Fall/Winter Timetable

JBP2230H1S L0101

Topics in International Politics

The New Security Environment: Understanding Changes to Global and Domestic Security since 9/11


This course explores two issues: first, the concept of development as applied to national states; and second, the category of states called variously Third World, developing, less developed, underdeveloped, or most recently, South. It thus proceeds along parallel paths, one a critical assessment of the origins and changing meanings of a concept, and the other a historical interpretation of relations of power and wealth and their effects among the growing number of states that emerged through anti-colonial struggles beginning in 1947. The first introduces students to critiques of development as a concept implicated in the history of North-South relations. Such critiques open up questions about some taken-for-granted ideas about the meaning and location of poverty, knowledge, and other key variables associated with quality of life and assumed to be distributed in specific ways among national societies. The idea of development changed over the half century since World War II, both reflecting and contributing to changing relations in the world economy. The second introduces students to global perspectives on inter-state distribution of power and international distribution of wealth. Based on an explanation of the differences between colonial and post-colonial relations of power and wealth, and the consequences for societies and individuals in various locations, the history of the world economy and state system in the second half of the 20th century provides a context for interpreting experiences of countries of the “Third World” (an idea of the Cold War era) and later the “South” (an idea formed during Détente and anticipating a post-Cold War era).