INTERNATIONAL POLITICS: THE RULES OF THE GAME
2018/2019, Semester 1
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (Lee Kuan Yew School Of Public Policy)
Modular Credits: 4
That international politics can be conceived as a game with its own special rules is a truism for most analysts of the subject. Yet there does not exist a list of what the rules of the game are. This course will examine a list of ten possible contenders for inclusion in the list. The class will debate and dissect these “rules,” with the aim of arriving at a mutually agreeable and defensible list of the key rules of the international politics game by the end of the semester.
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
National University of Singapore
International Politics: The Rules of the Game
(Penultimate draft—final changes/tweaks by 10 Aug)
AY 2018-2019, Semester 1, Tuesdays 9-12
That international politics can be conceived as a game with its own special rules is a truism for most analysts of the subject. World leaders repeatedly invoke “the rules of the game” metaphor in their diplomatic entreaties, suggesting it is one of the most beloved metaphors for the way we think about, and practice, international politics. So what are the rules of the game? No one has specified a coherent and defensible list of the key rules. As such, the instructor will provide a list of ten possible contenders, based on his understanding of what makes international politics tick. The course will examine, debate, and dissect these “rules,” with the aim of arriving at a mutually agreeable and defensible list of the key rules of the international politics game by the end of the semester.
Allow students to obtain a critical grasp of the foundational concepts of international politics, such as the key metaphors, assumptions, and units of analysis.
Enable students to achieve an understanding of the pervasiveness, risks, and payoffs of construing international politics as a (metaphorical) game with its own distinctive rules.
Allow students to react critically and creatively to a set of rules provided by instructor, with the aim of coming up with a coherent and justifiable list of the key rules.
Enable students to work as a group to “invent,” articulate, and argue for rules of the game that should be included in any list.
Help develop critical reading, writing, and analytical skills.
THREE 400-500 word reactions
(20% of grade) to the assigned readings.
Class participation throughout semester
Individual Group or individual presentation
s (depending on class size) on alternative rules (30%). Grade based on presentation and report (20%), plus assessment by team members (10%).
4000-5000 word term paper
on any aspect of the course, due
on 19 November, 5 p.m., 2018
Plagiarism and academic honesty
The LKY School’s Academic Code of Conduct lists academic integrity as one of six important values. According to this Code, we have agreed to ‘make every effort to understand what counts as plagiarism and why this is wrong’.
Plagiarism is “The unattributed use of a source of information that is not considered common knowledge. In general, the following acts are considered plagiarism: (1) failing to cite quotations or borrowed ideas, (2) failing to enclose borrowed language in quotation marks, (3) failing to put summaries or paraphrases in your own words, and (4) submitting someone else’s work as your own.”
.) To avoid giving the impression that you are passing off other people’s work as your own, you will need to acknowledge conscientiously the sources of information, ideas, and arguments used in your paper. For this purpose, you can use any well accepted footnoting/referencing style.
The term paper should be processed by turnitin.com before it is submitted.
Week 1 (14 Aug): On metaphors, rules, and games
George Lakoff and Mark Johnson,
Metaphors We Live By
(Chicago:University of Chicago Press, 1980), pp. 3-13, 56-60, 156-158.
John Rawls, “Two Concepts of Rules”
The Philosophical Review
, 64 (1), 1955, Parts III and IV, pp. 18-32.
Rules, norms, and decisions
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), pp. 6-12, 25-30.
Keith Shimko, “Metaphors and Foreign Policy Decision Making”
, 15 (4), 1994, pp. 655-671.
Playing our Game: Why China’s Rise Doesn’t Threaten the West
(New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), Chap. 1, pp. 1-19.
Week 2 (21 Aug): Rule 1: The Players
Statement on Rule 1
The Sovereign State and Its Competitors
University Press, 1994), Chap. 9, pp. 183-194.
Politics among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace
York: Alfred A Knopf, 1978), Chaps 1 and 2, pp. 3-25.
The End of the Nation State
(New York: Free Press, 1995), pp. 1-
Robert O. Keohane and Joseph S. Nye,
Power and Interdependence
1989), Chap 2, pp. 23-37.
Tim Buthe and Walter Mattli,
The New Global Rulers: The Privatization of Regulation in the World Economy
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2011), pp. 1-17.
