COVID-19 information and resources
Douglas College wordmark
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo Wordpress logo
back to search

Introduction to International Studies

Course Code: INST 1100
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Political Science
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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.

course prerequisites




curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.