School navigation

International Affairs

Heather Smith-Cannoy: Teaching

Each of my classes is guided by the philosophy that students learn best through active engagement in the classroom. To that end each class incorporates standard lecture with in-class group work, guided discussion, mock tribunals, short audio clips from National Public Radio and documentaries.     

IA 296: Human Rights and International Politics

The international community has a very mixed record of intervening to quell foreign human rights violations. On the heels of some human rights atrocities states in the international community deploy many of their tools (diplomacy, coercion, sanctions, military intervention) to stop the bloodshed. Yet, in other circumstances the states of the international community bicker and fail to act. Which tools, available to the international community are more effective in combating human rights violations? Why does the international community act in some circumstances but not in others? Topics covered include: the political and judicial enforcement mechanisms available to remedy human rights crises, the dual role of state sovereignty in the protection of human rights, and the future of the International Criminal Court in prosecuting war criminals.       

IA 333: International Law

In this course students will explore the interplay of international law and politics. We will examine the strength of constructivist, realist and neo-liberal accounts of regime emergence, design and governance in a variety of institutions. Students will leave the course better able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the various theories of international politics as they relate to international law. We will use the War on Terror as our lens through which to view changes and challenges to global governance. Other issued covered include: the role of non-state actors in international law, climate change treaty negotiations, the International Criminal Court’s role in Darfur and the rights of migrant workers. Students will serve as justices and advocates, while debating controversial international law issues in a series of mock international tribunals.

IA 100: Introduction to International Relations

Following the global economic collapse and the Arab Spring movement many commentators were left questioning the effects of globalization on international politics. In this course we will use the lens of globalization to examine core concepts and controversies in international politics. Some of the questions we address include: is the world a victim of American cultural imperialism? Is a nuclear Iran a national security threat to the US? Is foreign military intervention justified by widespread human rights abuses? Does trade liberalization contribute to economic prosperity? Students will complete IA 100 with a clear understanding of the core ordering principles in IA, will demonstrate the ability to link core concepts to current political events, and will clearly articulate these understandings orally and in argumentative papers.   

IA 430: International Affairs Seminar

Students in this course are expected to use the skills they have developed as international affairs majors at Lewis & Clark College to craft a senior thesis. The completed thesis should identify a compelling empirical pattern or puzzling question and rely on international affairs literature to seek out answers. At the end of the term students will submit a 25 to 35- page thesis (excluding notes and bibliographic references).