Description: Description: Description: École supérieure d'affaires publiques et internationales



MA Seminar



API 5105 B/C

Graduate School of Public and International Affairs

University of Ottawa

Fall 2020


Instructor: Prof. Roland Paris



Description: Description: Description: free web bar


Course Description

Examination of major concepts and issues in contemporary international affairs. Analysis of the history and development of international relations; major approaches to the study of world politics and global governance; key global issues affecting human welfare in terms of security, economy and environment; practices of governance in a world where the boundary between international and domestic affairs is becoming increasingly blurred.


Response Papers (3)


Midterm Exam


Final Exam


Response Papers

Each student will write three response papers during the semester. Deadline: 12 noon the business day before the relevant class meeting. Submit your completed paper on Brightspace. Detailed instructions will be provided. Note: Late papers will be subject to penalties (see lateness policy below).

Midterm Exam

The midterm exam will cover course material up to the date of the exam. It will be an online, open-book exam. Duration: 2 hours. Further information will be provided in class.


Participation in online seminar discussions will not be graded, but it is a great way to learn and strongly encouraged. As you prepare for class, note the discussion questions for each week, listed below.

Final Exam

The final exam will take place during the exam period and will cover the entire course. It will be an online, open book exam. Duration: 3 hours. Further information will be provided in class. Note: Failure to write the final exam will result in a failing grade for the course.


Course readings are available through Brightspace or via the university library website. For free access to subscriber-only material, you must either (1) connect to the library website from a University of Ottawa-networked computer or (2) follow these instructions for off-campus access:

Virtual Office Hours and Introductory Meeting

Students can book virtual meetings with the professor using the online Calendly tool (a link will be provided in class). All students in the course must book an introductory check-in meeting in September. If you have a quick question, email

Course Calendar


Week Number

Section B - Mondays

Section C - Wednesdays
















6 (midterm exam)



















12/9 *Wednesday*


Final exam

During the exam period (date TBC)

Holidays: Labour Day (9/7), Thanksgiving (10/12), Reading week (10/25-31)



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Week 1 – Welcome and Introduction to the Course


No required reading this week

Week 2 – Ways of Understanding International Affairs


Required reading


Jill Steans et al., An Introduction to International Relations Theory: Perspectives and Themes, 3rd ed. (Routledge, 2010), two chapters:




Alice Ba and Matthew J. Hoffmann, “Making and Remaking the World for IR 101: A Resource for Teaching Social Constructivism in Introductory Classes,” International Studies Perspectives 4:1 (2003), pp. 15-33.


Discussion questions


·         Realism, liberalism, and constructivism each make broad assumptions about world politics. What are their main similarities and differences?


·         What are the prospects for international cooperation according to each of the theories?


·         How does each theory conceive of the role of power, institutions, and ideas in world politics?


Optional further reading


Classical realism, a primary source – The Melian Dialogue, excerpts from Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War (c. 400 BC)


Classical liberalism, a primary source – Immanuel Kant, Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch (1795)


A feminist perspective – J. Ann Tickner, “Hans Morgenthau's Principles of Political Realism: A Feminist Reformulation,” Millennium 17:3 (1988), pp. 429-440.

Week 3 – The Balance of Power


Required reading


Hans J. Morgenthau, “The Balance of Power,” excerpts from Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (McGraw-Hill, 1985).

Reading will be provided by instructor


John Lewis Gaddis, “The Long Peace: Elements of Stability in the Postwar International System,” International Security 10:4 (1986), pp. 99-142.


Graham Allison, “The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?” Atlantic (Sept. 14, 2015).


Discussion questions


·         How did the balance of power concept originate?


·         How, and under what circumstances, is the balance of power mechanism said to work?


·         What is the role of power, institutions, and ideas in the balance of power?


·         How relevant is the balance of power concept to international affairs today?


Optional further reading


On the balance of power in 19th century Europe – Paul W. Schroeder, “The Nineteenth Century System: Balance of Power or Political Equilibrium?” Review of International Studies 15:2 (1989), pp. 135-53.

Week 4 – International Institutions and Law


Required reading


John Gerard Ruggie, “Multilateralism: The Anatomy of an Institution,” International Organization 46:3 (1992), pp. 561-598.


Karin J. Alter, “The Future of International Law,” in Diana Ayton-Shenker (ed.), The New Global Agenda (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018), pp. 25-42.


Tom Ginsburg, “Authoritarian International Law?” American Journal of International Law 114:2 (2020) pp. 221-260.


Discussion questions


·         What makes multilateralism a distinctive form of governance?


·         Do international institutions and law facilitate international cooperation? In what ways? Do they also inhibit cooperation?


·         How “liberal” is international law?


