This course will teach you to recognize and analyze the key forces that influence how some 6.5 billion human beings attempt to mutually thrive on an ocean-dominated planet with limited terrestrial space. We will discuss how human civilizations, organized into entities composing the “international system,” produce conditions leading to war and peace, abundance and scarcity, conquest and survival. Readings and lectures introduce students to the international system and its major actors (i.e., nation-states, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations), its organizational principles (configurations of power) and structural factors (institutions) that influence the actions and behaviors of international actors in dealing with conflicts through mechanisms producing war and peace. We will also track the evolution of the international system from the bi-polar configuration of power (Capitalism vs. Communism) during the Cold War, to the present-day system of shifting multipolar configurations shaped by globalizing technological power and environmental challenge. To paraphrase screen diva Bette Davis’s famous admonition in All About Eve, “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”
POLS 232 will review the main theoretical approaches explaining the behaviors of an expanding number and diversity of actors (nations, organizations, multinational enterprises, and non-state entities) and factors (including communications, technology proliferation, and economic (dis)integration) shaping the structure and evolution of the international system. Taking advantage of the Semester at Sea opportunities to directly observe the regions and states being discussed affords students an invaluable opportunity to compare the explanatory utility of “textbook” theoretical frameworks with academic “real-world” scrutiny.
Field WorkCountry: Hawaii, United States
Date: January 12, 2018
Tour of the Pearl Harbor historical and memorial sites to see and hear about how the Pearl Harbor attack came about and its consequences. Lecture and discussion by Professor Noelani Goodyear-Kaopua at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, on the Hawaiian experience as a key military base during World War II and the Vietnam Wars.
- The configurations of world power following World War I and the shifts in military, economic, and political power leading up to 1939.
- The causes of World War II and the conflict between the United States and Japan in the Pacific Theater.
- The military strategy of Japan behind the Pearl Harbor attack.
- The consequences of the Pearl Harbor attack - the long-term changes in military strategy and weapons development.
- Students will learn about the proliferation of nuclear weapons and their delivery systems as among the most crucial issues challenging the evolving world order of the 21st Century.
- Students will learn about the history and governmental roles of the U.S. military missions in Hawaii and their effects on Hawaiian culture and politics.
- Do Hawaiians perceive the US military establishment on the islands as an "occupation?" Implications for other world regions where US military bases interact with local cultures.
Students will submit a Field Class Report in which they will write essays addressing specific questions posed by their instructor focusing on weapons evolution, proliferation and disarmament.