PS 343 – Theories and Practices of International Security

Affiliation

Name: Scott Mobley
SCID: College of Letters & Science
Department: Political Science
Course Name: PS 343 – Theories and Practices of International Security

Supported Program Outcomes:

  • SPO1: Develop an understanding of and appreciation for the methods and approaches of diverse subfields in Political Science—American Politics, Comparative Politics, International Relations, and Political Theory—and their relevance to important theoretical and pragmatic questions.
  • SPO2: Analyze different forms and practices of governance both democratic and non‐democratic.
  • SPO3: Argue effectively and defend propositions with intellectual integrity, while considering a range of alternative points of view and evidence.
  • SPO4: Analyze relations among individuals, civil society, political institutions, and states.
  • SPO5: Analyze the motivations and consequences of political decision‐making and activities.
  • Also supports outcomes from the History Dept., International Studies, Aerospace Studies, Military Science, & Naval Science.

Course Objectives:

  • CO1: Develop and apply a critical understanding of national security affairs. Understand and appreciate your role in the process and practice of national security policy and strategy, whether as a citizen or a future leader.
  • CO2: Understand and apply the vocabulary of national security and the theoretical approaches that inform national security studies.
  • CO3: Explain how certain core ideas and concepts shape U.S. national security policy and strategy, including:
    • History. The basic assumptions, values, beliefs, and practices that have influenced U.S. national security doctrines from the Republic’s early days to its current status as a world superpower, with particular attention to the ongoing tension between national security imperatives and the precepts and practice of democratic governance.
    • The Constitution. How the Constitution structures the interplay between government branches (Executive, Legislative, and Judicial) in carrying out their respective roles and responsibilities for national security.Civil-Military Relations.
    • The concept of civilian control of the military, why it matters, and current challenges in civil-military relations.
    • The American Public. How domestic priorities and the American public influences national security policy and strategy choices.
  • CO4: Using the above vocabulary, theoretical approaches, and core ideas/concepts as a framework, analyze and assess critical issues and debates related to U.S. national security today.
  • CO5: Demonstrate how to think critically and write effectively. Formulate alternatives for action that address contemporary national security issues and support them with sound arguments

Course Units:

  • CU1: Foundations and Fundamentals: The language, theory, and core concepts of national security studies.
  • CU2: Players & Process: The Constitutional design for U.S. national security policy-making, and how it works in the real world.
  • CU3: From Purpose to Action: How the nation develops strategy to accomplish its national security goals.
  • CU4: Issues & Challenges: A survey of national security issues and challenges facing the United States today, region by region and across domains.

Unit Being Redesigned:

Unit Objectives:

  • UO1: Demonstrate proficiency in the vocabulary of national security.
  • UO2: Understand and apply the theoretical concepts that inform the study of national security.
  • UO3: Explain how the international political environment may impact national security choices.
  • UO4: Develop and demonstrate a clear historical sense of the interplay between world events and the approaches to national security chosen by Americans. Recognize how national security choices made in the past influence present-day options.
  • UO5: Foster a classroom community built on trust, mutual respect, critical inquiry, and civil dialogue.
  • UO6: Utilize active reading skills.

Summary of Blended Activity Flow

Pre-Class Activities In-Class Activities Post-Class Activities
Week One: Tues

  • Pre-class Survey UO5

Week One: Thur

  • Active Reading (Ch1 & H/O) UO1-2
  • Reflection Journal or Quiz UO1-2

Week Two: Tue

  • Active Reading (Ch2 & H/O) UO3-4
  • Reflection Journal or QuizUO3-4

Week Two: Thur

  • Active Reading (Ch3) UO3-4
  • Reflection Journal or QuizUO3-4

Week Three: Unit Assessment

Week One: Tues

  • Micro-lecture UO1-5
  • Game of 35 UO5
  • Active Reading Exercise UO6

Week One: Thur

  • Minute Paper UO1-2
  • Micro-lecture UO1-2
  • Sorting Hat (Buzz Groups) UO1-2, 5

Week Two: Tue

  • Micro-lecture UO3-4
  • Talking Chips UO3-4

Week Two: Thur

  • Micro-lecture UO3-4
  • Categorizing Grid UO3-4

Week Three: Tue

  • Unit Assessment
Week One: Tues

  • NA

Week One: Thur

  • Short Essay (optional) UO1-2

Week Two: Tue

  • Short Essay (optional) UO3-4

Week Two: Thur

  • Short Essay (optional) UO3-4

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