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Course Materials

Current Courses at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, UC San Diego

IRGN 428: International Politics of Energy Policy.
The course will introduce students to the major theoretical lenses that can be used to explain how societies design and implement public policies related to energy. The course will apply these theories to major current and historical issues in energy policy, such as the biofuels, the management of national oil companies, electric power market restructuring, climate change, and the functioning of OPEC. Syllabus.

IRGN 427: International Law and Regulation.
This course exposes students to seminal research on the role of international laws and regulations in world politics. The first part of the course will seek to explain how, if at all, international institutions (IIs) obtain some measure of authority in international affairs. We will consider the legalization of world politics and ask why states delegate certain tasks to international organizations instead of dealing unilaterally or multilaterally outside of an institutional context. We will also consider the role of domestic politics and non-state actors (such as NGOs and other experts), both as sources of international cooperation and limitations. The second part of the course focuses on the design and influence of IIs. We consider in detail enforcement and flexibility features of institutions as well as membership. We also assess whether and how IIs influence state compliance with agreements and explore the conditions under which IIs have influence on political behavior. The final part of the course explores the pathologies and complexities associated with growing legalization. All students will participate in a simulation designed to apply the lessons of the course to a real world problem that requires cooperation. The course emphasizes the development of critical thinking, analytical writing and formal presentational skills. Syllabus.

PS 232: International Organizations.
This course exposes students to seminal research on the role of international organizations in world politics. The first part of the course will seek to explain how, if at all, international organizations (IOs) obtain some measure of authority in international affairs. We will consider the legalization of world politics and ask why states delegate certain tasks to international organizations instead of dealing unilaterally or multilaterally outside of an institutional context. We will also consider the role of domestic politics, both as a source of international cooperation and as a limitation. The second part of the course focuses on the design and influence of IOs. We assess the rational design line of explanation and its critics and consider in detail enforcement and flexibility features of organizations. We also assess whether and how IOs influence state compliance with agreements and explore the conditions under which IOs have influence on political behavior. The final part of the course explores organizational evolution and change and also the pathologies and complexities associated with growing legalization.  Students will have the opportunity to select an area for more in-depth reading—either on human rights or environment—for class 9. Syllabus.

IRCO 400: Policy Making Process.
The course will introduce students to the theories and concepts that help explain how societies design and implement public policies. We will discuss the issues generally and in a wide variety of national settings. Most classes will include a ―theory‖ reading as well as a case study illustration. Cases will be drawn from around the world. Syllabus.