IR 155. Comparative Politics. (4 Credits)

An introduction to the comparative analysis of the political systems of countries around the world. The course will examine the role of political institutions, political participation, and economics in shaping societies.

Tags: GP, SI

IR 175. International Politics. (4 Credits)

An introduction to the politics among states. Themes emphasized include: international security, diplomacy, conflict resolution and war, human rights, international law and organization, and global political economy.

Tags: SI

IR 201. Introduction to Political Economy. (4 Credits)

This course serves as an introduction to the Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) Certificate. It first introduces students to the history of moral, philosophical, and theological thinking about the intersection of politics and economics, engaging thinkers such as Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Karl Marx, F.A. Hayek, and many others. It also introduces students to contemporary questions of political economy, to include globalization, economic distribution, growth, and the like.

IR 205. Economics and Politics in East Asia. (2 Credits)

This course introduces students to the economic and political systems of countries across East Asia. What explains the great inequalities both within and between East Asian countries? Why do democratic and autocratic countries coexist as neighbors in one of the world’s densest trade networks? We will explore these questions in this course as we examine the development of modern East Asian economies and their current politics. (Open to Wheaton College Summer Institute students only)

IR 301. Topics in International Politics. (2 Credits)

Selected topics, designed to give added breadth and depth to the understanding of international politics.

IR 302. Topics in International Politics. (4 Credits)

Selected topics, designed to give added breadth and depth to the understanding of international politics.

IR 312. Islam & Politics. (4 Credits)

This seminar course focuses on central Islamic concepts relating to politics and the role of Islam in political movements and individual political action.

IR 313. Religion and Foreign Policy. (2 Credits)

This course explores the many different ways in which religious ideas, identities, and actors can impact the foreign policy agendas and actions of countries around the world, shaping international outcomes like war, peace, intervention, and aid provision. Students will be introduced to the various structural, cultural, and political factors within states that can make all kinds of religious ideologies--liberal to conservative, moderate to extreme--relevant to foreign policy.

IR 315. Politics of Global Development. (4 Credits)

This course examines the nature and processes of economic development and political change in less developed countries. Emphasis is given to comparing the political economy of good governance.

IR 318. Environmental Politics. (4 Credits)

Contemporary environmental challenges suggest fundamental problems of nature-society relations through socio-physical phenomena such as acid rain, urban air pollution, deforestation, rabid desertification, high rates of extinction, and the prospect of global warming, as well as mounting inequality in threats to human wellbeing generated by these issues. This course engages various perspectives on the politics of these issues, equipping students to 1) understand the ways in which scholars and activists think about environmental challenges, 2) critically engage such perspectives, and 3)apply such perspectives to the changing landscape of environmental issues. Course offered occasionally.

IR 321. Islam in the Contemporary World. (4 Credits)

The course will expose the student to the Islamic religion including its various beliefs, sects and practices. The course also surveys the historical growth of the religion and its social and political dimensions as well the roots and manifestation of Islamic extremism and its effect on the modern Middle East. Students will also read primary sources of Islam to include the Quran and be able to engage with it from a Christian world view. Students will engage substantially, critically, and appreciate the different ways Muslims identify themselves, their religion and culture.

Tags: GP

IR 325. Justice Among the Nations. (4 Credits)

This course explores the moral questions occasioned by relationships among and between nations: what are the justifications for (and limits of) national sovereignty? Are there better (morally and practically) alternatives? Should the material wealth of the modern global economy be produced and distributed differently than it is now? When and how may states (or other sorts of political authorities) use military force? How can nations reconcile and act justly after mass atrocities? Course offered occasionally.

