By the end of this course students should be:


A. Participation (15%)

B. In-class exam (35%):

C. Final Essay (3,000—4,000 words) – (35%)

D. Oral presentations (15%)

Please note that regular class attendance is necessary in order to successfully complete this course. Also keep in mind that you will be judged on your writing abilities. It is recommended to take the appropriate measures to avoid mistakes.

This is not a lecture course, which means that it is incumbent upon each student to prepare well for each seminar in order to be able to participate in discussion in the most effective manner. Oral participation is a critical component of the course.

Your responsibilities as a member of the seminar are to:

  • Complete the required readings every week before each seminar.
  • Participate actively during class discussions.*
  • Complete the written assignments on time.

You will be assessed on the basis of the quality rather than the quantity of your contributions.

I will make use of “roundtables” in order to provide each student with a chance to raise a question or issue relating to the readings.

Participation in class seminars will be graded out of 10: 0 for non-attendance (you can miss one class without penalty); 6 for attendance; 7 for minimum participation; 7.5-10 for effective participation, based on its quality. A quality contribution is one that demonstrates knowledge of the course readings, engages critically with course themes and is respectful of the perspectives of others in the class.

More information on this will be provided in class.


Each student is expected to write an essay of 3500--4000 (max.) words. Suggested essay topics will be assigned in class. The essay must include footnotes and a bibliography. Please note also that at the end of this syllabus there is an explanation of the marking scheme.

Essay submission: essays must be submitted in hard copy. Essays are due on the last day of class, December 3, 2013.

This required essay is a “traditional” one. That means that you are expected to display the critical analytic skills developed in the course of this term. You are explicitly asked to develop your own argument in relation to the questions, not simply restate the views of others. In addition to the material covered in class and in the readings I have assigned, in preparation for this essay you’ll need to carry out independent research. More details regarding the paper will be provided in class.

Essay Questions:

  1. Is realism actually realistic?
  2. Why do liberals believe that democracies are unlikely to fight each other?
  3. “Although many in the discipline treated as strange the claim that ideas can shape how the world works, in fact what is strange is a view of the world devoid of ideas.” Do you agree?
  4. “Theory is always for someone and for some purpose.” What does Robert W. Cox mean by this? Is he correct?
  5. Is it fair to argue that in the post-Cold War world concerns about security have become increasingly focused on the individual rather than just the state?
  6. Should we attach moral worth to sovereignty?
  7. Does it matter if human rights are, in origin, the product of Western, patriarchal societies?
  8. Can ‘economic rights’ be separated from ‘political rights?
  9.  Is there a “responsibility to protect” in international society?
  10. Is international law really just “political obligation” or powerful norms that influence international society?
  11. Has terrorism changed our ideas about security?
  12. Do nuclear weapons actually provide security?

Beware of Academic Fraud!

The final page of this syllabus contains important information on this, so please be sure to read it! Should you have further questions or should you need more specific advice on how to avoid academic fraud, do not hesitate to talk to me. Please note that, if academic fraud is suspected, I reserve the right to ask the student to attend a meeting in order to answer questions about his/her written work.

Late submissions:

Late submissions are not tolerated. Exceptions are made only for illness or other serious situations deemed as such by the professor. There will be a penalty for late submissions.

University regulations require all absences from exams and all late submissions due to illness to be supported by a medical certificate. The Faculty reserves the right to accept or reject the reason put forth if it is not medical. Reasons such as travel, work, computer problems and errors made while reading the exam schedule are not usually accepted.

In the event of an illness or related complications, only the counseling service and the campus clinic (located at 100 Marie-Curie) may issue valid certificates to justify a delay or absence.

Each day of late submission results in a penalty of 5% (weekends not excluded). This also applies to assignments sent by email, and in this case, the time of receipt of the email by the recipient is guarantor of the time of delivery.

I advise you to notify me as soon as possible if a religious holiday or event forces your absence during an evaluation.

Oral presentations:

Each student will be expected to give an oral presentation in class. The presentation should focus either on one particular reading or on a key concept or problem addressed in several readings. Students are encouraged to use class material to understand, explain and explore a current event or issue. The dates of presentations will be discussed in class.

Presentations should include a brief summary of the arguments developed in the reading(s) (in terms of their ideological and theoretical position as well as empirical, normative and/or policy content), as well as some form of critique (anything from meta-theory to ethics to policy). Each presentation should end with a couple of questions/issues to be discussed in class, and each presenter should be ready to answer questions regarding the relevant readings from the rest of class.

Highly recommended is a written component of the presentation in the form of a hand-out (2 pages max) and/or a PowerPoint (10 slides max), to be distributed via email 12 hours before class. You will be graded on the quality of your argument (ability to carry it from the beginning to the end in a clear and concise fashion and using cogent logic) and delivery thereof (mechanics, organization, flow).

Miscellaneous/The Fine Print:

Email messages should receive a response within two business days. Please note that any questions by email need to be sent via the uOttawa email address, as per the university’s official policy (effective July 2012). More details regarding email policies will be discussed in the first week of class.

New and additional readings might be announced at the end of class, via email or the class blog; if/when this happens, students will be expected to read those readings prior to the subsequent class meeting. Changes to the syllabus necessitated by the circumstances of the class may also be made during the term.

Bibliography: Required Textbook

The textbook for this course is: The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations by John Baylis, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens, Oxford University Press. Paperback , 5th edition, (indicated as Baylis, Smith& Owens in the course outline). The book can be purchased at the University Bookstore near the Morisset Library or at any good bookstore (including

However, I am aware that this is a pricey book! If you can, try to find previous editions either online or in used bookstores and perhaps photocopy whatever “new” information may be required!

All readings are available via the Ottawa U Library and, in some cases, links to specific articles in e-journals have been provided below.

Beware of Academic Fraud!

Academic fraud is an act committed by a student to distort the marking of assignments, tests, examinations, and other forms of academic evaluation. Academic fraud is neither accepted nor tolerated by the University. Anyone found guilty of academic fraud is liable to severe academic sanctions.

Here are a few examples of academic fraud:

•   engaging in any form of plagiarism or cheating;

•   presenting falsified research data;

•   handing in an assignment that was not authored, in whole or in part, by the student;

•   submitting the same assignment in more than one course, without the written consent of the professors concerned.

In recent years, the development of the internet has made it much easier to identify academic plagiarism. The tools available to your professors allow them to trace the exact origin of a text on the Web, using just a few words.

In cases where students are unsure whether they are at fault, it is their responsibility to consult the University’s Web site on student life and academic resources at the following address:

Persons who have committed or attempted to commit (or have been accomplices to) academic fraud will be penalized. Here are some examples of the academic sanctions, which can be imposed:

•   a grade of « F » for the assignment or course in question;

•   an additional program requirement of between 3 and 30 credits;

•   suspension or expulsion from the Faculty.

For more information, refer to: