of International Order
University of Chicago
Syllabus for Winter 2005
meets Mondays, 1:30 til 3:50, Pick 506
Lipson's office is Pick 418b
Hours: Monday at 4
about this course should include PS460 somewhere in subject line.
What is international
order? What are its main sources? What is disorder? Is peace the same
as order, or does the term refer to other kinds of equilibria? These
questions are the focus of this graduate seminar, which will consider
alternative understandings of international order, including the role
of force, norms, voluntary agreements, and institutions.
The readings themselves
are mainstays of the literature--major works that are covered in most
IR theory courses. What is distinctive about this course is our focus.
How do these scholars conceive of international order?
- Books are available at UC/Barnes
& Noble Bookstore and the Seminary Cooperative Bookstore.
- All assigned books are required
- All materials should be available
at Regenstein Reserve.
- This seminar is exclusively
for graduate students. Each
will receive a letter grade unless he or she receives written permission
otherwise before Week 8.
- Because this is a seminar, enrollment
is limited. Priority will go to students with strong backgrounds in
international relations and social theory.
- All interested students are welcome to attend the first
- After the first session, Mr. Lipson will decide on final class
enrollment. His written permission is required to enroll.
is a substantial reading course (one book per week) with two writing
1) shorter paper,
approximately 5 pages, explaining and comparing two different
conceptions of international order
2) longer paper,
approximately 15-20 pages, plus an abstract, on the problem
of international order
Each paper should have a title, plus your name and e-mail address on
the first page. Each should be double spaced, stapled, with numbered
pages. Please give me a hard copy. You may also send me an e-mail attachment,
if you wish, but I will still need a hard copy of each paper.
|Shorter paper (approximately 5 pages):
The goal of the short paper is to delve deeper into the assigned readings.
Take two of the assigned topics; then compare and critique the concepts
of international order they employ. For example, you could compare ideas
of order within Realism and Neo-Institutionalism. You may use readings
beyond those assigned or, if you prefer, you may stick with only the
assigned readings. It's your choice. You may also explore variations
within a particular approach, such as Realism, but, even if you
do, you still need to cover two of the general theoretical approaches
used in the course:
- English School
- Hegemonic Stability Theory
Due date for shorter paper: Week 6, beginning of class
This shorter paper may serve
as a foundation for your longer paper, or the longer paper may be on
a different topic.
|Longer paper (15-20 pages):
Each student will write a 15-20
page (double-spaced) paper, focusing on the problem of international
order. This paper may be either a comparative analysis of several authors
or a research paper.
- Comparative review:
A critical analysis and comparison of two or more books or articles
dealing with problems of international order. These need not be assigned
books. This may build on your short paper or, if you
prefer, it may deal with entirely different readings. You may use
any readings you choose, whether or not they were assigned for this
- Research paper:
Independent research on a topic of your choice dealing with some aspect
of international order--modern or historical, theoretical and/or empirical.
You have a wide range of choices here; the only requirement is that
it explore the problem or concept of international order.
Of particular interest are papers that probe the meaning of international
order, discuss how different sources of order are related, or consider
how order changes (or is challenged). They may focus on theoretical
writings, historical events, or other data, whatever best suits your
topic and your interests.
Your sources for this longer paper need not be limited to the
assigned readings. Use whatever readings and research materials you
wish. The readings and topic need not be related to the shorter paper,
although they can overlap if you wish.
The paper should have a title and its text should be organized in sections
(each with a title), just as published articles are. Fluid, tightly-edited
writing is welcomed, joyously. If you want to learn more about good
writing, take a look at William Zinsser's On Writing Well.
Due dates for longer paper:
- Proposal: A one-page proposal is due in Week 8, at beginning
of class. The proposal should indicate the
- Type of paper you intend to write, a critical book review or
- Main themes you expect to discuss; and
- At least 2 books, articles, or other research materials you
expect to use.
- Longer paper is due Thursday of exam week (at Professor Lipson's
office, Pick 418b, at 4 pm).
|Each longer paper should include a brief abstract of approximately
The abstract should be resemble those in International Organization,
briefly summarizing your questions, methods, and findings. Do not
follow the misguided model of so many abstracts, which only say
only what will be done in the paper: "This paper will examine the
problem of international order, using data on modern wars. Important
conclusions are reached." Don't do it that way. Instead, treat
the abstract as a very condensed version of the paper itself.
Here's an example of a first-rate abstract, for Virginia Page Fornta's
"Scraps of Paper? Agreements and the Durability of Peace"
IO 57 (Spring 2003).
In the aftermath of war, what determines whether
peace lasts or fighting resumes, and what can be done to foster
durable peace? Drawing on theories of cooperation, I argue that
belligerents can overcome the obstacles to peace by implementing
measures that alter incentives, reduce uncertainty about intentions,
and manage accidents A counterargument suggests that agreements
are eipiphenomenal, merely reflecting the underlying probability
of war resumption. I test hypotheses about the durability of peace
using hazard analysis. Controlling for factors . . . that affect
the baseline prospects for peace, I find that stronger agreements
enhance the durability of peace. . . . Agreements are not
merely scraps of paper; rather, their content matters in the construction
of peace that lasts.
Fortna's abstract is brief and clear. It tells readers exactly what
her article concludes and how it reaches that conclusion. Use it as
a model. For others, please look at the opening pages of International
|Class Presentations: Each student will participate
in one group presentation.
At each class session, students will present assigned materials plus
some supplementary materials. These presentations will be done by small
groups, based on student research interests. Students should select
three potential topics (such as the English School or Realism) in order
of preference. Based on these preferences, Prof. Lipson will assign
each student to one group.
is International Order? What are its Sources?
English School: International Society as the Basis of Order
Hedley Bull, The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Politics.
and the Balance of Power as the
Source of Order
Kenneth Waltz in Robert O. Keohane, ed., Neorealism and Its Critics,
chapters 4, 5, and 11.
Chapters 4 and 5 are from Waltz' Theory of International
Politics. If you have this important (but expensive) little book,
please consider reading all of it. Keohane's edited volume includes
several important critiques, plus Waltz' response (chapter 11).
John J. Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of
Great Power Politics
Stability Theories: Leadership to Create Order
Robert Gilpin, War
and Change in World Politics.
Robert O. Keohane, After Hegemony
International Organizations to Facilitate Order
G. John Ikenberry, After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint,
and the Rebuilding of Order After Major Wars
Norms to Constitute Order
Alexander Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics, chapters
1, 5-7, and conclusion.
Order through Self-Enforcing Agreements
Charles Lipson, Reliable Partners: How Democracies Have Made a Separate
Assigned Books Are Required
Purchases for This Course
at Seminary Coop or UC/Barnes & Noble
Bull, The Anarchical Society: A Study of Order in World Politics,
2nd ed. (NY: Columbia University Press, 1995).
ISBN paperback: 0231102976
Gilpin, War and Change in World Politics, reprint (1981;
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).
ISBN paperback reprint: 0521273765
John Ikenberry, After Victory: Institutions, Strategic Restraint, and
the Rebuilding of Order After Major Wars
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
Press, 2001). ISBN paperback: 0691050910
O. Keohane, After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political
NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984). ISBN
O. Keohane, ed., Neorealism and Its Critics (NY:
Columbia University Press, 1986). ISBN
Lipson, Reliable Partners: How Democracies Have Made a Separate Peace
(Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
Press, 2003). ISBN
J. Mearsheimer: Tragedy of Great Power Politics (NY:
W. W. Norton, 2001).
ISBN paperback: 039332396X
Wendt, Social Theory of International Politics (Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1999). ISBN