Government 760 – Fundamentals of International Relations

Fall 2011

Version August 28, 2011

Professor Kathleen R. McNamara



This doctoral seminar is an introduction to some of the main theoretical debates and traditions in the field of international politics.  It is also meant to help prepare Ph.D. students in government for the general examination in IR, in combination with GOV 761.  It will be run as a discussion group.  The requirements for the class are as follows.

1) Class participation and discussion questions (20%) 

Your participation grade is based on:

        a) Attendance and active participation in the seminar discussions.  Note that quality of comments is more important than quantity.

        b) A 1-2 paragraph comment that discusses some aspect of each week’s readings. The paragraph could identity a common theme across the readings, an aspect of the reading that you would like to see discussed in class, an empirical observation in the reading et cetera. You should not summarize the readings nor do you need to talk about each of the week’s readings. The purpose of these paragraphs is both to show me that you have thought about the reading as well as to help steer discussion in class. The paragraphs should be posted to the Discussion/Forums tool on the course Blackboard website each week, by midnight Tuesday.

        c) Once a semester, each student will be asked to take on the role of the author of one of the readings, that is, to come prepared to explain and defend that author's research to your classmates.

2) Two short analytical papers (15% each, total of 30%).

You may choose the weeks you do the papers.  However, one paper must be completed by October 6; the second paper must be completed by November 10. The papers are not to exceed 5 pages double-spaced in length.  They should be sent as attachments to me by 5pm on Wednesday before the class meets.  Please also bring a hard copy to class.  The papers must be analytical, not descriptive.  To this end, each paper should include the phrase, within the first paragraph or two, “In this paper I will argue that…”.   The papers should then systematically, and in a disciplined and careful way, develop that argument and offer logical and/or empirical support for it.  Your argument may be thematic or theoretical, may critically appraise the literature, or extend the argument presented in one or more of the readings to a new empirical case.  Above all, your paper should not be a summary of the readings or a 'stream of consciousness' thought piece; if so, it will receive a failing grade.

3) A short research proposal (20%)

The third and last paper, due December 1 in class, will be in the form of a social scientific research proposal, not to exceed 5 pages, focusing on one of the substantive questions raised in the course readings, building on the empirical evidence in the literature, and outlining a research project that will shed new light on the issues raised. I require each student to discuss ideas or a draft of this proposal with me, during office hours, by November 17, the week before the Thanksgiving break.

4) A final take home exam (30%). 

The final requirement will be a timed, open book exam in the format of the department General Examination for the field of international relations.  You will have to write two short essays (6-10 pages) from a choice of questions. The final exam will be posted under “Assignments" in Blackboard on the last day of class.  You will chose what 2.5 hour period you would like to take it, but it must be completed before December 20.  Full instructions on downloading and using the Digital Drop Box on Blackboard will be provided.

Please also note that I prefer to see you in person rather than have extended email interactions. You are welcome to come in during my office hours, Mondays 2-3, to discuss any aspect of the course, your studies, or the scholarly profession more generally.  If you cannot make the Monday time, please make an appointment to see me.

Note that all assignments must be turned in on time.  There will be no extensions except in the case of a documented medical emergency.

All readings are PDFs on Blackboard under Course Documents by class meeting date except for:

* Suggested for purchase from Georgetown bookstore or Amazon, also on reserve at the library.

# Available as a PDF but also on reserve and strongly suggest you look at entire book as well.

September 1 – No class meeting, American Political Science Annual conference.

In lieu of class, you are required to browse through the conference program, available at and find at least two international politics related paper or panels that you find particularly interesting.  Come prepared to next week’s meeting ready to share this information with your classmates.  While you are on the APSA website, look around and check out all the professional activities they sponsor.

September 8 – Introduction to class

No readings.  Introduction to class and discussion of APSA panels identified by students.

September 15 - Classical Realism 

#Hans Morganthau, Politics Among Nations, chs.1, 3, 8, skim 9-14.

#Kenneth Waltz, Man, the State, and War, ch. 6, 7, 8.

#E.H. Carr, The Twenty Years Crisis, chs. 3-5.

#Thucydides, The History of the Pelopennesian War, Book V, The Melian Dialogue.

Gideon Rose, "Neoclassical Realism and Theories of Foreign Policy," World Politics October 1998

Robert Pape, “The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism,” APSR 97:3 (August 2003) pp. 343-361.


