at Georgia State University

  Course Description:

The purpose of Political Science 2401 is to introduce students to contemporary issues in global affairs. It assumes no prior knowledge of international relations and is designed for students in business, education, and arts and sciences. The course will examine some of the pressing problems facing the global community at the dawn of the 21st century, as well as the prospects for governments, individuals, and international groups to address those problems in cooperative, competitive, or conflictual manners. Although not all the significant issues can be covered in a single semester, we will focus directly on some of the most pressing ones including: population and demographics, natural resources and the environment, the globalization of the economy, terrorism and threats to security, development and technology, global security, ethics, human rights, and the role of the United States and other regional powers in world affairs.

The course aims to provide you with an initial overview of these issues - certainly not the last word. We will look at different, often opposing, points of view on the same issue and assess their relative merits. The course is designed to stimulate your interest and thinking, and it will provide some of the analytical tools needed to study the issues in more depth on your own, or in upper level courses in comparative and international politics.

Your instructors encourage you to not only stay abreast of the assigned readings but also to raise questions in class, to follow relevant developments in the media (accomplished easily via the internet), and to make full use of their office hours to pursue topics of particular interest beyond the classroom.

  Daily News Sources for International Politics

Web Links
International Organizations

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)  [Formed in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence among Asia-Pacific economies, APEC has since become the primary regional vehicle   for promoting open trade and practical economic cooperation]

Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN)[Joint effort since 1967 to promote economic
cooperation and the welfare of the people in the region]

European Union[Basic information on the European Union, citizens rights, key issues such as the euro and                employment; access to official documents, legal texts, publications and databases, and sources of information]

International Organization for Migration (IOM) [IOM "acts with its partners in the international community to: Assist in meeting the operational challenges of migration; Advance understanding of migration issues;     Encourage social and economic development through migration; Uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants]

North Atlantic Treaty Organization[Organization, history, primary documents, latest news on expansion]

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe  [pan-European security organization whose 55 participating States span the geographical area from Vancouver to Vladivostok]

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) [Paris-based intergovernmental organization whose purpose is "to provide its 29 Member countries with a forum in which governments can compare their experiences, discuss the problems they share and seek solutions which can then be applied within their own national contexts"]

Organization of American States [World's oldest regional organization--principal forum in the hemisphere for political, economic, and social dialogue]

World Health Organization (WHO) [Dedicated to eradication of disease and promotion of  health and human development worldwide]

World Trade Organization (WTO) [Good source for information on trade topics—goods, services, intellectual property, environment, dispute resolution]

Development Agencies, Finance, and Programs

International Development Exchange (IDEX) [IDEX "builds partnerships to overcome economic and social injustice; works toward people's greater control over their resources, political structures, and economic processes that affect their lives]

International Monetary Fund["Cooperative institution that 182 countries have voluntarily joined because they see the advantage of consulting with one another in this forum to maintain a stable system of buying and selling their currencies so that payments in foreign money can take place between countries smoothly and without delay"]

UN Development Programme (UNDP) [Site devoted to "sustainable human development;" includes statistics, programs, news, and publications]

World Bank [Development economics, speeches, news, strategies and investments in countries and regions]

Human Rights

Amnesty International [Full-text Annual Report of human rights practices/abuses in 151 countries]

Carter Center ["Dedicated to fighting disease, hunger, poverty, conflict, and oppression through collaborative initiatives in the areas of democratization and development, global health, and urban revitalization"]

Universal Declaration of Human Rights [1948 primary document]

U.S. Department of State Human Rights Country Reports [Submitted annually by the U.S. Department of State to the U.S. Congress, the reports cover internationally recognized individual, civil, political, and worker rights, as set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights]

U.S. Government Web Sites

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) ["USAID is an independent federal government agency that conducts foreign assistance and humanitarian aid to advance the political and economic interests of the United States]

Bureau of Arms Control[Aims to "strengthen the national security of the United States by formulating, advocating, negotiating, implementing and verifiying effective arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament policies, strategies, and agreements]

Central Intelligence Agency[Created in 1947 with the signing of the National Security Act by President Truman, CIA is cornerstone of American intelligence gathering community]

National Security Council [President's principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters with senior national security advisors and cabinet officials]

U.S. Department of State [Policy, departmental organization, Hot Topics]

U.S. Information Agency (USIA) [Foreign Policy/Security, Economic Issues, Global Issues/Communication, Democracy/Human Rights, Civic Education, International Exchange/Training, Links to US Embassy Home Pages]


Contemporary Conflicts [Current armed conflicts across globe with useful links to each]

PeaceNet [For those who want to "take action for positive social change in the areas of peace, social and economic justice, human rights and the struggle against racism"]

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations [Current Missions, Past Missions, Overview by Country, Overview by Date of Establishment, Security Council, Collective Security System]

International Treaties and Transnational Law

Geneva Convention [Relative to the treatment of prisoners of war]

Globelaw [Site "dedicated to serving the international law, environmental law and transnational litigation communities worldwide"]

International Constitutional Law [Links to constitutions of more than 100 countries]

International Court of Justice [Summaries of Judgments, Advisory Opinions and Orders]

Law of the Sea  [1982 convention as amended in 1994]

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) [North American Free Trade Agreement Between
The Government of Canada, The Government of the United Mexican States and The Government of the United States of America]

Treaty on European Union (Maastricht) [Marks a new stage in the process of European integration undertaken with the establishment of the European Communities]


Environmental Defense Fund [EDF has become a leading advocate of economic incentives as a new approach to solving environmental problems—site covers broad range of regional, national and international environmental issues

Greenpeace [Greenpeace is "an independent, campaigning organisation which uses non-violent, creative confrontation to expose global environmental problems, and to force the solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future"]

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) [Established to "provide leadership and encourage partnerships in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and people to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations"]

World Wildlife Federation (WWF) [Largest privately supported international conservation organization in the world, WWF has sponsored more than 2,000 projects in 116 countries directed toward three global goals: protecting endangered spaces, saving endangered species, and addressing global threats]

"Think Globally, Act Locally"
Check Out Our Resources Here At Georgia State University!
GSU Department of Political Science GSU Office of International Services and Programs
            GSU School of Policy Studies--International Studies Program

            GSU Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

            GSU College of Business Administration—Institute of International Business

            GSU Applied Linguistics and English as a Second Language

            GSU Department of Modern and Classical Languages

            University System of Georgia Office of International Education

Dr. William M. Downs, POLS 2401 Coordinator