This is the syllabus from the last time I taught POS 3931 (Broward Hall Seminar in International Affairs) at Florida State University. This was a unique course for a specialized FSU program and there is no corresponding course or program at the University of North Texas, so I may never teach this course again.

POS 3931/06: Broward Hall Seminar in International Affairs

Dr. Paul Hensel
Phone: 644-7318
Office: 563 BEL

Course Description

The Broward Hall Public Affairs Living-Learning Community is made up of 132 residents who have an interest in public and international affairs. The purpose of this course is to provide a forum for these students to investigate and discuss critical issues in international affairs, such as the war on terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, international trade policy, and global warming; a similar course in the spring semester will focus on critical issues in domestic public affairs. We will read several articles with opposing viewpoints on each issue, and will then discuss the issue in class.

Like the Broward Hall Program more generally, this course is nonpartisan in nature and will not be guided by any single political perspective or agenda. There will be an emphasis on serious consideration of each side of the issue, with the goal of developing a more complete understanding of its complexities and possible consequences (rather than blindly accepting something that we heard from a friend, relative, or politician). Keeping this in mind, students must come to class prepared to discuss the readings, and must participate constructively in the class discussion. Please keep your comments and discussion civil, giving your classmates' views the same respect and consideration that you expect them to give to your own views.

Required Texts

One book is required for this course. It should be available at either the FSU Bookstore or any Bill's Bookstore location, as well as at online bookstores such as and

Gregory M. Scott, Randall J. Jones Jr., and Louis S. Furmanski (2004). 21 Debated Issues in World Politics, 2nd edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Course Requirements

(1) Preparation and Attendance: Students are expected to complete the assigned readings before class and participate actively in class discussion. Equally important, though, is maintaining a civil environment where students can discuss the issues like mature adults, without being interrupted by their colleagues' behavior or being criticized for holding unpopular views. If you do not feel that you can handle this level of discussion, please do not attend class and ruin the environment for those who really want to be here.

(1) Examinations: Two noncumulative exams are required. The first exam will be given in class on Monday, October 17; the second exam will be given in the regular class room on Wednesday, December 14, from 5:30-7:30 PM (the assigned time for the course's final exam). Each exam will be worth 1/3 of the total course grade.

(3) Attendance at Broward Hall Events: One of the central components of the Broward Hall program is the series of events and activities that are available only to Program participants. Roughly 8-12 events are held each semester, including three speakers in the Broad International Lecture Series; the events cover a variety of topics related to public and international affairs, and many will be held inside Broward Hall itself. Students in this course are required to attend four of these events during the semester, which counts for 1/3 of the course grade; attendance will be measured by a signup sheet at each event. To give students additional incentive to attend events beyond the first four, extra credit will be offered for every event attended beyond the first four (with each additional event counting for 2% extra credit toward the overall course grade).

Rest of Syllabus

The remainder of the syllabus -- course rules, notes about the academic honor code and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and assigned readings -- is only available in the complete syllabus (in PDF format). Be sure to print out that complete syllabus and be familiar with it, so that you do not fall behind or miss any assignments during the semester.
Last updated: 30 July 2018
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