The following texts are required for this course:
- Karen Mingst and Jack Snyder, eds. Essential Readings in World Politics. 3rd ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2004.
- Frieden, Jeffry A., and David A. Lake. International Political Economy: Perspectives on Global Power and Wealth. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2000.
These “readers” conveniently combine a broad range of the most significant contemporary writing concerning international politics. The readings contained within these two anthologies have been edited to provide students with the gist of the authors’ arguments in a bite-size form. (The Frieden & Lake book even includes editorial notes recapitulating the authors’ arguments.) Students who find their interest piqued by a particular selection would do well to obtain and consider the original material.
The Mingst & Snyder volume costs roughly $30 online. Frieden & Lake, by contrast, costs upwards of $80 online. In the case of Frieden & Lake, however, students should note several caveats. First, the bookstore has obtained a number of used copies of the text which ought to run around $50. Second, the library has placed two copies of the text on reserve. Third, an electronic version is available online via:
Finally, students might also note that I assign the Frieden & Lake text in my course “International Political Economy.” Those interested in that course too might find it worthwhile to obtain a good copy of the text.
The E-Reserve material for this course is available via the following web-link:
If you have forgotten the password required to access this material, consult this page:
The use of edited anthologies and the careful “pruning” of the additional readings ensure that the quantity of reading is a manageable average of 125 pp per week. This course, however, attempts to cover a broad range of topics. Much of this material is abstract, complex, and unfamiliar. The concepts are also developed sequentially, so falling behind can prove quite problematic. Students are most strongly encouraged to keep up with the reading. Lectures and discussions will also help students develop their understanding of the course materials.
Students should make certain they read the material in the order in which it appears on the syllabus (rather than the order in which they obtain it!). The ordering often follows a logical progression (e.g. an unfolding debate), where the sequence matters. Otherwise, the readings follow from most important to least.
Obviously, there is far more valuable material on our course topics than we can consider in this class. Some of you may be pressed, at some points, to cover even the assigned material with the thoroughness you would like. I recommend the following strategy. First, read the reading questions so you know where we are headed. Second, familiarize yourself with each of the readings. Read the abstracts and/or the introductions and conclusions to determine the authors’ arguments and findings. Next, consider briefly the relation between the various readings, their relation to previous readings, and their bearing on our framing/readin questions. Finally, work systematically through the readings (starting at the top) to develop a critical analysis of the authors’ works. Be sure to jot a few notes for each piece.