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Political Science 270 - Introduction to International Relations - David C. Andrus

Course:Introduction to International Relations
Professor:David C. Andrus
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Profile Picture of Professor Andrus

This course is being taught as a completely 100% online class.  There will be no required real time (synchronous) class meetings.  If you are the type of student that requires in person, face-to-face instruction, the format of this class might not be to your liking.  However, the course instruction is set up, in part, with prerecorded video lectures in an attempt to replicate the lecture component of a traditional face-to-face class.  Occasional voluntary real time Zoom teleconferencing class sessions will be offered for those that would like to discuss matters in person and have review sessions.

Course Description


Political Science 270 is the introductory study of the field of International Relations.  It is a study of the relations among nation-states throughout our large and complex world, with special emphasis on United States foreign policy.  International Relations is a dynamic and complex subject that is ever evolving with the balance of power and focus constantly changing due to a large number of factors.  Traditionally this subject has been conceived strictly as the study of the relationships among governments.  However, these relations cannot be viewed in a vacuum.  They are inextricably determined by other actors and factors, such as the International organizations (e.g., the United Nations), multinational corporations, individuals, cultures, economics, geography and history.  All of these dimensions will be covered throughout the course in various isolated and integrated approaches.


This course will provide each student with a solid background in the major trends and issues of current world politics and in the main theories and explanations used by scholars of International Relations.  Students will gain a greater understanding of the various systems employed by nation-states and groups to control policy and gain influence (e.g., economic, legal, political and social systems.)  Upon conclusion of the course, students will become aware of the complexity and difficulty foreign policy makers face when managing world affairs, and the resulting consequences for the people of the world.  Students will also become aware of the various interests at play in day-to-day events, how best to assess and analyze events and how to project latent intentions and interests of the international actors. 

More specifically, students will:

-Delineate basic theories of international relations.

-Assess factors influencing the formation of foreign policy from domestic, regional, and international levels of analysis.

-Propose alternative solutions to past international interactions.

-Appraise the various constraints on decisions makers and the impact this has upon international relations.

-Evaluate the interplay between economic and security factors in international relations

-Analyze a specific issue area's impact on international relations.

-Correlate the increase in global communication, trade, travel, interaction to the changing world stage.

-Diagram the impact of multiple types of polarity on the stability and peace of the international system.

-Assess student generated hypotheses on a current international crisis.

-Relate the tension between systemic movement toward macro-organizations and the resistant efforts to reassert micro-identities.

-Judge the fungibility of multiple sources of power

-Formulate feasible outcomes to edited case studies.

-Apply broad theoretical constructs to tangible examples.


-Delineate basic theories of international relations and analyze factors influencing the formation of foreign policy from domestic, regional, and international levels of analysis.

What to Expect in this Course

In addition to the introductory information above, students can expect to conduct critical thinking and analysis.  Memorization means nothing if you do not understand the concepts of the course.  You must be able to identify the manifestation of IR concepts and theories throughout the global system of power.  Students are expected to leave the class at semester’s end with an entirely different set of analytical tools for understanding how and why the global system of power works the way it does.  Students should also acquire an expectation to use their course knowledge toward the development of the discipline rather than merely absorb existing doctrines and curriculum in a passive way.

Types of Assessments

The assignments for this course will vary. The required weekly-recorded lectures covering the assigned chapter material will be followed by multiple choice or short answer questions to ensure students have in fact watched the lectures. There will also be regular discussion board assignments requiring students to post analytical and critical thinking responses to posed questions. Additional assignments will also be assigned for particular weeks. There will also be weekly un-timed “Learning Quizzes” as well as higher point value timed quizzes. The Mid-Term and Final Exams will consist of timed essay exams and possibly a multiple-choice component as well. An analytical research paper will be assigned.

Textbook Information

Textbook Title: World Politics; International Relations and Globalisation in the 21st Century
2nd Edition Jeffrey Haynes, et al... Sage Publishing

Other Relevant Course Information


Will be conducted virtually via ConferZoom in Canvas.


All other course details may be found in the course syllabus once students enroll and access the Canvas virtual classroom.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 10/25/2021 Sub#: 980