POL 2103 WINTER 2018 Course Page

Global Politics in the News!

Monday, March 26th, 2018: 
Lots to discuss today in our discussion of feminist IR and global politics in the news. For the latter, we will take some time to talk about the fallout of the recent arrest of 
Carles Puigdemont, former leader of the Catalan government (read up here). Then we turn to recent case studies for our tutorial activity on feminist IR, examining first the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (see here), and the recent kidnappings of Nigerian school girls by Boko Haram (see here). To discuss later!

Monday, March 19th, 2018: Two main 'world news' stories we will be discussing today: The election of Vladimir Putin and how this ties in to a range of contemporary geopolitical events; AND Canada's commitment to send peacekeepers to Mali later this year. You can read about these stories here and here, respectively. You may also want to read this backgrounder on Mali's history in preparation for today's team activity.

Monday, March 12th, 2018: If you want a little head-start to today's tutorial, we'll be discussing these current world events: The conflict in eastern GhoutaCanada signs the TPTPP; and the outbreak of violence in Sri Lanka... We'll also be looking at the Government of Canada's response to these world news events (see here).

Monday, February 26th, 2018: Hope you enjoyed your reading week, folks! To be discussed in class today - a debate is brewing on the blog of the academic journal Review of African Political Economy - which is highly relevant to this Unit's topic. John Smith and David Harvey are hammering out their respective understandings of contemporary imperialism. Who do you think gets it right? 
See here for Smith's post; and here for Harvey's response.

Monday, February 12th, 2018: Today for our Global Politics in the News segment we discussed three recent and interrelated news stories:
  • US plans to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem (December 2017)
  • Israel targets ‘Iranian sites’ in Syria after downing drone (Saturday)
  • Putin and Abbas meet in Moscow (today)
How do these stories intersect? And what do they tell us about Abbas' upcoming talk at the United Nations Security Council? To be discussed...

Monday, February 5th, 2018: We spent most of class today on the quiz, but here are the links to the 'Global Politics in the News' discussion we had regarding the current TV-ban in Kenya: 
1. Kenyan Government Defies Court Order to Put TV Stations Back on the Air”: (February 4th): https://goo.gl/6PA32s
2. “2 Kenyan TV channels shut down by government resume broadcasting” (February 5th): https://goo.gl/a83nzh
3. “Kenya’s Government Returns Some TV Stations to the Air” (February 5th): https://goo.gl/WSYT5f

Monday, January 22nd 2018: The World Economic Forum is taking place this week, and one of the key themes to be discussed is growing inequality between the world's richest individuals and poorest masses. We will tackle this question from the point of view of globalization: As this editorial from the Guardian suggests, globalization has played a key role in the structuring of contemporary inequality, and yet - perhaps ironically - the outcome of such economic circumstances put globalism under threat by giving rise to populist and other ideologies. What do you think - what's the interconnection between globalization and inequality? Can we have a more equitable form of globalization in the 21st Century?

Monday, January 15th 2018: It's largely being hailed as a positive development: North Korea will be sending athletes and cheerleaders (and even an art troupe) to the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea. As BBC World reports, there are even discussions regarding the possibility that athletes from the two nations would walk together in the opening ceremonies (though it remains to be seen if this is agreed to...). How might different theories of IR consider this news story?

Monday, January 8th 2018: The pope gave the Vatican's annual foreign policy address today. He spoke to ambassadors from 185 nations around the world, highlighting the need for cooler heads to prevail if we are to avoid the fate the world saw at the beginning of the 20th Century. What do you think, what role ought the pope have in International Relations? What clout does the position carry as a mediator and broker for peace? In what ways does the Vatican differ from other state actors within the international system? Things to consider as we launch into this course!

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