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World Politics

This course is available for both UCC and UCL! Click your program to read the appropriate course description.


Full Name

Dr. Tazreena Sajjad

Course Name

World Politics (UCL)

Course Number

SIS 105

Describe your course. What will the students be studying and learning?

How do we understand and explain the social, political, economic, cultural dynamics that shape our international system? This course is an introduction to the academic study of the practice of International Relations (IR) in the contemporary world. This complex, broad and evolving discipline was initially developed as a response to the problem of war, questions about how to understand the birth of new nation-states in the second half of the twentieth century, maintain interstate relations, manage international institutions and approach political developments within, between and beyond the realm of states. While its disciplinary roots are in history, law, and philosophy, contemporary IR draws upon a wide range of disciplinary frameworks including economics, sociology, and anthropology to reflect on the ordering of our social world and analyze the loci of power. This means it is a diverse field that ranges from examining the different dimensions of terrorism to globalization and its consequences, the spread of diseases, climate control, transnational communication and economic networks, causes and consequences of conflict, and governance structures in transitional democracies. Students will not only learn about specific events as they happen and the broader dynamics at play, but also begin developing and strengthening their critical and analytical skills as well as work on their writing skills.

Why would a first-year student want to take this course? Discuss its uniqueness as part of the University College, your teaching style, and any special opportunities the students may have.

World Politics is a required course for students in SIS--it introduces students to the different lenses through which to understand and engage with issues in the international system that are of interest to them--conflict, environmental challenges, issues of international trade and finance, human rights, and so on. The UC course is a unique opportunity to not just engage with some of the foundational works in the field of IR that help us understand and appreciate the messy, dynamic and interesting world in which we live, but it also gives students an exposure to the exciting world in Washington D.C. through activities outside the classroom. While I guide students through the theoretical frameworks in class through lectures [don't worry, I make them as interesting as possible!], I encourage a lot of student participation--which include asking questions, debating issues with their peers, group work and bringing outside material [world news, films students have seen, and events they have attended] to make the course material engaging and accessible. In short, the two prerequisites for this class are a thirst for knowledge and an interest in international affairs and second, a sense of humor.

What do you like best about teaching first-year students?

First-year students are really special and I truly enjoy working with them. They bring so much curiosity, passion, ambition and drive to the classroom, and are so willing to work hard and have fun at the same time. It’s exciting to see how they view the world when they first enter and how through a course such as World Politics, they deepen and broaden their understanding of a very complex world. It’s rewarding when students develop and strengthen their critical and analytical abilities, when they develop new areas of interest that they wish to pursue in college and are honest about themselves and their learning process. It is truly a wonderful experience to work with young people when they first start college.

Meet the UCL Professor

Tazreena Sajjad Tazreena Sajjad, SIS
Send email EagleNet Id
(202) 885-6572
SIS-School of Intl Service

Full Name

Rosemary Shinko

Course Name

World Politics

Course Number

SISU-105-080UC

How does your University College section of this course differ from a non-University College section?

I take a lot of time to help students learn and practice critical reading, thinking and writing skills. We work together throughout the classes to learn how to become more engaged and active learners. We utilize a variety of informational sources such as documentary films, NYTimes Op Docs, short news segments,video interviews, and a variety of written materials.

How do your Wednesday labs tie into the academic content of your course?

We visit various organizations and governmental institutions, such as the United States Institute of Peace, The Pentagon, State Department, and the Newseum. The labs are designed to afford students an opportunity to gain greater knowledge and depth about a variety of issues and events we have read and discussed in class.

What do you like best about teaching first-year students?

They are so enthusiastic and they want to do well. They are fun and they make teaching a joy.

 Meet the UCL Professor

Rosemary Shinko Rosemary Shinko
Send email EagleNet Id
(202) 885-2467
SIS-School of Intl Service

Full Name

Krista Tuomi

Course Name

World Politics (UCC)

Course Number

SISU-105

Describe your course. What will the students be studying and learning?

“World Politics” serves as your introduction to the realm of International Relations: globalization, terrorism, nationalism, fundamentalism, human rights, global warming and more!

Why would a first-year student want to take this course? Discuss its uniqueness as part of the University College, your teaching style, and any special opportunities the students may have.

Mastering the course will help students become informed citizens, actively engaged in today’s important economic, political and moral debates.

What do you like best about teaching first-year students?

I love exploring students’ unique interests and fostering debate. In other words, there are no passive participants in my classes!

Meet the UCC Professor

Krista L Tuomi Krista L Tuomi, SIS
Send email EagleNet Id
(202) 885-1684
SIS-School of Intl Service