Fall/Winter Timetable

POL470Y1Y L0101

Contemporary Issues in Foreign Policy


This senior seminar will involve a critical assessment of foreign policy issues and contemporary international problems. The focus will be on the real world of political decision making. Issues and case studies to be covered will include: 1. International military interventions to respond to humanitarian crises or imminent threats; issues of effectiveness and legitimacy, e.g. Kosovo, Bosnia, Rwanda, Somalia, Darfur, Libya. 2. Changed roles and relationships in the post-cold war world, including the U.S., Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations. 3. The transformation of NATO from a Europe-oriented defense alliance to a global peacekeeper. 4. The changing nature of conflict, e.g. Afghanistan. 5. The geopolitical consequences of the international economic situation, the rise of China. 6. Modern diplomacy, politics and foreign policy in Canada.


A Problem from Hell - Samantha Power; The Utility of Force - Rupert Smith; Descent into Chaos - Ahmed Rashid; other TBA.

Format and Requirements

A high degree of class participation will be expected in discussion of these issues. Based on an individual research project, each student will make a presentation to the seminar in the second half of the year.