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POL 250: Ethics and International Relations

Course Description

This course will focus on the origins, theories, traditions, practice, and maintenance of the system of ethics and ethical behavior in the international system. The course explores the actors and ethical questions involved in conflict, trade, human rights, resource distribution, and case studies. (3 credits)

Prerequisite

  • None

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Explain, compare and contrast the impact of theories of ethics in international relations.
  2. Identify, discuss and analyze the impact and links of ethical schools of thought and considerations on the formulation of state and institutional policies that impact the international system.
  3. Explain the consequences of ethics and values to the international behaviour of nation-states and international institutions, and other relevant actors in the international system.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the dynamics of power and politics and the international system.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to write a research and analytical paper on issues relevant to ethics in international relations.
  6. Discuss and employ the basics of international relations and world politics.
  7. Identify and explain historical and current patterns, trends and relationships that emerge in the ethics of international relations.
  8. Identify, explain and assess the impact of ethics in the relationship between international political, economic, social and environmental institutions and systems.
  9. Assess and analyze the role of ethics in the patterns of conflict, war, terrorism, spread and use of weapons of Mass destruction in the international system.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

AssignmentsWeight

Discussions (Weeks 1 - 8)

30%

Executive Summary (Week 7)

30%

Midterm (Week 4)

20%

Final Exam (Week 8)

20%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

(Available through https://bookstore.mbsdirect.net/vbm/vb_home.php?FVCUSNO=35478)

  • Amstutz, Mark. International Ethics: Concepts, Theories, and Cases in Global Politics. 5th. ed. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2018. ISBN-13: 978-1-5381-1024-9
  • Bell, Duncan. Ethics and World Politics. Oxford University Press, 2010. ISBN-10: 0-19-954862-5 or ISBN-13: 978-0-19-954-862-0
  • Rosenthal, Joel H. and Christian Barry. Ethics & International Affairs. 3rd. ed. Georgtown University Press, 2009. ISBN-13: 9781589012721

Recommended

  • Valls, Andrew and Virginia Held. Ethics in International Affairs .Rowman and Littlefield, Publishers, 2000. ISBN-10: 0847691578

Additional Resources

Course Schedule

WeekSLOsReadings and ExercisesAssignments

1

1,2

Learning Unit 1: Introduction-Defining Ethics in International Relations
  • Can and should ethics play a role in international relations?
  • What are the sources of international ethics and norms?

Learning Unit 2: Religious Traditions-Biblical/Judaism & Christianity, The Koran/Islam

Readings:
  • Amstutz, Chapter 1
  • Bell, Part I and ppts
  • Rosenthal, Introduction and Part I
  • Valls and Held, Part 1, Chapter 1 (recommended)
  • Speaking of Faith
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in discussion

2

1,2,4,8

Learning Unit 3: Introduction To Legal Traditions: International Society

Learning Unit 4: Legal Traditions: International Liberalism

Readings:
  • Amstutz, Chapters 4 & 5
  • Bell, Part II and ppts
  • Rosenthal, Chapter 2 Part I & Part II
  • Valls and Held, Part II (recommended)
  • Supplementary readings found in the "Additional Readings" folder
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in discussion

3

1,2,4,6,8

Learning Unit 5: Political Traditions: Realism

Learning Unit 6: Actors: States (Good states, bad states) and the Ethics and foreign Policy-making

Readings:
  • Amstutz, Chapter 4
  • Continue Bell, Part II and ppts (see LU4)
  • Rosenthal, Part II
  • Valls and Held, Part II, Chapter 3-4 (recommended)
  • Supplementary readings found in the "Additional Readings" folder
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in discussion

4

3,7,8,9

Learning Unit 7: Actors: International Organizations, Collective Security, Global Security Peace-making, Peace-keeping

Learning Unit 8: War, War Convention, Just and Unjust Wars Intervention, Civil War, Revolutions, Terrorism

Readings:
  • Amstutz, Chapters 5, 7, 8 & 9
  • Bell, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 19 and ppts
  • Valls and Held, Part IV - invervention (recommended)
  • Supplementary readings found in the "Additional Readings" folder
  • Review assigned chapters
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in discussion
  • Midterm Exam due

Midterm Exam Due
(SLOs 1-9)

5

3,6,7,8,9

Learning Unit 9: War Crimes

Learning Unit 10: Weapons of Mass Destruction
Nuclear Weapons, Biological and Chemical Weapons
Cyberspace and national security

Readings:
  • Amstutz, Chapters 5, 7, 8 & 9 (repeat)
  • Bell, repeat 16-17 and ppts
  • Valls and Held, Part II and III (repeat) (recommended)
  • Website Global Ethics Corner (includes short video)
  • Supplementary readings found in the "Additional Readings" folder
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in discussion

6

3,4,6,7,8,9

Learning Unit 11: Global Inequality, Poverty vs. Affluence, Resource Distribution and Management

Learning Unit 12: Ethics of International Political Economy

Readings:
  • Amstutz, Chapters 10 & 11
  • Bell, 13-14 20-21 and ppts
  • Rosenthal, Chapters 14-16
  • Valls and Held, Chapter 11-13 (recommended)
  • Supplementary readings found in the "Additional Readings" folder
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in discussion

7

4,5,7,8

Learning Unit 13: The Environment; Ethics, Ecology and the Environment

Learning Unit 14: International Human Rights

Readings:
  • Amstutz, pgs. 207-213
  • Rosenthal, pgs. 242-270, Chapter 7
  • Supplementary readings found in the "Additional Readings" folder
  • Read assigned chapters
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in discussion
  • Executive Summary due

8

6,7

Learning Unit 15: Conclusion; The Ethics of a Global Society

Readings:

  • Amstutz, Chapter 12
  • Read assigned chapter
  • Review lecture material
  • Participate in discussion
  • Final Exam due

Final Exam Due
(SLOs 1-9)

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.