International Relations

Discipline: Politics and International Relations
Instructor: Leblang
Credits: 3
Day: C
Start: 0800
End: 0915
Field Work: Day 1 - Cadiz - Sunday, 11 August | Spain Download Syllabus

This course provides an introduction to the study of world politics.  The course uses the theoretical concepts of interests, institutions and interactions to assess structural, domestic, and strategic theories of war, political economy, and transnational problems. Throughout the class we will use theories to help shed light on historical and contemporary phenomena.

Field Work

Country: Spain
Day: 1 - Cadiz - Sunday, 11 August

August 11 (Cadiz, Spain) Within the course we have spent time discussing global factors and local commodity prices, the role that specialization plays in the organization of international trade, and the importance of international organizations in facilitating international cooperation.  This field lab will bring these three theoretical ideas into practice as we explore and understand the politics of commodity labeling, commodity trade and national labeling within the context of olive oil production.  Andalucia produces almost one third of the world’s olive oil and competition from cheaper oils pressed in Morocco, Greece, Spain and Turkey place tremendous pressures on local producers.  We will visit a local mill and learn about how olive oil is processed, how it is distributed and, importantly, how it is associated with the cultural and identity of the Spanish.  In tasting the oils we will get an understanding of how local foods represent local cultures; something that is left out of simple theories of trade that emphasize specialization and comparative advantage. Academic Objectives:

  1. Learn about the labeling of national products—what constitutes “product of spain”?
  2. Understand the importance of commodity trade to local economic development
  3. Get a firsthand look at the cultural importance of national symbols as manifest in food