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Global Affairs (GLA) Course Descriptions

Department of Political Science and Geography, College of Liberal and Fine Arts


GLA 1013  U.S. in the Global Arena
(3-0) 3 hour credit.
This course assists students in understanding the context in which United States interacts with the rest of the world and the mutual effects of that relationship. It traces the history and evolution of the United States’ involvement in global affairs and why and how what happens in the world matters for the U.S. and vice-versa. Issues to be discussed may include globalization, low politics, international banking, multinationals, health issues, the environment, terrorism, security, food, technology, international communication, and other intermestic issues.

GLA 2603  Introduction to Global Affairs Studies
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
This course offers an opportunity for broad study of issues such as North-South and East-West conflicts; international aid and trade through transnational enterprises; economic development and debt; military conflicts and nuclear weapons; new frontiers of oceanic resources, tropical forests, and space; cross-cultural communications; American and foreign values; language issues; and investigations of issues related to a particular nation and culture. (Same as INS 2403 and POL 2603. Credit cannot be earned for GLA 2633, INS 2403 and POL 2603.)

GLA 2633  Comparative Politics
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
A comparative examination of the diverse forms, goals, styles, and practices of government in democratic and authoritarian states. Several major polities will be studied in detail. (Same as POL 2633. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 2633 and POL 2633.)

GLA 3003  International Law
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
This course evaluates the ways that international law affects world politics. Emphasis is on the foundations and substantive rules of international law and national politics. Topics may include the laws of war, war crimes, terrorism, human rights, economic exchange and natural resources.

GLA 3013  Introduction to Global Analysis
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
An overview of global conditions and events traditionally subject to analysis by American and international organizations, such as defense and security concerns, economic development, natural resources, human migration, terrorism, arms transfers and weapons proliferation, natural disasters, and international cooperation. Provides an overview of how government and private sector organizations respond and how they engage in defense, diplomacy, intelligence, etc. Discusses the role and operations of analytical functions in government and private organizations. May be taught from different perspectives depending upon faculty expertise and interests. (Same as POL 3273. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3013 and POL 3273.)

GLA 3033  International Governance
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
International law, organizations, regimes, hierarchies, and norms such as sovereignty govern the international system. These factors help create a world order that limits armed conflict, regulates the world economy, advances environmental protection, and sets human rights standards. This course explains theories of international governance, and compares these perspectives to the analysis of political scientists on the past record and likely future of world order. (Same as POL 3033. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3033 and POL 3033.)

GLA 3043  International Human Rights
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
This course explores the philosophical and political meaning of fundamental human rights; cases of human rights violations (such as genocide in the Holocaust, Rwanda, Kosovo, and Cambodia; the death penalty; female genital mutilation; violations of workers’ rights; and torture); and the role that states, international organizations and individuals can play in ending human rights abuses. Course readings may include contemporary theories of human rights and case studies on the enforcement of rights around the world. (Same as POL 3043. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3043 and POL 3043.)

GLA 3063  Comparative Political
Participation (3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
This course examines the citizen participation in the democratic process across industrialized democracies, including the United States. The course covers participation within mainstream channels of the democratic process, such as voting and campaign participation, and also participation in unconventional activities such as social movements and protests. (Same as POL 3063. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3063 and POL 3063.)

GLA 3103  Research Methods in Global Affairs
(3-0) 3 hour credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
This course introduces students to a range of methodological approaches relevant to studies of global problems and international relations. Students will study relevant background debates in the philosophy of the social sciences, consider examples of contemporary research designs associated with global problems and international relations, and learn how to craft research questions that address real world challenges. Course may include a range of methodological approaches including quantitative methods (e.g. measures of central tendency and dispersion, regression, and problems of description and inference, etc.), qualitative methods (e.g. comparative case studies, content analysis, and discourse analysis, etc.). Course may require the use of standard computer packages and secondary analysis of data.

GLA 3213  Theories of International Relations
(3-0) 3 hour credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
This course provides an overview of theoretical debates and conceptual frameworks for the study of international relations. It examines a range of theoretical models important to explaining how the world works including but not limited to, classical and structural realism, liberalism, global society/complex interdependence/liberal institutionalism, Marxism/dependency, constructivism, and critical theories including feminism and post-modernism. The course also may introduce frameworks for the study of foreign policy decision making such as bureaucratic and organizational politics, and small group politics.

GLA 3223  Theories of Globalization
(3-0) 3 hour credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
This course will present the main theories of the phenomena known as "globalization", attempting to explain its multidimensional nature by looking at the key explanations provided by leading scholars in economics, history, political science, communications, sociology and others. The course will present a wide panorama of key theories and theorists, considering the conventional as well as the critical views on globalization.

GLA 3233  Theories of International Justice
(3-0) 3 hour credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
This course explores the nature of justice in a globalized political world. It raises questions such as whether a single standard of justice (e.g., human rights) can legitimately be applied to all cultures across the world, and examines the nature of our obligations to individuals in other countries given the economic and political interdependency of all peoples. Some attention may also be given to particular topics such as immigration policy and the use of foreign military intervention for humanitarian purposes.

