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International Relations

  • Section Template
  • 3 Credits
  • 04/30/2013 to 01/01/2075
  • Modified 07/16/2021


A course in contemporary international relations, with emphasis on the effect political cultures in different countries have on the international system. Concepts, theories, and rudimentary methods of comparison and analysis are surveyed. The relationship between international politics and U.S. foreign and domestic policy is explored. (F)


Prerequisite Courses: None
Placement Scores: Reading Level 5 and Writing Level 6

Contact Hours







Total Hrs


Student Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Describe and analyze the major theoretical and analytical perspective through which scholars and policymakers have interpreted International Relations.
  2. Discuss the sources of images people in various countries have about international reality, how such images organize information about the world, and the processes through which they change.
  3. Describe the attributes of bureaucratic behavior and the role of large-scale bureaucratic organizations in the foreign-policy making process in various countries.
  4. Describe the basic historical events that led to the onset of World Wars I and II, as well as the Cold War and explain the major contending interpretations of the origins of these wars and their outcomes.
  5. Distinguish between intergovernmental and nongovernmental international organizations and discuss how nations worldwide use these organizations to pursue their national interests.
  6. Describe the ways in which the human condition can be assessed throughout the world.
  7. Identify the major social, economic, and political problems that confront indigenous peoples, racial and ethnic groups, and women in various countries of the world.
  8. Describe the conditions that drive individuals to become refugees.
  9. Evaluate the costs and benefits associated with rapid, uneven globalization in the Global North and the Global South.
  10. Articulate the difference between liberalism and mercantilism with specific emphasis on free trade.
  11. Explain the reasons for the dramatic growth in world population since World War II and evaluate the impact of this trend on transnational migration, national security, economic development, and worldwide access to food.
  12. Explain the concept of peacekeeping and the effectiveness of U.N. peacekeeping efforts in selected countries and the "democratic peace" hypothesis.
  13. Discuss several plausible scenarios regarding the future of the international system based on the strength of the forces of change and continuity. 


Other Materials/Resources

Assigned readings determined by the instructor.

Scholarly journals useful for information and term paper research include:
World Politics
Foreign Affairs
America Political Science Review
Current History
Problems with Communism

Videos found in the LCC Video Library and instructors' personal libraries.


Student Electronic Access to Grades

D2L is the College’s Course Management System which includes a gradebook function allowing students access to their grades in order to receive timely and meaningful feedback on their progress in the course at any time. These grades will align with the Evaluation Criteria listed in this syllabus. D2L is accessed through the MyLCC page.

Whenever practicable, results for graded items should be posted electronically within 48 hours after the instructor has completed the grading process for the items, and final grades for the course should be entered no later than the specified grading day.


Types of evaluations and related weights
Type Weight Topic Notes
Assignments 0-40%
Class Participation 0-10%
Exams or Tests 20-40%
Final Exam 20%


Papers 20-40%
Projects 0-40%
Reports/Presentations 10-20%
Worksite Experience 0-20%
Additional Information


College Standard




College Grading Standards

Recommended Guidelines for Student Grades

4.0  --- Excellent

4.0     ---     91 – 100%

3.5  --- ---------

3.5     ---     86 – 90%

3.0  --- Good

3.0     ---     81 – 85%

2.5  --- ---------

2.5     ---     76 – 80%

2.0  --- Satisfactory

2.0     ---     71 – 75%

1.5  --- ---------

1.5     ---     66 – 70%

1.0  --- Poor

1.0     ---     60 – 65%

0.0  --- --------

0.0     ---       0 – 59%

Course Policies

Class Attendance/Participation


Extra Credit

Extra credit may be available in this course. This information is provided by the section instructor.

Institutional Policies

Transfer Potential

For transfer information, please consult the LCC Transfer webpage.  In addition, the Michigan Transfer Network website allows students the ability to search courses and discover how those courses transfer to colleges and universities statewide.

The Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) simplifies the transfer of students from one Michigan institution to another. For the most current information, see the LCC General Education webpage.

Students interested in transferring are strongly encouraged to contact the Academic Advising Center in the Gannon Building - Star Zone, (517) 483-1904.