Optional further reading


Alex Neve, “We Do Matter A Renewed Global Agenda for Protecting Human Rights,” in Diana Ayton-Shenker (ed.), The New Global Agenda (Rowman & Littlefield,2018), pp. 7-24.

Week 5 – Networks and ‘Plurilateralism’


Required reading


Stewart Patrick, “The Unruled World: The Case for Good Enough Global Governance,” Foreign Affairs 93:1 (2014), pp. 58-73.


Anne-Marie Slaughter, “The Real New World Order,” Foreign Affairs 76:5 (1997), pp. 183-197.


Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink, “Transnational Advocacy Networks in International and Regional Politics,” International Social Science Journal 68 (2018), pp. 89-101.


Roland Paris, “Global Governance and Power Politics: Back to Basic,” Ethics and International Affairs 29:4 (2015), pp. 407-418.


Discussion questions


·         Does “plurilateralism” represent the future of multilateralism?


·         What are the strengths and weaknesses of “networked” approaches to global governance?


Optional further reading


Henry Farrell and Abraham L. Newman, “Weaponizing Interdependence: How Global Economic Networks Shape State Coercion,” International Security 44:1 (2019), pp 42-79.

Week 6 – Midterm Exam

Week 7 – The State and Sovereignty


Required reading


Alfred Van Staden and Hans Vollaard, “The Erosion of State Sovereignty: Towards a Post-Territorial World?” in Gerard Kreijen et al., eds., State, Sovereignty, and International Governance (Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 164-184.


Aristotle Kallis, “Sovereigntism, and the Unlikely Re-Emergence of the Territorial Nation-State,” Fudan Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences 11 (2018), pp. 285-302.


Arthur Stein, “The Great Trilemma: Are Globalization, Democracy, and Sovereignty Compatible?” International Theory 8:2 (2016), pp. 297-340.


Francis Fukuyama, “The Pandemic and Political Order: It Takes a State,” Foreign Affairs 99:4 (2020), pp. 26-32.


Discussion questions


·         What impact, if any, has globalization had on sovereignty?


·         What is "neo-medievalism" and what is its relationship to the concept of sovereignty?


·         Why have we been witnessing a resurgence of “sovereigntism” – and what are the implications for international order and global governance?


·         Will the coronavirus pandemic strengthen or weaken states?


Optional further reading


Roland Paris, “The Right to Dominate: How Old Ideas about Sovereignty Pose New Challenges for World Order,” International Organization 74:3 (2020), pp. 453-489.

Week 8 – The World Trade System


Required reading


Richard Baldwin, “The World Trade Organization and the Future of Multilateralism,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 30:1 (2016), pp. 95-116.


Edward Alden, “The Global Trading System: What Went Wrong and How to Fix It,” Japan Spotlight (2019), pp. 13-16.


Chad P. Brown and Douglas A. Irwin, “Trump’s Assault on the Global Trading System,” Foreign Affairs 98:5 (2019), pp. 125-136.


Robert E. Lighthizer (Donald Trump’s trade representative), “How to Make Trade Work for Workers,” Foreign Affairs 99:4 (2020), pp. 78-92.


Discussion questions


·         How did the world trade system evolve?


·         Why is the WTO struggling to perform its role?


·         Why is there now a “governance gap” in the world trade system?


·         What are the future scenarios for the system? Which scenario is the most likely?


Optional further reading


Kirsten Hopewell, “Different Paths to Power: The Rise of Brazil, India and China at the World Trade Organization,” Review of International Political Economy (2014), pp. 311-338.

Week 9 – Climate Change Politics


Required reading


“Why Tackling Global Warming Is a Challenge Without Precedent,” Economist (April 23, 2020).


Louis J. Kotzé, “The Anthropocene’s Global Environmental Constitutional Moment,” Yearbook of International Environmental Law 25:1 (2014), pp. 24-60.


Thomas Hale, “Transnational Actors and Transnational Governance in Global Environmental Politics,” Annual Review of Political Science 23 (2020), pp. 203-220.


Anatol Lieven, “Climate Change and the State: A Case for Environmental Realism,” Survival 62:2 (2020), pp. 7-26.

Discussion questions


·         Why have global efforts to regulate climate change fallen short?


·         What is “transnational environmental governance” and how important is it?


·         Is the climate change challenge leading to a “constitutional moment” in world politics?


·         Is climate change a “threat” – and why does this question matter?


Optional further reading


A classic – Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162 (1968), pp. 1243-1248.

Week 10 – International Development


Required reading


Sarah Babb, “The Washington Consensus as Transnational Policy Paradigm: Its Origins, Trajectory and Likely Successor,” Review of International Political Economy 20:2 (2013), pp. 268-297.


Shahar Hameiri and Lee Jones, “China Challenges Global Governance? Chinese International Development Finance and the AIIB,” International Affairs 94:3 (2018), pp. 573-593.


