Global Issues
Fall Semester 2010


Political Science 110-06
T/R 12:35-1:50, McKee 113


Instructor: Dr. Claudia Bryant
Office: Camp Building, Room # 109-H
Office Hours: Wednesdays 1:00-2:00, and Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:00-5:00.  Please feel free to drop by during my office hours to chat, or for help or clarification if needed.  I am also available to meet with you at other times by appointment.  However, I work a flex-time schedule with extended hours on Mondays through Thursdays and will not be available on Fridays.  I will respond to emails and voicemails as quickly as possible upon my return to the office on Mondays.     
Phone: 227-7739
E-mail: cbryant@wcu.eduAny emails I initiate to you will be addressed to your official WCU Catamount address; you are responsible for any information sent to this address.   If you experience technical difficulties with your account, please contact IT Services (227-7ITS/7487) for help in resolving the problem.  

Class Web Page:  Copies of class handouts, study guides for exams, homework assignments, as well as other relevant class materials will be posted on the web page as appropriate.


Course Description:  This is an introductory course examining the issue of globalization and how it is impacting the world—both positively and negatively—in a number of areas of policy.  Among the topics we will explore are the impacts of globalization on:  the economic sector; women’s status and the family; education; crime; issues of war and peace and the spread of human rights; ethnic warfare and the spread of terrorism; and how globalization is impacting our planet in terms of urbanization, energy, and environmental protection.  

Required Text
:  Sernau, Scott.  2009.  Global Problems:  The Search for Equity, Peace, and Sustainability.  Pearson Education, Inc.  Boston, Massachusetts.

Course Requirements: Below is a discussion of the various components that will make up your final grade.

    Exams: There will be four examinations in the course including the final exam.  Students who miss an exam will not have an opportunity to take a makeup; however, each student may drop his/her lowest test grade.  Each of the remaining three exam scores will be equal in weight in determining the final course grade (25% per exam). Exams may consist of any or all of the following types of questions: multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, matching, short answer and essay. The final exam will not be comprehensive.

Class Participation:    Learning is not a spectator sport.  Class discussion of relevant material should be an integral part of this course. Therefore, it is imperative that students read the assigned material before class in order to contribute effectively during class discussions. I will call on you spontaneously to present to the class your thoughts and reactions to issues covered in the assigned readings.  Be prepared.

Homework Assignments: 

During the course of the semester, students will be asked to complete two content-specific assignments as noted in the course schedule (each worth 5% of the final course grade).  In addition to these assignments, students will be asked to submit current events throughout the course of the semester, as detailed below. 


Current Events Article Presentations:  As a means of helping students to connect the course content to the contemporary political environment, each student will be expected to orally present two news articles related to various issues of global politics.  Articles presented in class should come from a reputable major daily newspaper such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, or a weekly newsmagazine such as Time, Newsweek, or U.S. News and World Report and should relate to issues we are currently discussing or have previously discussed in class.  At the time you present your articles to the class, please submit a copy of the article as well as a typed summary of the article, explaining the key points it addresses and how the issues reported in the article relate to the course content we have discussed/are discussing in class.  Each student should submit one current events article prior to Fall Break; the second article should be presented between Fall Break and the end of the semester.  If you fail to submit an article before Fall Break, you will not be allowed to submit 2 in the second half of the semester.   

These current events assignments combined with overall contribution to class discussions will make up students’ class participation scores.  This score will count as 15% of each student’s final grade.


Cheating/Plagiarism Policies:  I will abide by the University’s Academic Honesty Policy.  That is, no form of academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, etc.) will be tolerated.  If a student is found to be in violation of the University’s policies regarding any aspect of this course, that student will receive an F not only for the assignment but for the course overall.  If academic dishonesty is found to be a pattern by University officials, the student may be expelled from the University.

Classroom conduct/behavior Policy:  I follow the “baseball rule” in terms of inappropriate classroom behavior (disruptive talking, belligerency towards the instructor or classmates, sleeping, or otherwise interfering with the effective functioning of the class).  If I have to call a student out for this sort of behavior more than twice during the course of the semester, on the third occasion, the student will be referred to the Department of Student Community Ethics for disciplinary action, and the class participation score will be reduced to zero.


Cell phone/Laptop Policy: 

REGARDING CELL PHONES, YOU ARE ASKED TO KEEP CELL PHONE RINGERS TURNED OFF DURING CLASS TIME AND TO KEEP YOUR PHONE IN YOUR BOOKBAG OR OTHERWISE OUT OF VIEW WHILE CLASS IS IN SESSION.  If I see a cell phone out during the administration of an exam, I will assume it is being used for inappropriate purposes and the student’s grade will reflect the cheating/plagiarism policy as detailed above.  In the event of an unusual, legitimate circumstance(such as a medical emergency with a friend or family member)  where you need to have access to your phone during class time, please inform me of this at the beginning of class and take your phone outside the classroom if you need to use it.

            Laptops may be used for note-taking purposes only.  If I find you surfing the web, updating your Facebook page, or engaging in similar types of activities during class time, you will be asked to leave your computer at home from that point on, and your class participation score will be reduced to zero.  There should be no need for your laptop to be out on exam days.    

Attendance:  Attendance is required.  It is also extremely beneficial, as issues will often be discussed in class that are not specifically covered in the text.  If you miss class, I highly recommend that you make arrangements to copy a classmate's notes.  While I am happy to clarify issues students may be unsure about after they have copied someone else's notes, I do not provide private lectures, nor do I give out my lecture notes.  I will be taking roll every day in order to promote satisfactory attendance.  Consistently good attendance throughout the semester (3 or fewer absences) may be rewarded with a bonus being added to one's final average if the student has also contributed to the class actively during the semester. On the other hand, poor attendance will harm your class participation grade; one cannot participate in class discussions if one is not in class.  Each student is entitled to 3 absences during the semester; beyond those absences, points will be deducted from the student’s class participation score in proportion to the total number of absences incurred during the semester (including the first 3).  For example, if a student misses 3 or fewer classes during the semester, that student is eligible to earn full credit in terms of class attendance.  If a student misses 4 classes during the semester, that student will be eligible to earn no higher than 87% on his/her attendance score; if a student misses 5 classes, that student will be eligible to earn no higher than 83% on his/her attendance score, etc.  Class meetings begin at 12:35. You are expected to be in class and ready to begin class discussions at that time. Tardiness is rude and distracting to both the instructor and other students in class. If you come into class after I have finished taking the roll for the day, you will be marked absent for that class period. That absence will count towards the three absences you are allowed during the semester.

  In accordance with North Carolina’s newly enacted law related to religious observances, students may advise the appropriate University administrator (Dr. Fred Hinson) of their intention to claim one or both of the excused absences allowed for religious observances during the course of the academic year.  Assuming all required paperwork is submitted according to the designated timeline (at least 2 weeks prior to the absence) students will be allowed to submit required assignments prior to their missing class.  However, that absence/those two absences will count towards the 3 absences which students are allowed during the course of the semester. 


Americans with Disabilities Act Policy:  I abide by the University’s policy regarding ADA compliance:  “Western Carolina University is committed to providing equal educational opportunities for students with documented disabilities.  Students who require disability services or reasonable accommodations must identify themselves as having a disability and provide current diagnostic documentation to Disability Services.  All information is confidential.  Please contact Lance Alexis for more information.  Phone: (828) 227-7234; E-mail:”  


Inclement Weather Policy:  In the event of inclement weather, please check the class web site and your Catamount email account regarding the status of class meetings.  If I am unable to make it to campus I will make every effort to notify you in a timely manner.  If there are no special messages related to class, assume we will be meeting, but use your own best judgment related to your safety in coming to campus yourself.  

Grading Scale: A+=98-100; A=93-97; A- =90-92; B+ =88-89; B=83-87; B- = 80-82; C+ =78-79; C=73-77; C- = 70-72; D+ 68-69; D=63-67; D- = 60-62; F=0-59.


Course Schedule: Below is a tentative course schedule for the semester. All dates and material are subject to change with the advance notice of the instructor.  Additional reading material may be assigned during the semester, with the advance notice of the instructor.


Tuesday, August 24:  First day class meets Introduction, distribution of syllabus


Thursday, August 26:  What is Globalization? 

            Readings: and

            Sernau:  Introduction


Friday, August 27 (5 pm):  Drop/Add ends


Tuesday, August 31:  Is Globalization Good or Bad?