IR 326. Politics of the Caribbean. (4 Credits)

What is “freedom”? What is “justice”? What role do politics, law, art, economics, faith, and ethics play in securing freedom and justice? How do the interrelated nature of social identities such as race, ethnicity, class, and gender reflect important elements in calls for freedom and justice? In this course, we will seriously consider—from a distinctly Christian perspective—how key Caribbean figures like Frantz Fanon, Marcus Garvey, C.L.R. James, Claudia Jones, Toussaint L’overture, and Sylvia Wynter (among others) have answered these questions and the degree to which we might find these arguments persuasive (or not) as they bear both on Christian faith and practice as well as on the world. Through dialogue and writing, students will develop their ability to compare and critically (though charitably) assess disparate articulations of the relationship between domination, freedom, and justice in the history of Caribbean political thought, from the 18th century to the present. In so doing, students will cultivate a nuanced view of Caribbean diasporic thought—both within and outside of the global church—as well as formulate their own political and philosophical opinions on the varied, and often contradicting, visions for how politics might secure conditions of freedom and justice in the modern world.

Tags: GP

IR 327. Ethics & Foreign Policy. (2 Credits)

An examination of the role of moral values in foreign policy, with special emphasis on war, human rights, and foreign intervention. Prerequisite: IR 175. Course offered occasionally.

IR 345. US National Security. (4 Credits)

This course will introduce you to the history, policies, laws, agencies and actions of American national security focusing on post-WWII legislation, agency creation, court rulings and executive action. Students will study how national security policy sometimes impact the Christian concept of imago dei. Students will interact with guest lecturers who have been national security practitioners from military, diplomatic, intelligence, and law enforcement agencies. The course professor was a former United States Attorney responsible for enforcing federal criminal law and a retired U.S. Navy JAG Officer who prosecuted war crimes and terrorism cases at the U.S. Military Commissions at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Students will learn how to analyze a national security event and discuss which agencies will be involved and which agency will likely be the lead.

IR 346. African Politics. (4 Credits)

This course explores the politics of countries on the African continent, particularly south of the Sahara Desert. Emphasis is placed both upon the diversity of African political experiences (primarily through engagement with case studies) and upon political patterns (outcomes and influences) that cut across contextual boundaries and broadly impact the continent.

IR 347. East Asian Politics. (4 Credits)

Why do democratic and authoritarian countries coexist as neighbors in one of the world's densest trade networks? What explains the great inequalities both within and between East Asian countries? We will explore these questions in this course. We will examine the historical development of East Asian states and their contemporary domestic and international politics. In this course, we will investigate the three sub-regions of East Asia: Northeast Asia, China, and Southeast Asia. Finally, contemporary problems of international relations will be discussed ranging from nuclear weapons to island disputes to power transitions away from American hegemony.

Tags: HP

IR 348. Middle East Politics. (4 Credits)

In this course, students will learn about and analyze the political cultures and political conflicts of the Middle East.

IR 356. European Politics. (4 Credits)

A comparative assessment of the politics and government of selected European nations.

IR 359. Forgiveness and Political Reconciliation. (4 Credits)

This class explores the potential role of forgiveness in confronting and overcoming violence and conflict at the societal level, with particular attention paid to processes and institutions that can foster political reconciliation, seek justice, and promote positive peace. The course emphasizes theories and theological considerations about what it means to forgive, as well as case studies of peacebuilding and transitional justice.

IR 364. East Meets West. (4 Credits)

What is the “East”? What is the “West”? While both terms are recognizable in our present geo-political moment, they have raised distinct—and often conflicting—political, economic, and social images for centuries. In this course, we will consider—from a distinctly Christian perspective—how various actors across the globe contributed to this long and storied past. Further, by looking at modern constructions of “East” and “West”—particularly during moments of global encounter when prominent thinkers, travelers, and writers were exposed to, and (re)imagined global societies—we will collectively determine the degree to which we might find these framings persuasive (or not) as they bear on both Christian faith/practice and on the world. Through dialogue and writing, students will assess disparate articulations of “East” and “West” in the history of political thought while also establishing their own scholarly and political voices. In so doing, students will work out a nuanced view of global politics as well as the history of global encounters, both within and outside of the global church. Prerequisite: Recommended PSCI 145.

