PSC 373 International Futures

How will international relations change over the next 40 years? Will war and conflict become more or less frequent? What effects will globalization and climate change have on the international political system? Will climate change eventually lead to land disputes and food shortages that increase the likelihood of conflict or will it force countries to work together to address its effects? Will globalization continue unabated, bringing citizens closer together and thereby reducing nationalism and interstate conflict, or will it heighten the likelihood of conflict by exacerbating wealth differences? Similar questions can be asked about the future of the European Union, the long-run prospects for peace in the Middle East, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the impact of artificial intelligence on international relations. This course seeks to answer questions like these by placing the student in the position of policy-makers who must rely on forecasting and the analysis of long-run trends in international politics. The course will explore how long-run changes in technology, demographics, economic integration, resource scarcity, climate, and democratization could alter the nature of international relations. Students will consider competing theories about the effects of these factors on international politics and explore what their arguments imply about the cumulative effects of these factors over several decades if expected trends hold.