            Readings: by Weber et al. “How Globalization Went Bad.”  Foreign Policy.  January/February 2007. by Robyn Meredith and Suzanne Hoppough.  “Why Globalization is Good.”  Forbes.  16 April 2007.    


Thursday, September 2:  America and Globalization

            Readings: by Fareed Zarkaria.  “The Rise of the Rest.”  Newsweek, 12 May 2008. 


Friday, September 3:  Last day to apply for December graduation


Monday, September 6:  No classes; Labor Day holiday.  Enjoy!!


Tuesday, September 7:  Poverty and Development

            Readings:  Sernau, Chapter 1

            Homework due:  Political ideologies


Thursday, September 9:  Global Financial Institutions

            Readings:  Sernau, Chapter 2


Tuesday, September 14:  Is Wal-Mart Good for America? 


Thursday, September 16:  Global opportunities at WCU


Tuesday, September 21:  Test 1

Study Abroad Fair at WCU, UC Grandroom 10:00-3:00/ Fifth Week Grading


Thursday, September 23:  Gender and Family Issues/ Fifth Week Grading

            Readings:  Sernau, Chapter 3


Tuesday, September 28:  Glass Ceilings—the Role of Female Leadership in the World


Thursday, September 30:  Education in a Globalized World

            Readings:  Sernau, Chapter 4


Tuesday, October 5:  Education Policy in the US—Title 9


Thursday, October 7:  Crime in a Globalized World and the Mexican Drug War

            Readings:  Sernau, Chapter 5


Tuesday, October 12:  Test 2


Thursday, October 14:  Fall Break!  Enjoy!! 


Tuesday, October 19:  Fall Break!  Enjoy!!


Thursday, October 21:  War in a Globalized World

            Readings:  Sernau, Chapter 6


Tuesday, October 26:  The Ethics of War

            Readings:  “Closing Guantanamo.”  CQ Researcher.  27 February 2009.          “Treatment of War Prisoners.”  CQ Researcher.  12 July 1967. 

Articles may accessed from the WCU library e-journals A-Z database link from the library’s main page. 



Thursday, October 28:  Nationalism, Democracy and Human Rights in a Globalized World

            Readings:  Sernau, Chapter 7

            Homework:  News analysis


Tuesday, November 2:  Election Day!!  Please go vote! 

            Chapter 7 continued


Wednesday, November 3:  Advising Day; all classes canceled


Thursday, November 4:  Religion and Ethnicity in a Globalized World

            Readings:  Sernau, Chapter 8

            “The Clash of Civilizations” by Samuel Huntington.  Foreign Affairs.  Summer 1993: 22-49.


Friday, November 5:  Last day for an automatic W in a class (5 pm)


Tuesday, November 9:  Terrorism in a Globalized World

            Readings:  “Blowing Up an Assumption” by Robert Pape:  The New York Times.  May 18, 2005. 

            “The Moral Logic and Growth of Suicide Terrorism” by Scott Atran:  The Washington Quarterly 29:2, Spring 2006: 127-147. 


Thursday, November 11:  Veterans Day/Review and Catch up


Sunday, November 14 (or 21) – Sunday, December 5:  Online course evaluations available


Tuesday, November 16:  Test 3


Thursday, November 18:  Demographic Patterns and Changes in a Globalized World

            Readings:  Sernau, Chapter 10


Tuesday, November 23:  Urbanization in a Globalized World

            Readings:  Sernau, Chapter 9


Thursday, November 25:  Thanksgiving break!  Enjoy!!






Tuesday, November 30:  Technology and the Search for Energy in a Globalized World

            Readings:  Sernau, Chapter 11

            “Ensuring Energy Security” by Daniel Yergin.  Foreign Affairs.  March/April 2006: 28-36. 

            “Offshore Drilling.”   CQ Researcher.  25 June 2010.   Article may accessed from the WCU library e-journals A-Z database link from the library’s main page. 


Thursday, December 2:  Chapter 11 continued


Friday, December 3:  Last day for a medical, legal, administrative or mental health withdrawal  (5 pm)

Tuesday, December 7:  Environmental Sustainability in a Globalized World

            Readings:  Sernau, Chapter 12

            “The Tragedy of the Commons”  by Garrett Hardin, Science, 162(1968):1243-1248.


Thursday, December 9:  Conclude/Review


Thursday, December 16:  Final Exam 3:00-5:30