GLA 3383  East European Politics
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
This course provides an overview of politics in Eastern Europe broadly understood as the region of East Central and Southeastern Europe, and the post-Soviet space. It traces the evolution of nation building since the interwar period and the system of communist rule, with a focus on key dimensions of the post-communist transformation of the region. Thematic coverage may include constitutions, political culture, party politics, and Euro-Atlantic integration. Same as POL 3383. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3383 and POL 3383.)

GLA 3393  Latin American Politics
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
An examination of political institutions and their relationship to social and economic change in Latin America. Profiles of major Latin American countries, such as Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Cuba. (Same as POL 3393. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3393 and POL 3393.)

GLA 3403  European Governments
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
The interplay of politics with the changing social and economic environment in the advanced industrial societies of Western Europe. Elites, participation, governmental structures, party systems, interest groups, and public policy will be examined in several selected polities and the European Union. (Same as POL 3403. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3403 and POL 3403.)

GLA 3433  Governments and Politics of Southeast Asia
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
A comparative examination of the political systems of selected Southeast Asian countries and their efforts to deal with political, economic, and social change. Countries studied may include Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. (Same as POL 3433. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3433 and POL 3433.)

GLA 3443  Governments and Politics of East Asia
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
A comparative examination of the political systems of selected East Asian countries and their efforts to deal with problems of political, economic, and social change. Countries studied may include the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of China, and South Korea. (Same as POL 3443. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3443 and POL 3443.)

GLA 3453  The Politics of Mexico
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
Background to the contemporary political system of Mexico, including independence, foreign intervention, the Diaz regime, and the 1910–1917 revolution. Other topics may include the constitution, the structure of government, political parties, the presidency, economic development and policy, contemporary leadership, and elites. (Same as POL 3453. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3453 and POL 3453.)

GLA 3463  Politics of the Third World
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
The political system of various Third World nations. An inquiry into the political and economic problems of these countries, such as development, instability, and political change. (Same as POL 3463. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3463 and POL 3463.)

GLA 3483  International Political Economy
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
This course is an introduction to the institutions and policies that govern international economic relations. Students will study the development of the international economic system as well as controversies over money, trade, and governance. (Same as POL 3483. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3483 and POL 3483.)

GLA 3493  Politics of the Middle East
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
An examination of the past, present, and future of Middle East politics, with an emphasis on culture, politics, religion, and conflicts in the area; the international relations of Middle Eastern countries as well as superpowers’ involvement. (Same as POL 3493. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3493 and POL 3493.)

GLA 3503  American Foreign Policy since World War II
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
Major private interests and public institutions involved in American foreign policy making; public opinion and foreign involvement; specific policies toward international organizations and major world regions. (Same as POL 3503. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3503 and POL 3503.)

GLA 3513  International Organizations in World Politics
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
Major issues involving international organizations: nationalism and globalism, financing problems, international staffing, voting patterns, peace-keeping, and international conferences. Organizations examined include the United Nations system, regional development banks, alliance systems, cartels, and common markets. (Same as POL 3513. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3513 and POL 3513.)

GLA 3523  Force in International Politics
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
An examination of modern research into the use of coercion in international relations, specifically economic sanctions, war, and terrorism. Special emphasis will be placed on the causes, trends, and consequences of interstate wars. Peace movements and the technologies of peace making will also be covered. (Same as POL 3523. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3523 and POL 3523.)

GLA 3563  Current Issues in World Politics
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
An examination of the issues that divide the people of the world. The structure of contemporary world problems will be studied and possible strategies for the reduction of international conflict will be assessed. Topics may include nuclear proliferation, world hunger, revolution and intervention, transnational enterprises, competing ideologies of international relations, and global ecology. (Same as POL 3563. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3563 and POL 3563.)

GLA 3633  Political Economy
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
The political, legal, and ethical context of modern commercial society is explored through the evolution of conceptions of the economy, the individual, and the state. Topics may include the institutional foundations of market societies, ethical and legal impact of business practices, comparisons of national economic policies, the interaction of modern government and economic activity, and the impact of markets on concepts of public and private life. (Same as POL 3633. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3633 and POL 3633.)

GLA 3763  Globalization
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
This course examines normative and empirical issues in globalization debates, such as the role of states and nonstate actors, the emergence of global civil society, patterns of international development, the influence of international integration on security, health, violence, and intercultural toleration, and the status of institutions for global justice. (Same as INS 3763 and POL 3763. Credit cannot be earned for more than one of the following: GLA 3763, INS 3763, or POL 3763.)

GLA 3783  Comparative Democratization
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
This course examines theories of democratic transition and focuses on the problematics of democratic change throughout the world. Case studies may include political change after the end of the Cold War in the former Communist states, democratic transitions in Latin America, patterns of change in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and south Asia. (Same as POL 3783. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 3783 and POL 3783.)

