This course is designed to provide an introduction to the study of international relations, with a focus on Europe and global problems. The course is broken down into four sections. In the first section, we will examine the key theories that scholars use to understand and explain international interactions. In the next three sections we will look at the three principal goals of the global community – attaining prosperity, peace, and environmental preservation. We will explore global prosperity, with a focus on the need for equitable human development. Next, we will consider the goal of ending war and violence as a way to ensure a secure environment for everyone. Finally, we will examine the quest for preservation, considering energy use and the global ecosystem. As we visit a number of European countries on our voyage, we will learn about their history, economics, culture, and politics. We will also use the theories and goals we examine in the course to better understand these countries. At the end of the course, we will take into account mechanisms and strategies for achieving global peace, prosperity and ecological preservation. This course and our voyage in general will give all of us a close and personal look at the paramount challenges that our world faces today, and provide us with some viable solutions to those challenges.
Field WorkCountry: Russia
Day: 1 - St. Petersburg - Thursday, 24 July
Russia experienced tremendous and influential upheavals in the twentieth century. From the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, to the changing alliances and destruction of World War II, to the Cold War, to the collapse of the Soviet Union and communism in 1989, to the liberalization of the country in the 1990s, Russia has had profound effects on the global community. Today Russia remains a Great Power that cannot be ignored, as the recent events in Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula suggest. In this field program, we will learn about Russia’s role in World War II with a focus on the defense and siege of Leningrad, in late 1941 to early 1944. The blockade of Leningrad lasted 900 days and led to an estimated loss of life of 700,000 civilians. We will also examine the some of the most interesting aspects of Russia’s history by visiting the Museum of the History of the Political Police, which has an exhibit on the Soviet intelligence agency, the KGB. And, we will have a discussion with the Political-Economic Officer at the US Consulate in St. Petersburg concerning current Russia’s current international relations. Academic Objectives: 1. Understand the Soviet Union’s role in World War II, especially the defense and siege of Leningrad 2. Understand the political history of Russia and the Soviet Union, with a focus on the Bolshevik Revolution 3. Understand the role of the Soviet Secret Police