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International Relations

  • Section Template
  • 3 Credits
  • 04/30/2013 to 01/01/2075
  • Modified 07/24/2023


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

Students will have access to their grades through D2L in order to receive feedback on their progress in the course at any time. These grades will align with the Evaluation Criteria listed in this syllabus.

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 Numeric Grade

Narrative Equivalent

Guideline for Performance Achievement of Objectives



91% to 100%



86% to 90%



81% to 85%



76% to 80%



71% to 75%



66% to 70%



60% to 65%


Failed - Finished

0% to 59%


Failed - Unfinished

0% to 59%

Course Policies



Extra Credit

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

Class Attendance/Participation

Institutional Policies


For transfer information, please consult the LCC Transfer Center webpage.  In addition, the Michigan Transfer Network website allows students to search how 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 transfer should contact the Transfer Center in the Gannon Building, Room 2204, or call (517) 483-9700.

Disability Statement

Students with disabilities who may need accommodations in this class should contact the Center for Student Access (CSA). They are located in the Gannon Building, Star Zone - Center for Student Support.  You can also access the Center for Student Access website, or call (517) 483-1924.  Contacting the Center early helps ensure that accommodations for you are put in place as soon as possible.

Student Code of Conduct and General Rules and Guidelines

The College recognizes the value and importance of a safe and orderly learning environment that supports 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.  The College has established procedures for reporting and addressing alleged violations.                 

Students must follow the Student Code of Conduct and the General Rules and Guidelines. Also, the instructor may establish reasonable guidelines within the classroom. Violations of the Student Code of Conduct and General Rules and Guidelines may be reported to the Office of Student Compliance.

Enrollment Verification

Instructors will verify participation in a course 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. Students who have not participated will be dropped from the course and may be responsible for any non-refundable fees.

Academic Success Coaches (ASC)

Student success is our first goal. Our Academic Success Coaches mentor students to help them meet their educational, personal and career goals. Faculty or staff may submit an Academic Alert to refer you to an ASC for the resources needed to be successful in class. Please watch your LCC email for a referral.

We also suggest you contact an ASC on your own if you need help or advice to reach your goals.  

To contact an ASC, call (517) 483-1422, email [email protected], or visit the Academic Success Coach Team website for more information.

Nondiscrimination Statement

LCC provides equal opportunity for all persons and prohibits discriminatory practices based on 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 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; Human Resource Manager/Employee Title IX Coordinator, Administration Building, 610 N. Capitol Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-1879; Student Title IX Coordinator, Gannon Building, 411 N. Grand Ave. Lansing, MI 48933, 517-483-9632.

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.  Photographs, pictures, slides, movies, video, or other media coverage of students may be used for any legal purposes.

College Catalog

For information, rules, and procedures on matters such as the Academic Calendar, Appeals, Extra Credit, Incompletes, Withdrawals, etc., please review the College Catalog, and contact your Academic Advisor or Academic Success Coach with any questions.

Emergency Notifications and the Rave Guardian App

The College uses an emergency notification system to provide information on urgent situations such as power outages, weather emergencies, and other incidents related to the safety and security of those on campus.  Therefore, it is important that we have the correct contact information on file. To review and update your contact information for those alerts, go to myLCC, School tab, Student eToolbox, and click on “Emergency Notification System”.  You will be directed to your RAVE alert personal dashboard, where you can review, update, confirm, and test the phone numbers and email addresses on file.  Students with a mobile/cell number on file will receive text alerts. If you made updates to your contact information, please also go to the Banner Self Service Personal Information tab to update your contact information in Banner.  You may also want to download the Rave Guardian app which has features to enhance your safety on and off campus.  For more information, see the Police Department website.

Academic Advising

Academic Advisors help students identify and update programs based on career goals, and assist in building semester course MAPs (degree plans). They are available to discuss transfer options and ensure students are meeting the requirements for graduation. It is highly recommended to schedule an appointment with an Academic Advisor before registration each semester. To schedule an appointment online, visit our Academic Advising webpage. Be sure to also check out the Preparing for Your Appointment page.

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. Non-state 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