GLA 3793  Politics and Ethics of International Business
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
This course will examine theories of international investment, corporation strategy, and measures of international business performance. Topics may include the relationships between corporations, states, and markets, and multinational corporations as actors in trade, finance, social innovation, economic development, and global conflict.

GLA 4003  Comparative Foreign Policy
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
This course is an in-depth comparative examination of the worldviews, institutional processes, political actors, and outcomes of foreign policy-making of several major nation-states. Themes that may be covered are comparative policies for international security, international governance, economic competition, humanitarian action, and regional crises such as the Middle East and African development. (Same as POL 4003. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 4003 and POL 4003.)

GLA 4013  The Intelligence Community and World Affairs
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
Discusses the historical and political developments of intelligence as a component of defense and security policy, mainly in the post-World War II era. Examines the legal foundations of the American national security and intelligence functions, including discussion of accountability and control measures. Emphasizes the role of intelligence in national security policy-making principally conducted by the Executive and Legislative branches in democratic societies. Discusses the main functions of intelligence. (Same as POL 4013. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 4013 and POL 4013.)

GLA 4123  Techniques in Global Analysis
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
Examines various techniques for collecting, analyzing, and communicating information by government and private sector organizations engaged in global analysis. Stresses methodologies for analyzing informational inputs, including strengths and weaknesses of various analytical applications. Studies analytic cultures and pathologies associated with information collection and interpretation, legal and political oversight, accommodation of dissenting views in interpretation and policy debate, and economic, political, and cultural implications of analytical findings. Compares and contrasts analytical methods employed by public and private organizations. May be taught from different perspectives depending upon faculty expertise and interests. (Formerly POL 4023. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 4123 and POL 4023.)

GLA 4133  Conflict, Law, and Security in Global Affairs
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
This course offers students an opportunity to closely examine the causes, dynamics, and dilemmas associated with conflict on the modern global stage. Issues under discussion may include intra- and interstate conflicts; nationalism and conflict; economic, social, and political costs and implications of conflict; national and international approaches to conflict resolution, reconstruction, and development; human rights principles and questions of international law and justice; debates about humanitarian interventions; population displacements; the range of security concerns and responses by government actors and institutions; and the viability of nation states in protecting individuals, groups, and institutions of governance.

GLA 4143  The European Union
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
This course focuses on the historical, political, and intellectual sources of the European Union, the evolution of its institutions, and the effectiveness of its system of governance. Emphasis will be placed on the influence of regional integration on politics and democracy within Europe. The course will consider the construction of united Europe in the context of relations between the EU and member states, European institutions and citizens, and the EU and the world system of politics. (Same as POL 4143. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 4143 and POL 4143.)

GLA 4203  Current Topics in Global Analysis
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013 or POL 1013.
An organized course offering the opportunity for specialized study of topics in such areas as domestic security planning, politics of national defense budgets and products, terrorism, arms transfers and controls, natural disaster preparedness, peace making, nuclear weapons proliferation and negotiations, international trade agreements and policies, national security economics, and civil liberties controversies. (Formerly POL 4203. Credit cannot be earned for both GLA 4203 and POL 4203.)

GLA 4911-3  Independent Study
1 to 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: GLA 1013 and Independent Study Course Form signed by the instructor, the student’s advisor, the Department Chair, and the Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts.
Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 semester credit hours of independent study, regardless of discipline, will apply to a bachelor’s degree.

GLA 4933,6  Internship in Global Affairs
3 or 6 hours credit. Prerequisites: GLA 1013 and consent of the internship coordinator and Department Chair.
Supervised experience relevant to global affairs within selected community and national organizations. A maximum of 6 semester credit hours may be earned through the internship.

GLA 4953  Special Studies in Global Affairs
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013.
An organized course offering the opportunity for specialized study not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. Special Studies may be repeated for credit when topics vary, but not more than 6 semester credit hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to a bachelor’s degree.

GLA 4973  Seminar in Global Affairs
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GLA 1013.
The opportunity for an intensive study of a selected topic. Primary emphasis on supervised research on various aspects of the topic. May be repeated for credit when topics vary, up to an additional 3 credits. Enrollment limited to juniors and seniors majoring in Global Affairs.

GLA 4983  Research Practicum
3 hours credit. Prerequisites: GLA 1013 and permission in writing (form available) of the instructor, the student’s advisor, and the Department Chair.
The practicum provides students with the opportunity to focus on a specific research issue having practical applications in global affairs. Students participate in hands-on research experience on the issue in a collective research environment. Potential research may be related to the Social Research Lab or Study Abroad programs.

GLA 4993  Honors Thesis
3 hours credit. Prerequisites: A minimum grade point average of 3.0 at UTSA, a 3.5 grade point average in the major, and recommendation by a member of the Political Science and Geography faculty.
Supervised research and preparation of an honors thesis. May be repeated once with advisor’s approval. Students who are approved will enroll in the appropriate honors thesis courses during their final two semesters at UTSA. To earn honors, the thesis must be passed by an Honors Committee that will be formed with the recommending faculty and another faculty member. Students interested in enrolling should contact the Department Undergraduate Advisor of Record for additional information.