POLS-152: International Relations

Liberal Arts
Social Sciences
Political Science
Academic Level
Course Subject
Political Science
Course Number
Course Title
International Relations
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Eligible to take ENG courses at HFC.
Catalog Course Description

Introduces the diverse phenomena of international relations, the complex patterns of political and economic conflict, American foreign policy, and the interdependence between nation-states and non-governmental organizations. Coursework encourages the student to think critically and analytically about the world and develop a healthy skepticism toward simple solutions to complex world problems.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Core Course Topics
  1. Structure of the International Systems
  2. International Political Theory
  3. International Conflict and Conflict Resolutiona. Ethnicity, Conflict, and Cooperation
  4. Globalization and Internationalization of Society
  5. Human Rights and Political Democracy
  6. International Political Economy
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  1. Critically evaluate the concepts and historical patterns, developments, and relationships between and among states.
  2. Describe what mechanisms are, and can be used for relations between states.
  3. Critically evaluate the competing theories that dominate international relations theory, practice and politics.
  4. Explore the formal mechanisms present for international interactions especially those of political, economic, and national and international security concerns.
  5. Discuss the role that International Governmental Organizations (IGOs) play in international conflict, commerce, and other interactions among and between states.
  6. Identify the most important IGOs including the United Nations, the World Court, and the European Union.
  7. Identify how Nongovernmental Organizations influence practice, policy, and decision-making processes among and between states.
  8. Compare and contrast how various players on the international scene can impact events and issues internationally.
  9. Discuss the patterns of globalization occurring today, and how these factors influence people’s lives in their community and communities throughout the world.
  10. Address the conditions of human rights and group rights from various perspectives; explore how the international community can influence these patterns in particular locals.
  11. Discuss major international issues and how IGOs, NGOs, states, and global citizens can influence the resolution of these issues.
  12. Identify issues of conflict and analyze how and why they occur and what are some of the primary mechanisms for conflict resolution.
  13. Analyze the nexus of domestic and international politics. Be able to evaluate where they influence each other.
  14. Examine of the economic structures and mechanisms that regulate and influence state interaction; especially the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB), and the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

Each instructor will identify and implement appropriate methods to assess the achievement of the learning objectives for the course.
1. Exams (Multiple Choice and/or Essay)
2. Written Assignment. Each faculty member teaching POLS 152 will incorporate at least one written assignment into the course requirements. The assignment can be completed outside of class and given an appropriate period of time for students to complete. The written assignment should be used as an assessment for the General Education Outcome of Civil Society and Culture. The results should be reported by the faculty member to the faculty Assessment Coordinator for inclusion in SPOL.
The assignment must take one of the following forms:

  • A research paper in which students explore and analyze a current international issue. The papers should utilize minimum of 5 sources including scholarly journals, major newspaper articles, or other substantive sources.
  • Multiple writing assignments determine by instructor: online Discussion Board Assignments, Critical Thinking Responses Essays, and/or Critical Issue Essays and Presentations.

Texts are chosen by individual instructors.


General Education Categories
  • Social Sciences
Institutional Outcomes
  • Civil Society and Culture - U.S. and Global
MTA Categories
  • Category 4: Social Sciences
Satisfies Wellness Requirement

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Winter 2022
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date
Review Semester
Winter 2022