Fooled by Numbers: Introduction to Measurement and Statistics

A gentle introduction to the role of statistics in IR and its applications. We will put special emphasis on getting hands on experience with working with all sorts of data, visualizing it and conducting statistical testing and modelling. Most exercises will revolve around data related to human conflict (Correlates of War) and Secretary Clinton’s emails.