Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

IR Courses Analyze China, Law, Religion, and More

January 11, 2011

International Relations courses for the spring semester take up such key subjects as China, international law, human rights, environmental governance, and religion. This year’s list follows:

INTL 1700: International Law
Nathaniel Berman
This introduction to public international law covers the nature of legal reasoning in international relations, the interplay of international law and international politics, and the international legal process. It examines selected substantive fields such as state responsibility, the use of force, international human rights, and the US and international law. 

INTL 1800D Comprehensive Survey of Chinese Democracy Wall, China Democratic Party, Chinese Contemporary History
Xu Wenli
This course surveys the Chinese democracy movement in the 20th century and up to the present. It examines key leaders and events, including the Chinese Democracy Wall movement and the Chinese democratic party (taught in Chinese, with readings in English and Chinese).

INTL 1800V The United States in World Politics
Linda B. Miller
This course examines major aspects of American foreign policy after the Cold War and 9/11 in terms of domestic and international challenges. It includes discussion of the United States as "empire" and "republic" with an emphasis is on the connections between the processes of policy making and the substance of policies pursued.

INTL 1801H: Amazon Governance
José Carlos Orihuela
This course studies the political economy of Amazon governance in comparative perspective. Readings trace distinct national and local paths of Amazon governance. Topics include the colonial history of deforestation, the impacts of globalization and nation-state modernization projects, the evolution of environmentalism and Amazonian contentious movements, and selected case studies of good governance at the grassroots level.

INTL 1801I: Public Theologies of Governance
Nuket Sandal
Public theology of a particular issue includes human interpretation of what is relevant and to what extent particular religious premises can be experienced in the public arena. In the analyses of international politics, what is called “religion” is usually the sum of clashing or converging public theologies. This course comparatively investigates these different religious perspectives toward issues of political governance with case studies from Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The course also focuses on modes of secularism and the challenges they pose to political theologies of faith traditions.

INTL 1801J: Human Rights and War
Nina Tannenwald
How nations and their adversaries treat civilians and other non-combatants in wartime has become an increasingly central issue in global politics. This seminar will explore the intersection of war, human rights, and the laws of war. It will focus especially on how civilians and other non-combatants are protected (or not) in times of war and the politics and institutions of enforcement. Topics include war crimes, genocide, targeted killings, torture, humanitarian intervention, and the international criminal court.

INTL 1801K: China and the World
Lyle Goldstein
The rise of China has emerged as one of the most important developments in world politics during the early 21st century. Chinese foreign policy will have an important impact on the US economy, as well as on US national security. Moreover, China’s influence now touches upon every continent of the globe. This course will survey the cultural underpinnings, modern history, institutional structures, and vital regional contexts for contemporary Chinese foreign policy. Students will emerge from the course with a more sophisticated understanding of China’s rise and the implications of this momentous development for the international system.