DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS


The International Relations program seeks to educate students through a traditional liberal arts and interdisciplinary curricula. The program is committed to teaching skills in critical and perspectival thinking, problem solving, communication, research, teamwork, and communication technology.

The program is structured with a set of general core course requirements, which students should complete by the beginning of their junior year. Additionally, students take courses in three of the IR fields in which the student chooses to concentrate (Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution, International Law and Organizations, International Political Economy, International Relations and History). Finally, in consultation with their advisor, students select courses as International Relations Electives.

The program is ideal for those who want to pursue careers in diplomacy, media, local and national government, and international and non-governmental organizations. It is also an excellent stepping stone toward graduate programs in international relations, history, political science, public administration, law, and business. It is strongly recommended that a student majoring in International Relations also minor in History or Arabic.

Mission Statement

The Department of International Relations at AUK offers undergraduate students a course of study that focuses on diplomacy, conflict resolution, history, international law and political economy. The curriculum is interdisciplinary in approach and is designed to provide students with theoretical knowledge and practical skills. The program aims to serve the University’s liberal arts model of higher education by encouraging creativity, critical analysis, and research. Graduates are prepared to become life-long learners, role models and leaders.

Values

The Department of International Relations at the American University of Kuwait adheres to the values embraced by the University, namely freedom of expression, intellectual inquiry, individual rights and cultural diversity. The Department also upholds strong moral principles and integrity, and high professional standards and ethics.

Vision

The Department of International Relations aspires to create an innovative and challenging learning environment that prepares students to influence a diverse and changing global arena.

Bachelor of Arts in International Relations


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the AUK major in International Relations, the student will be able to:

  • Examine diverse theories and perspectives of international relations.
  • Identify problems, issues, patterns and questions relevant to the study of international politics.
  • Apply research methods involved in the study of contemporary international relations.
  • Assess both qualitative and quantitative data relevant to different political and economic systems and their institutional arrangements.
  • Apply critical thinking and writing skills when analyzing political and economic problems, issues, and arguments in a variety of local, national, regional, and international contexts.
  • Reconstruct concepts, models, and theories of international relations.
  • Communicate decisions as leaders in the national, regional, and international arena.

University Degree Requirements (124 Credit Hours)

To receive the degree of Bachelor of Arts with a major in International Relations, students must complete at least 124 credit hours. Students should be mindful of the College requirement that a minimum of 36 hours of upper-level (300-level and above) courses must be completed at AUK. Twenty-seven (27) of these upper-level hours need to be taken in the IR major.

General Education Requirements (49)
Major Requirements composed of: (48)
  Core Courses (18)
  Area Studies Courses (27)
  Capstone (3)
International Relations Electives (12))
Free Electives (15)
     

Major Requirements (48 Credit Hours)

Major requirements include 6 required core courses (18 credit hours), followed by 9 Area Studies courses (27 credit hours) in “Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution,” “International Law and Organizations,” “International Political Economy,” and “International Relations and History,” and one (3 credit hours) capstone:

Core Course Requirements (18 credit hours)
Students must take the following core courses (18 credit hours):
HIST 105 World History Since 1900 (3)[S]
HIST 201 History and Politics of Kuwait (3)[S]
IR101 Introduction to International Relations (3)[S]
IR 210 Methods of Research in International Relations (3)[S]
IR 202 Trends in International Relations (3)[S]
IR 206 International Political Economy (3)[S]

Field Concentrations (27 Credit Hours)

Students are also expected to take 9 (27 credit hours) additional upper-division (300-level or above) courses, three courses from each of the three fields in which the student chooses to concentrate. Students may select, with the approval of their advisor, special topic courses in either History (HIST 389) or International Relations (IR 389) or American Studies (AMST 389) to fulfill Field Concentration requirements.

Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution
AMST 409 American Foreign Policy Since World War II (3)
IR 307 International Relations of Arab States (3)[S]
IR 310 20th Century Arab Middle East (3)[S]
IR 345 Conflict Resolution (3)[S]
IR 386 Perspectives on US Foreign Policy in Middle East (3)[S]
PLSC 321 Islamic Political Philosophy (3)[S]
PLSC 322 Western Political Theory (3)[S]
PLSC 327 Comparative Ethnicity, Identity, and Ethnic Conflict (3)[S]
     
International Law and Organizations  
IR 339 International Organizations (3)[S]
IR 341 Public International Law (3)[S]
IR 342 International Human Rights (3)[S]
IR 343 Terrorism and International Law (3)[S]
     
International Political Economy  
HIST 401 Economic History: 20th Century (3)
IR 309 Dynamics of Globalization (3)[S]
IR 306 Global Political Economy (3)[S]
IR 412 Sustainable Development (3)[S]
PLSC 405 Comparative Economic and Political Systems (3)[S]
     
International Relations and History  
AMST 333 American Culture (3)[S]
HIST 303 Ancient History (3)[S]
HIST 305 History of the Islamic World (622-1800) (3)[S]
HIST 307 Arab History (1798-1923) (3)[S]
HIST 311 Ottoman History (1400-1923) (3)[S]
HIST 317 Topics in English/British History (3)[S]
HIST 401 Economic History: 20th Century (3)
HIST 421 Intellectual History (3)
HIST 430 Oral History (3)
     
Capstone (3 Credit Hours)  
In consultation with his/her advisor, students should take one of the following IR Capstone courses during their senior year.
IR 485 Senior Seminar in Conflict Resolution (3)
IR 486 Senior Seminar in International Law & Organizations (3)
IR 487 Senior Seminar in International Political Economy (3)
     

International Relations Electives (12 Credit Hours)

Students must choose 4 courses (12 credit hours), in consultation with their academic advisor, from the following prefix designations: AMST, COMM, HIST, IR, PLSC, and SBSA. Students may also substitute courses approved by the Department Chair from the following prefix designations: ECON, FRNC, ITAL, PHIL and SPAN.

Free Electives (15 Credit Hours)

Majors are expected to take 5 courses (15 credits hours) of their choice from among courses in the CAS or CBE.

 

International Relations 2015-2016 4 Year Plan*

At least 36 credit hours must be at the 300-400 level
YEAR 1 SEMESTER 1
Prefix Number Title Prerequisites
UNIV 100 Essentials of Learning
ENGL 100 Foundations of Academic Reading and Writing
IR 101 Introduction to International Relations
General Arabic Language Requirement
General Math Requirement
       
YEAR 1 SEMESTER 2
Prefix Number Title Prerequisites
ENGL 101 Approaches to Critical Reading and Writing
HIST 105 World History since 1900
General Lab Science Requirement
General Math Requirement
General Arabic Culture Requirement
       
YEAR 2 SEMESTER 1
Prefix Number Title Prerequisites
ENGL 102 Writing and Information Literacy
UNIV 110 University, Community, and Citizenship
IR 202 Trends in International Relations
IR 210 Methods of Research in International Relations
General Science Requirement
General Social Science Requirement
       
YEAR 2 SEMESTER 2
Prefix Number Title Prerequisites
HIST 201 History and Politics of Kuwait
IR 206 International Political Economy
IR Field Concentration
General CSIS Requirement
General Social Science Requirement
       
YEAR 3 SEMESTER 1
Prefix Number Title Prerequisites
IR Field Concentration
IR Field Concentration
IR Elective
General Humanities Requirement
Elective Free Elective
       
YEAR 3 SEMESTER 2
Prefix Number Title Prerequisites
IR Field Concentration
IR Elective
General Humanities Requirement
Elective Free Elective
Elective Free Elective
       
YEAR 4 SEMESTER 1
Prefix Number Title Prerequisites
IR Capstone
IR Field Concentration
IR Field Concentration
IR Field Concentration
Elective Free Elective
       
