About POLS 1500 B

Examines the major theories of international relations, important concepts in the study of international relations (such as the balance of power and democratic peace theory), dilemmas leaders face when formulating foreign policies, and current international events. Credit not awarded for both POLS 1500 and POLS 1015.


Open to degree and PACE students

Section Description

What causes conflict in the international system? How can peace be attained? Are the strong solely dedicated to preserving their power, or can they cooperate with other states to solve global problems? The first part of this course will address these questions and more as we explore key concepts in international relations by examining the work of both classic and contemporary writers. We will cover the field’s major schools of thought and address specific questions, such as whether and how war can be avoided. The second part of the course will examine instances of major wars, applying the concepts learned in the first part of the course. We will also look for parallels between these wars and ongoing conflicts to gain insight into current events, such as Russia's war in Ukraine. The final part of the course will address key issue areas in international relations. Starting with a discussion of international political economy, we will explore a variety of topics, from terrorism to the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change. As we do, we will focus our discussions on whether and how states can cooperate in a world where might often seems to make right.

Section Expectation

This course is primarily lecture, but will also include discussion. Attendance and participation are required. Readings must be completed by the day they are assigned. The textbook will guide you through the course concepts. Other readings are drawn from classics in the field or more recent policy journals. For these, you should be able to identify the author’s main argument and supporting evidence, state your opinion, and answer the assigned discussion questions. Students are also required to keep up on current events.


2 online and 2 in-class written exams, attendance and participation, discussion question homework for each class

Important Dates

Note: These dates may change before registration begins.

Note: These dates may not be accurate for select courses during the Summer Session.

Last Day to Add
Last Day to Drop
Last Day to Withdraw with 50% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw with 25% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw


There are no courses that meet this criteria.