National Intelligence Council (U.S.),
“Nonstate Actors: Impact on International
Relations and Implications for the United States
(2007), pp. 1-6.
Week 3 (28 Aug): Rules 2 & 3: The nature of sovereignty and equality
Statement on Rules 2 and 3
Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999), Chap. 1, pp. 3-42.
Gareth Evans and Mahamed Sahnoun, “ The responsibility to protect.”
, 81:6, 2002, pp. 99-110.
Tom Ginsburg, “The State of Sovereignty in Southeast Asia”
American Society of International Law Proceedings
(2005), pp. 419-422.
, “US threatens European companies with sanctions after Iran deal pullout” 13 May, 2018.
A New World Order
(Princeton: Princeton University Press
2004), Introduction, pp. 1-35.
Singapore on sovereign equality? NIEO? LKY statement on China wanting equality.
Roland Paris, “Global Governance and Power Politics: Back to Basics,”
Ethics and International Affairs
, December 11, 2015.
Bilahari pieces in his book?
Week 4 (4 Sept): Rules 4 & 5: The lack of an enforcer and the necessity of self-defens
Statement on Rules 4 and 5 [Prime candidate for splitting into 2 sessions if enrolment is small?]
Man State & War
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1959), Conclusion.
Theory of International Politics
(Addison-Wesley), Chap 5.
The Anarchical Society
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1977), Chaps 1 and 2, pp. 3-52.
Hierarchy in International Re
lations (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009), pp. ix-16.
Week 5 (11 Sept):
Rules 6 and 7: On participating in IOs/ROs and integration into world economy
Statement on Rules 6 and 7
The Political Economy of International Relations
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987), Chap 7, pp. 263-305.
One economics, many recipes
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007), Chap 1, pp. 13-55.
Globalization/Brexit: costs of integration: paper by us.
Michael Barnett and Martha Finnemore,
Rules for the World: International
Organizations in Global Politics
(Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2004), pp. 1-15.
Hans Maull, “The European Security Architecture: Conceptual Lessons for Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation,” in Amitav Acharya and Evelyn Goh (eds.),
Reassessing Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific
(Cambridge: MIT Press, 2007), pp. 253-274.
Diplomacy: A Singapore Experience
(Singapore: Straits Times Press, 2011), Chap. 5, pp. 78-103.
Week 6 (18 Sept): Rules 8 and 9: On non-aggression and non-proliferation
Statement on Rules 8 and 9
Just and Unjust Wars
(New York: Basic Books, 1977), Chap 4, pp. 51-73.
Intervention in Contemporary World Politics
(Oxford: Adelphi Paper 350, 2002), Chaps 3-5, pp. 33-76.
Scott Sagan, “Why Do States Build Nuclear Weapons?”
, 21:3, Winter 1996/97, pp. 54-86.
Jack Garvey, “A New Architecture for the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons,”
Journal of Conflict and Security Law
, 12:3, 2007, pp. 339-357.
Kenneth Waltz, “Why Iran should get the bomb,”
, 91:4, 2012, pp. 2-5.
Piece comparing Trump, Iran, and North Korea
Recess Week: (22-30 Sept)
Week 7 (2 Oct): Rule 10: The name of the game
Statement on Rule 10
The Anarchical Society,
Chap. 4, pp. 77-98.
The Tragedy of Great Power Politics
(New York: W.W. Norton, 2001), Chaps 2 and 3, pp. 29-82.
China’s struggle for status: the realignment of international relations
(New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008), Chap 1, pp. 1-20.
Weeks 8-11 (9 Oct, 16 Oct, 23 Oct, 30 Oct): Deducing New Rules of the Game
Individual/Group Presentations: Aim is to identify, present, and defend “rules of the game” that are crucial, but not featured/discussed in the module so far. Presentations are expected to last 20-30 minutes each (depending on class size). Presenters should make the case for the inclusion of a maximum of 2 rules, while also identifying which of the above 10 should be dropped.
Week 12 (6 Nov): Public Holiday Assignment: Selecting Your Final List
Week 13 (13 April): Summing Up: The Final List
Readings to be announced/uploaded in week 12.
Workload Components : A-B-C-D-E
A: no. of lecture hours per week
B: no. of tutorial hours per week
C: no. of lab hours per week
D: no. of hours for projects, assignments, fieldwork etc per week
E: no. of hours for preparatory work by a student per week