POL 309 surveys the nature and purposes of international law, a body of rules and principles that help international actors manage their relations with one another. As the semester progresses, we'll explore key issues and consequences of international law, addressing in the process a range of topics including treaties, international courts, jurisdiction, immunities, the law of the sea, human rights, the environment, and the use of force.
This syllabus should tell you all the basic stuff you need to know to succeed POL 309, and you'll be held accountable for all the information it contains. I reserve the right to modify the syllabus as the semester progresses, but I'll consult you before making any changes that could impact your grade and announce notable revisions in class.
When you finish this course, I hope you'll be able to:
I'll do my best to help you achieve these goals, as well as others you might have for this class. Toward that end, I hope you'll help me create a class environment that's conducive to learning and consistent with SUNY Oswego's non-discrimination policy. Please keep in mind, as well, your Oswego Forward pledge to "show kindness, empathy and respect toward [yourself] and all members of the community."
I expect you to attend class, participate actively, and make needed arrangements if you're absent. Participation is a graded assignment in POL 309 and, of course, you can't participate if you don't attend class. Note that you'll be held accountable for whatever happens in class, whether or not you attend.
Our class sessions will be conducted via Zoom. I can't require you to turn on your camera during class, but I strongly encourage you to do so. If you choose to attend as a "black box" and I'm met with silence when I ask you a question, I reserve the right to eject you from the meeting and mark you absent for the day in question.
I'll use a headset during class and you're welcome to do the same. Using headphones, a mic, or a headset could make it easier for you to participate in group discussions and focus on the day's proceedings, which might help you improve your participation grade.
We'll be using two textbooks for this class:
Epps, Valerie, John Cerone, and Brad R. Roth. 2019. International Law. 6th ed. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.
Turabian, Kate L. 2018. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 9th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
The first book is our main text, which we'll read cover to cover. The second is a reference tool for your written assignments.
The graded assignments for this class are:
Detailed requirements and expectations for each assignment will be discussed in class. Basic requirements, essential guidelines, and submission due dates are posted on the assignments page.
Written assignments must be typewritten and double-spaced, using a single standard font with 1-1.25" margins. Chapter Papers and Reflection Papers also must include a typed word count.
Chapter Papers additionally must include parenthetical citations and a reference list that conform fully to the author-date style detailed in Chs. 18-19 of Turabian's Manual for Writers. (Expect to receive a zero on any Chapter Paper that's missing either parenthetical citations or a reference list.)
All written assignments must be submitted as PDF file attachments, with your surname appearing as the first word in your PDF file name. Upload your files via Direct Message in Slack or email them to my "oswego" address, from your own "oswego" account. (Note: I will not fetch files from Google Drive.)
I reserve the right to refuse any late submission, as well as any submission that doesn't fully conform to relevant requirements and guidelines for the assignment in question.
I'll be happy to discuss any graded assignment with you, at any time. Before you submit an assignment, I can answer questions, discuss ideas, comment on a rough draft, etc. After I return an assignment, I can clarify why you received a particular grade, explore strategies for future improvement, etc. But I'll only provide such feedback during a real-time conversation (via Slack or Zoom). So be sure you plan far enough ahead to meet with me, and possibly make revisions, before your assignment is due.
SUNY Oswego is committed to Intellectual Integrity. Any form of intellectual dishonesty is a serious concern and therefore prohibited. As a student here, you're expected to fully adhere to the College Policy on Intellectual Integrity, according to which you're personally responsible "to assist in protecting the integrity of the degrees which this College grants by (1) not participating, either directly or indirectly, in intellectual dishonesty in any form, (2) actively discouraging intellectual dishonesty by others, and (3) reporting to the course instructor in a timely manner any known incidents of intellectual dishonesty."
By submitting your first assignment for grading, you formally acknowledge that you fully understand the college policy including relevant definitions, consequences, and procedures. If you cheat, plagiarize, or otherwise engage in proscribed behavior, I reserve the right to take any punitive action allowed by the university. I'll address incidents on a case-by-case basis, but you should expect to receive a failing grade in POL 309 for any infraction.
Your course grade will be determined by the number of points you accrue during the semester, as follows:
470-500 = A
450-469 = A-
435-449 = B+
420-434 = B
400-419 = B-
385-399 = C+
370-384 = C
350-369 = C-
335-349 = D+
320-334 = D
300-319 = D-
0-299 = E
Generally speaking, "outstanding" (A-quality) work is more well informed, thoughtfully considered, analytically sophisticated, and clearly presented than "above average" (B-quality) or "average" (C-quality) work. Outstanding written assignments also should contain only a handful of honest writing mistakes and meet relevant structural requirements (including fully proper citation formatting).
If you need some extra help, just let me know and I'll do my best to assist you; I'm glad to address any course-related questions or concerns you might have. That said, I'll assume you're doing as well as you'd like in this class unless you tell me otherwise.
I won't be on campus this semester, but I'll be available for online meetings and conversations. My office hours are 11:20-12:40 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, during which time you can chat with me on Slack or Zoom. (I also tend to keep an eye on Slack and email while I'm working, which is most weekdays.)
Feel free to email me, call me, DM me on Slack, or request a meeting at any time. I'll do my best to respond within 24 hours, Monday through Friday, or within 48 hours on Saturday or Sunday. I don't work evenings or weekends, so please note that and plan accordingly.
If you have a disabling condition that could interfere with your ability to successfully complete this class, please contact the Office of Accessibility Resources (155 Marano Campus Center, 315.312.3358, firstname.lastname@example.org).
SUNY Oswego is committed to enhancing the safety and security of the campus for all its members. In support of this, faculty may be required to report their knowledge of certain crimes or harassment. Reportable incidents include harassment on the basis of sex or gender prohibited by Title IX and crimes covered by the Clery Act. For more information about Title IX protections, go to https://www.oswego.edu/title-ix/ or contact the Title IX Coordinator, 405 Culkin Hall, 315.312.5604, email@example.com. For more information about the Clery Act and campus reporting, go to the University Police annual report: https://www.oswego.edu/police/annual-report.
Complete any assigned reading before class on the indicated date.
Tue, Mar 23