YEAR 4 SEMESTER 2
Prefix Number Title Prerequisites
IR Field Concentration
IR Field Concentration
IR Elective
IR Elective
Elective Free Elective

Minor in History (18 Credit Hours)


Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the AUK History minor, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a basic historical understanding of modern world history
  • Acquire familiarity with the uses of historical comparison as an analytic tool
  • Demonstrate the capacity to deal with differences in interpretation
  • Demonstrate an ability to recognize and interpret multiple forms of evidence (textual, visual, oral, statistical, artifacts from material culture)
  • Apply basic historical methods of research
  • Recognize the distinction between primary and secondary sources, understand how each are used to make historical claims

Students wishing to minor in History are required to take 6 courses (18 credit hours) of which at least 3 courses (9 credits hours) must be taken at AUK. Students must complete 3 core courses (9 credit hours):

HIST 105 World History Since 1900 (3)[S]
HIST 205 Modern Europe (3)[S]
     
and one of the following:
HIST 110 Twentieth Century Middle East (3)[S]
HIST 201 History and Politics of Kuwait (3)[S]
     
*Since some history courses at AUK do not carry the HIST prefix, non HIST-prefix history courses are listed below and may be counted toward the Minor in History:
AMST 121 US History Since 1900 (3)[S]
AMST 220 Early American Political History (3)[S]
AMST 402 American Social History in the Twentieth Century (3)
AMST 409 American Foreign Policy Since WWII (3)
IR 400 Colonialism (3)
     

Students must also take an additional three 300-level or above HIST courses (9 credit hours) and/or history courses which are 300-level and above in AMST or IR.

Minor in International Relations (18 Credit Hours)

Students wishing to minor in International Relations are required to take 6 courses (18 credit hours) of which at least 3 courses (9 credits hours) must be taken at AUK. Students must complete the following four core courses (12 credit hours):

HIST 201 History and Politics of Kuwait (3)[S]
IR 101 Introduction to International Relations (3)[S]
IR 202 Trends in International Relations (3)[S]
  AND  
PLSC 203 Comparative Politics (3)[S]
  OR  
IR 206 International Political Economy (3)[S]
     
Students must also take an additional two 300-level or above courses (6 credit hours) in the following prefixes: AMST, HIST, IR, and PLSC. Students may also substitute one upper-level course approved by the minor’s Program Lead from the following prefix designations: ECON, PHIL, and SBSA.

Internship


The internship is a practicum course that explores International Relations through a variety of work experiences, both governmental and non-governmental. Students are expected to perform work for academic credit and submit, as part of their course requirements, written evaluative reports based on their experiences under the guidance of faculty of the Department of IR, as well as an oral presentation at the end of the internship. Students with a general average of at least “C” at the beginning of the senior year may petition the department for internship approval.

Grading

The grading scale used will be the standard scale for the department of IR. Grades will be determined as follows:

1) Field experience report 35%
2) Midterm Observations and Reflections 25%
3) Learning Logs 15%
4) Presentation to the Program/Division 25%

Major Assignments

Field Experience Report: Students are required to turn in a comprehensive report that describes their field experience. Early in the semester, students will receive detailed information regarding the expectations with respect to compiling their report.

Midterm Observations and Reflections: The on-site supervisor will make the initial assessment and forward this to the 470 instructor. Students must meet with their coordinating 470 instructor halfway through the internship to discuss their progress. Within one week following the observation, students should submit a brief reflection paper (3-4 pages typed, double-spaced, 12 pt. font) to the professor who observed them. Students’ reflection papers should contain their own critical reflection on their learning experience.

Learning Logs: The learning log is designed to be an ongoing collection of students’ day-to-day work in the course and their own self-assessment of that work, as well as a record of their growth in understanding during the course. This will also help in future review of activities during the internship.

Intern’s Internship Final Report: At the end of the student’s period of work, the student is required to present a Report of Activity. The report is to record the activities that the student has completed. The report is reviewed by the 470 instructor. Additions may be requested after discussions with the student.