Disability Statement

Students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Center for Student Access, Gannon Building, Star Zone - Center for Student Support, via the Center for Student Access website, or by calling (517) 483-5323 as soon as possible to better ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.

Student Code of Conduct and General Rules and Guidelines

LCC supports a positive learning environment that provides opportunities for student success. The College recognizes the value and importance of a safe and orderly learning environment that encourages honesty, integrity, and ethical conduct. The Student Code of Conduct and General Rules and Guidelines ensure the protection of student rights and the health and safety of the College community, as well as aid in the efficient operation of College programs. In addition, the College has established procedures for addressing reports of alleged violations.                 

It is the responsibility of the student to be familiar with, and abide by, the Student Code of Conduct, as well as the General Rules and Guidelines. Furthermore, the instructor may establish reasonable guidelines within the classroom environment. Violations of the Student Code of Conduct and General Rules and Guidelines may be reported to the Office of Student Compliance.

Enrollment Verification

Class attendance and participation are essential to student success. Instructors will update class rosters by the 8th day after the start date of sections less than 8 weeks long, and by the 15th day after the start date of sections 8 weeks or longer to accurately reflect student enrollment in each course. Students who have not attended by these dates may be administratively dropped and responsible for any required tuition and fee charges.

Academic Success Coaches

At Lansing Community College, student success is our top priority.  Our Academic Success Coaches mentor students to help them meet their educational, personal and career goals.  LCC faculty or staff may refer you to an Academic Success Coach if they recognize that mentoring or assistance may be helpful to you. Please monitor your LCC email for referral notifications.  Your participation in academic success coaching is voluntary.

In addition, we encourage you to contact an Academic Success Coach on your own if you need help, guidance or assistance to reach your goals.  To contact an Academic Success Coach, call (517) 483-1422, email [email protected], or visit the Academic Success Coaching Team website for more information.

Nondiscrimination Statement

Lansing Community College is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and equal education for all persons regardless of race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, creed, ancestry, height, weight, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, familial status, marital status, military status, veteran’s status, or other status as protected by law, or genetic information that is unrelated to the person’s ability to perform the duties of a particular job or position or that is unrelated to the person’s ability to participate in educational programs, courses services or activities offered by the college.

The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: Equal Opportunity Officer, Washington Court Place, 309 N. Washington Square Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1730; Employee Coordinator 504/ADA, Administration Building, 610 N. Capitol Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1875; Student Coordinator 504/ADA, Gannon Building, 411 N. Grand Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1885; Sarah Velez, Human Resource Manager/Title IX Coordinator, Administration Building, 610 N. Capitol Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1874; Christine Thompson, Student Title IX Coordinator, Gannon Building, 411 N. Grand Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1261.

Compliance with COVID-19 Safety Precautions

All students, employees and visitors have a part to play in keeping the LCC community safe.  Everyone entering campus is required to adhere to the safety measures as outlined on the Keeping LCC Safe webpage. Reports of noncompliance with any current work safety rules and public health orders will be submitted to the Student Compliance Office for appropriate action.  Students with questions or concerns should email [email protected].

Media Release Statement

Photographs, pictures, slides, movies, video, or other media coverage of students may be taken for College-related business, in connection with their enrollment or participation in LCC activities without compensation from LCC, its Trustees, officers, directors, employees, students and agents of each of them, and photographs, pictures, slides, movies, video, or other media coverage of students may be used for any legal purposes.

College Catalog

For rules and procedures on matters such as Academic Calendar, Withdrawals, Incompletes, Appeals, etc., please consult the College Catalog, along with your Academic Advisor and Academic Success Coach.

Additional Items

Detailed Outline of Course Content and Sequencing

All sections cover the following material, but the arrangement of content and direction of emphasis may vary:

  1. Introduction
  2. Theories of World Politics
  3. Foreign Policy Decision Making
  4. Great Power Rivalries and Relations (e.g. Germany, France, U.K., U.S.S.R., Japan, China, and U.S.)
  5. Nonstate Actors in the Interstate System
  6. The Global South in a World of Powers
  7. Humans and Challenges to Human Rights
  8. Markets and Money in the New Global Economy
  9. The Age of Global Terrorism
  10. Population Pressure, Resource Depletion, and Environmental Preservation
  11. Institutional Paths to Peace