PSCI 3143 Current Affairs in International Relations

Instructor Contact:

Cody Eldredge


About the Course:

This is an advanced course in international relations focusing on contemporary challenges facing the international community. The suggested prerequisite for this course is Introduction to International Relations (PSCI 2223). Students may also benefit from Global Issues and International Affairs (IAFS 1000), as well as other political science courses.

The course is roughly divided into three substantive issue areas: international security, international economics, and the global environment. Within these areas, we will examine theoretical and policy debates surrounding a variety of current global issues. In the first portion of the course, we will investigate: the possible decline of the United States and the rise of China, nuclear proliferation, and violent transnational networks. In the second portion of the course, we examine: international development and foreign aid, international financial crises, and problems associated with multinational corporations. In the final portion of the course, we turn to the environment and investigate global climate change, along with demographic changes and environmental sustainability.


By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Understand and explain a variety of contemporary challenges facing the global community.
  • Analyze and appraise contending policy responses to these challenges by applying theory and weighing relevant evidence.
  • Apply these skills to identifying and evaluating other pressing global issues.
  • Offer critical and informed policy recommendations for addressing contemporary international problems, including in areas not offered in this course.

Required Texts:

No required text.


Final grades will be calculated based on the following five criteria:

  • 20% – Online Discussion (and quizzes)
  • 15% – Short Paper 1
  • 15% – Short Paper 2
  • 25% – Exam 1
  • 25% – Exam 2

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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado