Introduction to International Studies

Humanities & Social Sciences
Political Science
Course Code
INST 1100
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
To understand the political, social, cultural, and economic dimensions of globalization is vital in an increasingly complex and integrated world. This course provides an introduction to key concepts and approaches in international studies using an interdisciplinary approach. The course examines patterns of conflict and cooperation between nations, states, and social and cultural groups within the global system, and focuses on ethnic and religious conflict, human security, the environment, and global economic inequalities. INST 1100 is a core course in the Intercultural and International Studies Associate of Arts Degree.
Course Content

Unit One: Setting the Stage- International Studies and Theory

  1. International Studies: interdisciplinaryapproaches and an introduction to international  studies
  2. Historical context: institutions and history, colonialism and neo-colonialism, hegemonic powers, counter hegemony, the global south
  3. Key concepts: sovereignty, the state, nations, ethnic groups, religion, secularism, realism, nationalism, power, globalization, core-periphery models, development, industrialization, post industrialization, identification of global issues, population and the environment, comparative cultures

Unit Two: Foreign policy-actors and issues

  1. International Law
  2. International Organizations: intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, global social movements
  3. Armed conflict: war, internal violence, contemporary war
  4. Economic relations: trade and business

Unit Three: Contemporary issues

  1. Globalization and Culture: media, digital divide, technological diffusion, political ideologies, religion and secularism, modernization, westernization, cultural imperialism
  2. Environment issues and population growth and consumption; demographic variables and patterns,  urbanization, natural resource use, sustainable development, ecological footprint, global climate change, pollution, deforestation, biodiversity
  3. Human security: freedom from fear, freedom from want, human rights, women's rights, children's rights, indigenous peoples, democratization, global public health issues, humanitarian intervention
    Economic inequality, concepts of development, sources of development assistance, foreign aid, the problem of internal inequality
  4. The individual in global society: intercultural competence, intercultural communication and cultural adjustment
Methods Of Instruction

The course will have a political science instructor and involve guest lectures and seminar discussion by instructors from at least three other relevant disciplines such as: Anthropology, Sociology, Geography, Communications, Literature, Philosophy and Economics. The lead instructor will give lectures, facilitate class discussion, assess student progress and coordinate with the guest lecturers. Where appropriate selected works of literature and audio-visual materials may be used.


Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be based on course objectives and in accordance with the policies of Douglas College. A minimum of 40% of the student’s course grade will be assigned to examinations, a minimum of 30% will be assigned to to a research essay or several short essays, and a maximum of 20% will be based upon components such as quizzes, participation, and class presentations. Specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor in the course outline.

An example of an evaluation scheme:

Midterm Exam                              25%

Two short essays (3-4 pages each) 40%

Final Exam                                   25%

Participation                                 10%      

Total                                           100%

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Explain current theoretical approaches to issues in international studies;
  2. Explore, synthesize, and integrate concepts from two or more disciplines;
  3. Describe the relationships between political, economic, geographical and cultural processes of globalization;
  4. Describe the key features of a variety of global issues;
  5. Apply various theoretical perspectives to an analysis of a variety of contemporary global issues including communal conflicts, international development and economic relations, human security and the environment;
  6. Understand and analyze intercultural competence and challenges in intercultural interactions and adjustment.
Textbook Materials

Texts and course readings will be selected by the lead instructor after consultation with the guest lecturers .A selection of short texts highlighting linguistic and literary expressions of international and intercultural ideas and experience may be used based on consultation with Literature faculty.  Texts will be updated periodically

Examples of texts to be used:

Hebron, Lui and John F. Stack, Jr. Globalization. Second Edition. Toronto: Longman, 2011.

Kelleher, Ann and Laura Klein. Global Perspectives. Fourth Edition. Toronto: Longman, 2011.

Orend, Brian. Introduction to International Studies. Don Mills: Oxford University Press Canada, 2013.

Payne, Richard. Global Issues. Third Edition. Toronto: Longman, 2011.









Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
Alexander College (ALEX) ALEX SOSC 1XX (3) 2016/01/01 to -
Athabasca University (AU) AU POLI 330 (3) 2016/01/01 to -
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU POL 201 (3) 2016/01/01 to -
Coast Mountain College (CMTN) CMTN POLI 213 (3) 2016/01/01 to -
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR POLI 1XX (3) 2016/01/01 to -
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU POLI 1150 (3) 2016/01/01 to -
Langara College (LANG) LANG POLI 1XXX (3) 2016/01/01 to -
Okanagan College (OC) OC POLI 1XX (3) 2016/01/01 to -
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU IS 101 (3) 2016/01/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU SSEL 1XXX (3) 2016/01/01 to -
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU POLS 1XX (3) 2016/01/01 to -
University Canada West (UCW) No credit 2016/01/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO POLI 1st (3) 2016/01/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV POLI 1st (3) 2015/09/01 to -
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC INST 1XX (3) 2016/01/01 to -
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV GE 1XX (3) 2016/01/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC POLI 240 (1.5) 2016/01/01 to -
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU GLST 100 (3) 2017/09/01 to -

Course Offerings

Fall 2021

Start Date
End Date
- 08-Dec-2021
New Westminster - North Bldg.
18:30 - 21:20