Document Type

Undergraduate Syllabus


Fall 2018



Course Number

DIPL 2101

Course Description

This course surveys the cultural, ethnic/national, and socio-demographic variables ( and related political and economic factors) shaping the contemporary world and their impact on international relations. Topics to be covered include the recent emergence of politicized ethnic and other parochial loyalties around the world, including post-colonial states in Asia and Africa. Also included is the impact of post-Cold War developments on the revival of ethnicity and nationalism around the globe. Related theories and perspectives that explain the recent revival of ethnic, racial, religious, and linguistic differences will also be briefly explored.

Furthermore, the course will explore in greater detail a few important cases, where ethnicity and nationalism have been salient politically. These include, Quebec, South Africa, the former Yugoslavia, "Kurdistan" (Iraq and Turkey), Ukraine, and South Sudan. The cases have been selected for various reasons, including:

(1) Representativeness: taken together, the cases are broadly representative of current ethno-nationalist currents around the world.

(2) Currency: each case may be understood in the context of the emerging New World Order and global governance. That is, each has been affected by post-Cold War developments.

(3) Contrast: Canada and South Africa have so far managed issues related to their multiculturalism in a civil way. However, in the remaining cases ("Kurdistan," the former Yugoslavia, Ukraine, and South Sudan), ethnic/national conflicts have been violent and the prevailing ethnic/cultural divide has resulted in problems of mammoth proportions.

Students will also have the opportunity to explore additional cases in-depth through student• led research ... The cases will be assigned to groups of three students, who will each conduct detailed study on the nature, evolution, causes, dynamics, actors, and attempted resolution mechanisms in each.

In summary, this course surveys national and ethnic identities around the globe and their impact on the human condition. The instructor hopes that, by the end of the semester, each student will have developed a heightened interest in the study of the politics of cultural pluralism, and an appreciation of the extent to which ethnicity and other cultural cleavages have become salient since the end of the Cold War.