Albert O. Hirschman, National Power and the Structure of Foreign Trade, pp. v-52.

Gulick, Europe's Classical Balance of Power

Steven Lukes, Power: A Radical View.

Robert Art, "To What Ends Military Power?" International Security (Spring 1980), pp. 14-35.

David Baldwin, "Interdependence and Power," in Paradoxes of Power, originally published in         International Organization 34/4 (1980),  pp. 471-506.

Laurie M. Johnson Baggs, "The Use and Abuse of Thucydides," International Organization (Winter         1994).

Sean M. Lynn-Jones and Steven E. Miller The Cold War and After  Exp. Edition (Cambridge: MIT         Press, 1993).

September 22 - Neorealism: the structure of anarchy 

* Kenneth Waltz, Theory of International Politics, all.

#Stephen Walt,   The Origins of Alliances, chs. 1, 2, 8.


Morton Kaplan, System and Process in International Politics, chs. 1-3.

A.F.K. Organski, World Politics, ch. 12 "The Balance of Power,"

Ernest Haas, "The Balance of Power: Prescription, Concept, or Propaganda?" World Politics (July         1953), pp. 442-77.

Barry Posen, Sources of Military Doctrine chs. 1, 2, 7.

Paul Schroeder, "Historical Reality vs. Neorealist Theory," International Security 19 (Summer1994).

Robert Keohane, ed., Neorealism and its Critics, ch. 6, 8, 9.

J. Ann Tickner, Gender in International Relations, ch. 1-2, 5.

September 29 - Liberalism: preferences and progress  

Immanuel Kant, "To Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch," in Perpetual Peace and other Essays         on Politics, History and Morals.

Michael Doyle, "Liberalism and World Politics," American Political Science Review (December         1986).

G. John Ikenberry, "Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and the Persistence of American Postwar Order" International Security (Winter 1998/99), pp.  43-78.

#Michael Barnett and Emmanuel Adler, Security Communities (Cambridge University Press, 1999) chapters 1 and 2.

#Charles Kupchan, How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace (Princeton University Press, 2010), chapter 2, the introduction to chapter 5 (pp 183-188), and read two case studies of your choosing in the chapter to discuss in class.


Michael Brown, Sean Lynn-Jones, Steven Miller, eds., (1996) Debating the Democratic Peace, chapters by Russett (The Fact of the Democratic Peace, pp. 58-81) and Mansfield and Snyder (Democratization and the Danger of War, pp. 310-336).

Sebastian Rosato, (2003)  The Flawed Logic of the Democratic Peace,” American Political Science Review  97(4),. 585–602.

Norman Angell, The Great Illusion

Andrew Moravcsik, "Liberalism and International Relations Theory," International

 Organization (Autumn 1997)

Bruce Russett, Controlling the Sword

Ernest Haas, Beyond the Nation State

Karl Deutsch, An Analysis of International Relations

M. Zacher and Richard Matthew, "Liberal International Theory: Common Threads, Divergent         Strands," in Charles Kegley, Jr., ed., Controversies in International Relations Theory.

Anne-Marie Burley and Walter Mattli, "Europe Before the Court: A Political Theory of Legal         Integration," International Organization  47 (Winter 1993).

October 6 - Neoliberalism: International Cooperation and Institutions 


*Robert Keohane, After Hegemony, chs. 1, 4-7, 11.

#Stephen Krasner, International Regimes, chs. 1 (intro)

Robert Jervis, "Cooperation Under the Security Dilemma," World Politics 30 (January 1978).

John Mearsheimer, "The False Promise of International Institutions," International Security (Winter         1994/95).


David A. Baldwin, ed., Neorealism and Neoliberalism.

Haas, Keohane and Levy, eds., Institutions for the Earth.

Peter Hall and Rosemary C.R. Taylor, "Political Science and the Three New Institutionalisms," Political Studies (1996), XLIV, pp. 936-57.

Kenneth Shepsle, "Studying Institutions: Some Lessons from the Rational Choice Approach," Journal of Theoretical Politics (April 1989)

Paul DiMaggio and William Powell, The New Institutionalism in Organizational Analysis,         introduction.

Week 6.  October 13  - Constructivism

Alexander Wendt, Social Theory of International Relation, all.

