This hands-on exercise allows students to relate the concepts and issues at the foundation of global politics to the realities of international politics today. As influential leaders in the fictional world of Politica, each team of students governs a country with a unique history, geography, and culture. The teams must use strategy and negotiation to succeed - and survive - seeking to achieve specific territorial, security, and economic objectives. In the process, they grapple with a range of complex challenges: energy security, ethnic conflict, humanitarian intervention, environmental disaster, terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and more. Students also pursue individual objectives based on the governmental post they hold - and quickly learn that self-interest and national interest are not always compatible. Teams are judged on their effectiveness in meeting stated objectives, but must also relate their practical experience to the academic content of the course. Toward this end, the book provides summaries, analysis, study questions, and additional sources of information for each of the theories and issues encountered during the simulation.
Guidelines for instructors are also included. "International Relations in Action" has been tested in multiple courses, with students and instructors unanimously agreeing that it makes abstract theories practical and accessible, evokes an appreciation for the complexity of international politics, and generates enthusiasm for the study of international relations. In the representative words of one student, "It was the best learning experience I've ever had."
Brock F. Tessman is assistant professor of international affairs at the University of Georgia's School of Public and International Affairs.
Introduction.; PART ONE: Let the Games Begin. Individual and Team Objectives. History and Geography.; PART TWO: Basic Components of the Simulation. Resource Factors. Diplomacy. Trade. Conflict.; PART THREE: The Simulation Scenarios. Alliance Politics. Territorial Disputes. Nuclear Proliferation. Ethnic Conflict. Free Trade vs. Protectionism. natural Resource Politics. Currency Crises. Foreign Aid. Global Security Organizations. International Criminal Courts. Collective Action Problems. Environmental Challenges.