Fall 2019 - 59210 - PA 387G - The Nature of the International System | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Fall 2019 - 59210 - PA 387G - The Nature of the International System

Nature Of the International System

What are the principles and structures of order and governance in the international system? What is the role of power? Is hegemony necessary for world order? What happens when new powers emerge? Do nuclear weapons lead to more stability in the international system? Are international organizations important? How do states cooperate internationally? Are non-state actors important?

This course will seek to answer these and other questions, starting with first principles of the nature of the international system through a survey of core substantive arenas in international policy including security, economics, the environment and global health. 


The aim of the course is to provide you with conceptual tools to understand the nature of the international system and emergent issues in global politics.

Requirements and Expectations

Class Participation (10%)
Writing Assignments (15%)
Grounding Exercise (10%)
Mid-Term (35%)
Final Paper (30%)


Readings will be approximately 100-150 pages a week. You should get these two books: 

International Organizations: The Politics and Processes of Global Governance (Lynne Rienner, 3rd edition, 2015) by Margaret P. Karns, Karen A. Mingst and Kendall W. Stiles.

The Politics of Global Governance: International Organizations in an Interdependent World (Lynne Rienner 5th edition, 2015) by Brian Frederking and Paul F. Diehl, editors

Other readings are available under electronic reserve on Canvas unless otherwise noted.

Class Schedule: 
M 2:00PM to 5:00PM
SRH 314/3.355