PSCI 4703 Alternative World Futures

About the Course

Aims to help students think about the future of the world in a systematic way. Focuses on alternative projections and policies dealing with major problems. Teaches students how observations about how events are linked lead to beliefs about the world and eventually theories, practices, and policies. Prerequisite: PSCI 2223 and junior or senior standing.


  1. Recognize the effect of assumptions on different views of the world
  2. Explain the role of theory in understanding the world
  3. Compare the differences among the theories
    • Identify the assumptions that frame the theory
    • Relate how assumptions result in different perspectives about the world
    • Examine the accuracy and validity of these assumptions

Grade Breakdown

Points are allocated based on the following:

Module I Critical Paper 20 points
Module II Critical Paper 20 points
Module III Critical Paper 20 points
Reading Analyses
Module II 10 points
Module III 10 points
On-line participation 20 points

Total 100 points

Required Text

Forbidden Fruit: Counterfactuals and International Relations Richard Ned Lebow Princeton University Press (January 18, 2010)

International Relations Theory (5th Edition) [Paperback] Paul R. Viotti (Author), Mark V. Kauppi (Author) Pearson; 5 edition (February 24, 2011)

Instructor Contact


I am a member of the political science faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder and regularly teach courses in conflict and security studies. While my Bachelor’s degree was a concentration in engineering, my masters’ are in managerial science from Troy State University, and international relations from Salve Regina University. My Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Boulder focused on political psychology and foreign policy decision making.

After graduating from the U.S. Military Academy, my military career included assignments as an operations officer from brigade to theater Army level in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. My final assignment was as a Senior Plans and Policy analyst at Headquarters, US Army Europe where I dealt with issues related to the end of the Cold War including political violence and force transition. Additionally, I was an analyst on a number of special study groups including the Defense Department’s Joint Low Intensity Conflict Study Group, the Army War College’s Living Expert System (Senior Leader Decision Support System) Concept Study Group, and the Military Forces in Preventive Diplomacy Study Group.

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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