Tags: HP, VPA

IR 367. International Law. (4 Credits)

What is “international law”? How was it formed and what consequences did (and does) this have for global politics? What relationship is there between international law and historical legacies of imperialism, colonization, and rapid economic, political, and social change? In this course, we will seriously consider—from a distinctly Christian perspective—how these questions were addressed by various figures and institutions through primary and secondary sources (e.g. treaties, scholarly monographs, etc.) that primarily center on a range of global legal encounters in Africa and Asia. We will also collectively determine the degree to which we might find the arguments encountered in the course persuasive (or not) as they bear on both Christian faith/practice and on the world. We will continue to ask what, if anything, constitutes “international law” and how might a just global order be attained under international law, if at all. Through dialogue and writing, students will develop their ability to compare and critically (though charitably) assess the disparate foundations and influences of international law throughout the modern (19th-20th century) histories of Africa, Asia, and Europe while also establishing their own scholarly, political, and legal voices. In so doing, students will work out a nuanced view of comparative, African, Asian, and European political and legal thought as well as the modern history of international law, both within and outside of the global church.

IR 368. Empire. (4 Credits)

What is “empire”? How have global empires been formed throughout history and what consequences have their legacies had for modern and contemporary understandings of politics? What relationship is there between the modern nation-state and empire? In this course, we will seriously consider—from a distinctly Christian perspective—how various actors across the globe conceived of imperial ambitions and the degree to which we might find these arguments persuasive (or not) as they bear on both Christian faith/practice and on the world. Through dialogue and writing, students will develop their ability to compare and critically (though charitably) assess disparate justifications and critiques of modern empires while also establishing their own scholarly and political voices. In so doing, students will work out a nuanced view of global politics as well as the history of imperial formations, both within and outside of the global church.

Tags: GP, HP

IR 375. Globalization. (4 Credits)

What are the causes and consequences of globalization? Why do citizens divide on their support and opposition to globalization? How is globalization affect and affected by national politics, history, and cultures? This course will examine the causes of globalization and its effects upon states and citizens. Specifically, we will discuss international trade, migration, growth, development and politics. Taught in conjunction with the International Study Program summer travel program. Course offered occasionally.

Tags: GP, SI

IR 378. U.S. Foreign Policy. (4 Credits)

An analysis of the processes and institutions involved in making U.S. foreign policy. Emphasis given to understanding the development of contemporary issues. Prerequisite: IR 175 or PSCI 135.

IR 379. International Political Economy. (4 Credits)

An analysis of the interaction of economics and politics at the international level. Topics covered will include the origins and nature of the World Bank, IMF and WTO, regionalization, trade policy, and the world monetary system.

IR 381. Civil Wars. (4 Credits)

This course undertakes an in-depth and overarching examination of domestic armed conflict with the goal of understanding the causes of civil wars, their dynamics and characteristics, and their consequences. Students will design, research, and draft a piece of original social science research on the topic of civil wars. Prerequisite: IR 155 or IR 175.

IR 395. Comparative Economic Systems. (4 Credits)

This course will examine the various economic systems that govern countries in the 20th Century onward. Throughout this course, students will encounter writings by the most ardent defenders and critics of each institutional framework considered. Where appropriate we will also consider empirical outcomes. It is our hope that students will emerge from the course with a deeper appreciation for what institutions are, how they foster or inhibit various types of activity, and how they influence the outcomes we observe both in our immediate surroundings and more globally.

IR 494. Senior Seminar. (2 Credits)

An analysis of the interrelationship of politics and the Christian faith, focusing on vocational, conceptual, legal, and international public policy issues. Senior majors only.

General Education: SHAR

IR 495. Independent Study. (2 to 4 Credits)

A guided individual reading and research problem. Junior and senior majors, or discretion of professor.

IR 496. Internship. (4 Credits)

A series of programs designed for practical experience in professions frequently chosen by International Relations majors, such as law, government, and public service. Prerequisite: International Relations major with junior or senior standing and a minimum of 16 credits in the department.

IR 499. Honors Thesis. (4 Credits)

An independent research project requiring original research, developed in a scholarly paper and culminating in an oral examination. By application only. The honors thesis may not be counted toward the total hours to complete the major.