Jean-Philippe Thérien and Vincent Pouliot, “Global Governance as Patchwork: The Making of the Sustainable Development Goals,” Review of International Political Economy 27:3 (2020), pp. 612-636.


“UN Report Finds COVID-19 Is Reversing Decades of Progress on Poverty, Healthcare and Education,” UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (July 7, 2020).


Discussion questions


· What does the rise and decline of the “Washington consensus” tell us about the role of “policy paradigms” in international affairs?


· How has China’s rise influenced the idea and practices of international development?


· What lessons about global governance can we draw from the formation of the Sustainable Development Goals?

Optional further reading


“Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy,” Government of Canada (2017).

Week 11 – The International Order


Required reading


Evan S. Medeiros, “The Changing Fundamentals of US-China Relations,” Washington Quarterly 42:3 (2019), pp. 93-119.


G. John Ikenberry, “The End of Liberal International Order?” International Affairs 94:1 (2018), pp. 7-23.


Amitav Acharya, “After Liberal Hegemony: The Advent of a Multiplex World Order,” Ethics and International Affairs 31:3 (2017), pp. 271-285.


Roland Paris, “Can Middle Powers Save the Liberal World Order?” Chatham House (June 2019).


Discussion questions


·         What are the drivers of the growing rivalry between the US and China – and what are the possible implications of this rivalry.


·         Are the US and China now both “revisionist” powers?


·         What type of world order is emerging?


Optional further reading


Barry R. Posen, “Do Pandemics Promote Peace? Why Sickness Slows the March to War,” Foreign Affairs (April 23, 2020).


Rachel Brown, Heather Hurlburt and Alexandra Stark, “How the Coronavirus Sows Civil Conflict,” Foreign Affairs (June 6, 2020).

Week 12 – Canada in a Changing World


Required reading


Roland Paris, “Navigating New World Disorder: Canada’s Post-Pandemic Foreign Policy,” Public Policy Forum (July 2020). (English) (Français)


Robert Greenhill and Jennifer Welsh, “Reframing Canada’s Global Engagement: Diagnostic of Key Trends and Sources of Influence” and “Ten Strategic Choices for Decision Makers,” Global Canada (August 2020).


Louis Vachon and Frédéric Gagnon, “Canada Caught in the Crossfire of a New Era of Economic Power Politics,” Globe and Mail (September 4, 2020).


Additional reading TBA.


Discussion questions


· What are the principal ways in which global changes are affecting Canada?


· In what directions, and using what methods, should Canada be seeking to influence international affairs?



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Lateness Policy

There will be a penalty for late submissions. Exceptions are made only for illness or other serious situations deemed as such by the professor. 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 and errors made while reading the exam schedule are not usually accepted. This also applies to assignments sent by email (in which case the time of receipt of the email by the recipient indicates the time of delivery). Please notify the professor as soon as possible if a religious holiday or event forces your absence during an evaluation. Reaction papers: Each day of late submission will result in a penalty of 5% (weekends included). Exams: Late submissions will not be accepted.

Beware 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. Examples of academic fraud include:

·         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.


The Internet has made it much easier to identify academic plagiarism. Tools available to your professors allow them to trace the exact origin of a text, using just a few words. In cases where students are unsure whether they are at fault, it is their responsibility to consult the Writing and Style Guide for University Papers and Assignments. Persons who have committed or attempted to commit (or have been accomplices to) academic fraud will be penalized. Here are some examples of academic sanctions that 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 the Student’s Guide to Academic Integrity and the Academic Integrity Website (Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic Affairs).

Mental Health and Wellness

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Academic Writing Help Centre

Learn to identify, correct, and ultimately avoid errors in your writing and become a stronger writer:

Academic Accommodations

If barriers are preventing you from integrating into university life and you need adaptive measures to progress (physical setting, arrangements for exams, learning strategies, etc.), contact the Access Service by phone 613-562-5976 or at


Deadlines for submitting requests for adaptive measures during exams:

·         Midterms, tests, deferred exams: seven business days before the exam, test or other written evaluation (excluding the day of the exam itself

·         Final exams:

o   November 15 for the fall session

o   March 15 for the winter session

o   Seven business days before the date of the exam for the spring/summer session (excluding the day of the exam itself).

Notice: Collection of Personal Information with Class Recordings

In accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act in Ontario and with University Policy 90, your personal information is collected under the authority of the University of Ottawa Act, 1965. The Adobe Connect/Zoom/MS Teams sessions will be recorded for purposes consistent with the fulfillment of the course learning activities and outcomes. The recording may include the use of your video presence, picture, and voice. If you choose not to have your picture or voice recorded, you may disable the audio and video functionality or request accommodation from your instructor. The recording will be available only to authorized individuals through University of Ottawa systems. If you have questions about the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information in this notice, please contact your instructor.