Alexander Wendt, "Anarchy is What States Make of It," International Organization (Spring 1992),         pp. 391-426.


John Ruggie, ‘Introduction:  what makes the world hang together?  Neo-ultilitarianism and the social constructivist challenge’ in Ruggie, Constructing the World Polity (Routledge) 1998, pp. 1-40.

Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society, chs. 1-3, 5-9, 10, 14.

Alexander Wendt, "The Agent-Structure Problem in International Relations Theory," International         Organization (Summer 1987), pp. 335-70.

David Dessler, "What's at Stake in the Agent-Structure Debate," International Organization (1989)

Buzan, Jones and Little, The Logic of Anarchy.

F. Kratochwil, Rules, Norms, and Decisions.

October 20  - Constructivism Continued

#Peter J. Katzenstein, ed, (1996) The Culture of National Security, chs. 1, 2, 4, and at least one other

empirical chapter of your choice.

John G. Ruggie, (1982) “International Regimes, Transactions, and Change:  Embedded Liberalism in the Postwar Economic Order” International Organization 36, 2 (Spring), 379-416.

Michael Barnett and Martha Finnemore (1999) "The Politics, Power and Pathologies of International Organizations," International Organization 53/4 (Autumn): 699-732.

Vincent Pouliot, (2010) "The Materials of Practice: Nuclear Warheads, Rhetorical Commonplaces and Committee Meetings in Russian-Atlantic Relations," Cooperation and Conflict 45(3): 294-311.


Thomas Risse, "Let's Argue: Communicative Action in World Politics," International

Organization 54 (winter 2000): 1-40.

Thomas Risse, "International Norms and Domestic Change: Arguing and Communicative Behavior in the Human Rights Area," Politics and Society, Dec 1999; 27: 529 – 559

Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink, Activists Beyond Borders (Cornell University Press, 1998).

Vincent Pouliot, (2008), "The Logic of Practicality: A Theory of Practice of Security Communities" International Organization 62(2): 257-288.

Vincent Pouliot, (2010) International Security in Practice; The Politics of NATO-Russia Diplomacy.

October 27 - Game Theory and Strategic Interaction

#Thomas Schelling, Strategy of Conflict, chs. 1-3.

James Fearon, "Rationalist Explanations for War." International Organization. 49 (1995): 379-414.

*Kenneth Oye, ed., Cooperation Under Anarchy, Introduction and Conclusion, skim case studies.

Stephen Krasner, "Global Communications and National Power: Life on the Pareto Frontier,"  World         Politics (April 1991), pp. 336-66.

#Kenneth Schultz, Democracy and Coercive Bargaining (Cambridge: CUP, 2001), preface, chs. 1-4.


Mancur Olson, The Logic of Collective Action, chs. I, II, & IV.

Robert Axelrod, The Evolution of Cooperation

Robert Jervis, "Realism, Game Theory and Cooperation," World Politics 40 (April 1988).

Dixit and Nalebuff, Thinking Strategically, chs. 5-6.

Rational Deterrence debate in World Politics (January 1989), articles by Achen and Snidal, Jervis,         and Downs.

Jon Elster, ed., Rational Choice, chs. 2, 4, 5, 6, 9.

James Morrow, Game Theory for Political Scientists, chs. 1-2.

David Kreps, Game Theory and Economic Modeling, chs. 4-5.

November 3 -  Hegemony  

*Robert Gilpin, War and Change, all.

Stephen Krasner, "State Power and the Structure of  Foreign Trade," World Politics (April 1976).

William Wohlforth, "The Stability of the Unipolar World," International Security (Summer 1999) pp. 5-41.


Charles Kindleberger, The World in Depression.

Robert Gilpin, The Political Economy of International Relations.

Mancur Olson, The Rise and Decline of Nations

Joseph Nye, Bound to Lead.

S. Strange, "The Persistent Myth of Lost Hegemony," International Organization (Autumn 1987).

D . Lake, "International Economic Structures and American Foreign Policy," World Politics 

(July 1983).

D. Snidal, "The Limits of Hegemonic Stability Theory," International Organization (Autumn 1985).

November 10  - Domestic Structures and Domestic Actors 


Robert Putnam, "Diplomacy and Domestic Politics," International Organization (Summer 1988).

#Jack Snyder, Myths of Empire, ch. 1-2, 8.

#Ronald Rogowski, Commerce and Coalitions, chs. 1 & X empirical chapter

Graham T. Allison, “Conceptual Models and the Cuban Missile Crisis,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 63, No. 3 (September 1969), pp. 689-718.

Andrew MacIntyre, “Institutions and Investors: The Politics of the Economic Crisis in Southeast Asia,” International Organization 55, 1 (Winter) 2001, pp. 81-122.  


Peter Gourevitch, "The Second Image Reversed," International Organization (Autumn 1978), pp.         881-912.

Michael Hiscox, “Class Versus Industry Cleavages: Inter-Industry Factor Mobility and the Politics of Trade,” International Organization 55 (Winter 2001), pp. 1-46.

Peter Hall, Governing the Economy.

Ikenberry, Lake and Mastanduno, The State and American Foreign Policy.

James Kurth, "The Political Consequences of the Product Cycle," International Organization         (Winter 1978), pp. 1-34.

Steinmo, Thelen and Longstreth, eds., Structuring Politics: Historical Institutionalism in         Comparative Analysis.



November 17 - Ideas and Perception

#Robert Jervis, Perception and Misperception, chs. 1, 3.

Peter Haas, "Do Regimes Matter?  Epistemic Communities and Mediterranean Pollution Control,"         International Organization 43 (Summer 1989).

*Kathleen R. McNamara, The Currency of Ideas, chs. 1, 2, 3, 7.

#Nicolas Jabko, Playing the Market: A Political Strategy for Uniting Europe  (2006) preface, chs. 1-4.

*John Owen, Liberal Peace, Liberal War, Part 1 and III, skim Part II.


Lucien Pye, "Political Culture Revisted," Political Psychology 12 (September 1991), 487-508.

Peter Haas, "Knowledge, Power and International Policy Coordination," International Organization,         special issue, (Winter 1992).

Charles Kupchan, Vulnerability of Empire, chs. 1 and 2.

Yuen Foong Khong, Analogies at War.

Elizabeth Kier, "Culture and Military Doctrine," and Stephen Rosen, "Societies and Military         Power," both in International Security (Spring 1995).

November 24 – No Class, Thanksgiving Holiday

December 1 – The End of Great Power Politics?


*John Mueller, (2004) The Remnants of War (Cornell University Press).  Introduction only.

Robert, Jervis, “Theories of War in an Era of Leading Power Peace,” American Political Science Review 96: 1-14 (2002).

Christopher Fettweis, “A Revolution in International Relation Theory: Or, What is Mueller is Right?” International Studies Review 8, December (2006), 677-697.

John G. Ruggie, 1993, Territoriality  and Beyond: Problematizing modernity in international relations, International Organization 46 (1): 139-174.

Stathis Kalyvas,"The Ontology of "Political Violence": Action and Identity in Civil Wars”, Perspective on Politics 2003 (Vol. 1, No. 3).

James Fearon and David Laitin, “Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War" (2003) American Political Science Review.

Addendum: Readings on Qualitative Methods and the Study of International Politics

A. George and T. McKeown, "Case Studies and Theories of Organizational Decision Making,"

         in Advances in Information Processing in Organizations, vol. 2.

A. Lijphart, "Comparative Politics and Comparative Method," American Political Science Review         (Sept. 1971).

*King, Keohane and Verba, eds., Designing Social Inquiry: Inference in Qualitative Research, ch.1.

G. Almond and S. Genco, "Clouds, Clocks and the Study of Politics" World Politics (July 1977).

"Review Symposium: The Qualitative-Quantitative Disputation," American Political Science Review         (June 1995), pp. 454-481.

Alexander George, "Case Studies and Theory  Development" in Paul G.. Lauren, ed, Diplomacy         (Free Press, 1979).

J. Elster, Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences, ch.1.

Harry Eckstein, "Case Study and Theory in Political Science," in F. Greenstein and N. Polsby,         Handbook of Political Science vol.7, pp. 79-138.

Lapid, Bierstecher and George, "Exchange on the 3rd Debate" in International Studies Quarterly         (Sept. 1989), pp. 253-80.

James Fearon, "Counterfactuals and Hypotheses Testing in Political Science," World Politics

(January 1991).

I. Lakatos, "Falsification," in I. Laktos and A. Musgrave, Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge.

Donald Green and Ian Shapiro, Pathologies of Rational Choice Theory.