Introduction to International Relations


Course materials, syllabi, and other resources.

| Course Mechanics | Discussion Forum | Lectures | Grade Distributions |

Course Mechanics

Discussion Forum

You can access a discussion forum for this class. Please post your questions/comments there so I can respond to them in a way that would be useful to more students. Feel free to post using your name or anonymously. Remember, if you have a question, then probably 20 of your colleagues have the same question too, so you are doing everyone a favor by asking it. Lectures sometimes go too fast and there is only so much I can do in the lecture notes, so make good use of this opportunity to clarify things I did not cover adequately in class/notes.

Forum Instructions

The Lectures

I strongly advise you to come to class and take notes. I will provide you with (very helpful) lecture outlines in class. You will also find that reading on your own is one thing, and having someone point out the connections, place material in context, and draw contemporary comparisons is something else altogether. You will learn better by listening actively and then reading. Still, the following are fairly complete lectures. Do not print these until a few days after I give the corresponding lecture in class because I am quite likely to update these on the basis of feedback I receive.

    A. Analytical Dimensions
  1. The Scientific Method [outline]
  2. State and Anarchy [outline]
  3. Rational Decision-Making [outline]
  4. Bargaining and Dynamic Commitment [outline]
  5. Domestic Politics and Social Choice [outline]

  6. B. International Security
  7. Military Conflict [outline]
  8. The Causes of War [outline]
  9. Strategic Coercion: Deterrence and Compellence [outline]
  10. Brinkmanship [outline]
  11. The Security Dilemma [outline]
  12. Just War and International Law [outline]

  13. C. International Political Economy
  14. Strategy and Defense Spending [outline]
  15. Trade and Interdependence [outline]
  16. Public Goods and Institutions [outline]
  17. Economic and Political Integration
  18. Development and Foreign Assistance

Grade Distributions

If your exam did not come back with a letter grade, you can use the chart below to calculate it yourself. First, compute the percentage score of your exam. To do this, take the total points you received, add 7, and divide the result by 90. For example, if you received a total of 70 points, your percentage score would be (70+7)/90=85.55, which gets rounded up to 86%. Second, look up the letter grade for the range in which your percentage score falls. For example, 86% is in the range 84% -- 88%, for which the grade letter is B+. Hence, if you scored 70 points on the final, your grade is B+. The course grade is computed using the weights specified in the syllabus.

Letter GradePercent Ranges
A+99% -- 100+%
A94% -- 98%
A-89% -- 93%
B+84% -- 88%
B79% -- 83%
B-74% -- 78%
C+69% -- 73%
C64% -- 68%
C-59% -- 63%
D54% -- 58%
F0% -- 53%

Here are the grade distributions so you can judge how well you did compared to the rest of your colleagues: