International Relations

I.     Course Prefix/Number: PSC 202

       Course Name: International Relations

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course provides theoretical foundation, historical background, and conceptual framework for understanding contemporary international relations. Content includes international relations theory; evolution of the modern international political system; power, diplomacy and foreign policy; war and peace; international law and organizations; international political economy and globalization. Case studies used extensively to exemplify the problems and potential solutions of contemporary international politics. IAI S5 904N

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Identify and describe the actors, structures, processes, and issues that determine international politics today.
  2. Analyze and explain the theoretical concepts and historical developments that have shaped the study of international relations.
  3. Apply the analytical tools necessary to evaluate contemporary foreign policy and international relations issues.
  4. Analyze and evaluate historical and contemporary case-studies.
  5. Evaluate and interpret arguments expressed in articles on international politics.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. The Nature of International Relations
    1. Levels of Analysis
    2. International Relations Theories
    3. The Evolution of the International System
  2. International Security
    1. Power
    2. Foreign Policy and Diplomacy
    3. War and Peace
  3. International Law and Organizations
    1. International Law
    2. International Institutions
    3. Environment and Population
  4. International Political Economy
    1. International Trade
    2. Globalization
    3. Development
  5. Case Studies

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Classes will include a variety of instructional methods such as: lectures, in class discussions, group activities, document and film analysis, and the use of new technologies.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students will be required to:
  1. Read a standard textbook and research materials.
  2. Write outside of class the equivalent of 12‑14 double‑spaced typed pages in the form of a term paper, summaries of journal articles, short research papers, and/or other kinds of writing.
  3. Participate in in-class and out-of-class activities.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

The most current editions of the following texts are being used:

Kegley & Raymond, The Global Future
Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations
Nye & Welch, Understanding Global Conflict and Cooperation
Keohane & Nye, Power and Interdependence
Frieden, Lake & Schultz, World Politics
Mingst, Essentials of International Relations
Nau, Perspectives on International Relations
Goldstein & Pevehouse, International Relations
Kegley & Blanton, World Politics: Trend & Transformation
Baylis, Smith & Owens, The Globalization of World Politics
Lamy, Baylis, Smith & Owens, Introduction to Global Politics
Art & Jervis, International Politics
Mingst & Snyder, Essential Readings in World Politics

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

At least two exams will be given in addition to other required papers and assignments.

Students will also be evaluated on a combination of written assignments and in- and out-of-class assignments.

XI.   Other Course Information

Support Services: Tutoring is available in the Learning Center.

Important Dates: *

XX/XX:    Last day to withdraw and have course dropped from record
XX/XX:    Last day to change to Audit
XX/XX:    Last day for students to submit materials to make up incomplete from the previous semester
XX/XX:    Last day to withdraw from classes with a "W"

*These dates differ for each semester. You'll find the correct dates on the Academic Calendar.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.