Presentation to the Program: Students must prepare an oral presentation for the Program.

Final Assessment

The final assessment begins with the on-site supervisor, who submits his/her report to the 470 instructor. The 470 instructor then confirms the on-site supervisor’s assessment; and if necessary, discusses it with the on-site supervisor.

The 470 instructor takes into account all the above mentioned points for grading (see Grading) and then submits the final grade.

Overall Assessment

The most positive assessment of the student comes when the student is either encouraged to return to the company where the internship is carried out; or as may happen in rare cases, the student is offered immediate employment.

The most important assessment for the student is his/her understanding of the differences in the work day between the tasks and deadlines in the academic environment and the tasks and deadlines in the work environment.

Guidelines

  1. A student with a departmental average of at least “C” at the beginning of the senior year may elect to pursue an INTERNSHIP COURSE.

  2. The Department of IR sets the standards for the internship and reserves the right to decide on the suitability of the work experience.

  3. The Department of IR may assist students to find suitable employment.

  4. Students are encouraged to find their own placements. However, the Department of IR must be advised before a student approaches a prospective organization.

  5. The 470 instructor will visit the place of work where the student will be working to determine if the environment is suitable and that the nature of the work and place of the work are in synergy

  6. Contact will be established between the 470 instructor and on-site supervisor to ensure that if any problems arise during the internship, there is a clear understanding of the roles each party will play to ensure that the student has a quality learning experience.

  7. A placement is not secured until it has been approved by the Department of IR’s Internship Coordinator and the Department Chair, and the student has signed and returned the Student Internship Agreement.

  8. A student must secure an internship for the entire semester.

  9. Students should work at least 2.5 hours per week for 1 credit hour; 5 hours per week for 2; and 7.5 hours per week for 3. A maximum of 3 credit hours (taken in increments of 1, 2, or 3 credit hours) may be applied toward any one major, if the major requires an internship. If a student takes an additional 1-3 credit hours of internship, those credits may be counted towards a student’s second major, minor, or as free electives.

  10. Students are required to work with the 470 instructor at least once a week to report on progress and activity.

  11. Any student who is dismissed from his/her internship must notify the Internship Coordinator immediately, who, in turn, will notify the Department Chair. The student must then withdraw from the 470 course when dismissed if dismissal takes place before the withdrawal deadline. Failure to do so within a reasonable amount of time will result in a failing grade.

  12. All students will be treated equally and given the same opportunities.

Attendance

In accordance with AUK policy, the expectation is that students will be present, on time, and prepared for every class meeting with the 470 instructor. Students are also required to be present, on time, and prepared for their internship.

Writing Standards and Academic Integrity

The quality of students’ ideas, as well as their presentations, will be taken into consideration when assigning grades. They are expected to produce written documents that include no spelling errors, and are easily read, well-organized, clearly understood, and grammatically correct. Students are encouraged to use the grammar and spell-check capabilities of their word-processor, and to ask their peers or staff from the AUK Writing Center to proof-read their papers prior to submitting them to the professor. In accordance with AUK policy, a student’s grade on any assignment may be reduced if s/he fails to attend to these aspects of his/her written assignments. Furthermore, the university policy on academic integrity will be strictly adhered to in this course

Faculty


AL-AWADI, Hesham, Associate Professor of Political Science and History; Ph.D., 2003, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.

AL-NAKIB, Farah, Assistant Professor of History; Ph.D., 2011, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK.

HAMZEH, Nizar, President, Professor of Political Science and International Law; Ph.D., 1986, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.

IRANI, George Emile, Associate Professor of International Relations; Ph.D., 1984, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA.

KULCHITSKY, Dmytro Roman, Department Chair, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and International Relations; Ph.D., 2001, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA.

VATANDOUST, Gholamreza, Associate Professor of History; Ph.D., 1977, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.

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