Summer 2019 - IS 450W D100

Seminar on Global Problems in Interdisciplinary Perspective (Inactive) (4)

Class Number: 5355

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 1:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    HCC 2205, Vancouver

  • Prerequisites:

    90 units. International Studies major or honours students.



An interdisciplinary course which aims to bring together different disciplinary perspectives on international affairs through the study of in-depth particular contemporary problems. Writing.


Our aim is to prepare students for professional roles beyond academia, in the public and private sectors alike. These roles commonly involve research and writing on a specific issue / problem over a short period of time, drawing on a range of sources, and presenting the upshot in a concise way. Often this involves identifying the best course of action from a range of policy alternatives, with arguments in support of that course of action. Above all, such writing requires clarity of thought and economy of expression.


We will focus on four types of writing that are especially significant in this context: literature reviews, briefing papers, op-ed essays, and policy papers. You will be asked to practice these forms of writing – as well as a direct pitch to the class – with particular regard to the themes of global populism, climate change, public health ethics, and the use of torture. The texts listed below will serve as anchors for those themes, to be supplemented in each case with relevant readings / multimedia resources, both on Canvas and sourced individually by students.   


  • Literature Review (2000-2500 words) 20%
  • Presentation (15 minutes) with Report (1000 words) 25%%
  • Op Ed (800-1000 words) 20%
  • Class Participation / Contribution 10%
  • Policy Essay (2500 words) 25%


Students will be required to submit their written assignments to in order to receive credit for the assignments and for the course.

The School for International Studies strictly enforces the University's policies regarding plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty. Information about these policies can be found at:



Mau, Steffen. The Metric Society. Trans. Sharon Howe. London: Polity, 2019.

Judis, John B. The Populist Explosion. New York: Columbia Global Reports, 2016.

Anderson, S. & Nussbaum, M. eds.  Confronting Torture. Univ of Chicago, 2018.

Westra, L., Soskone, C. & Spady, D. eds. Human Health and Ecological Integrity: Ethics, Law and Human Rights. New York: Routledge, 2017 {pbk ed}.

* Additional readings on Canvas.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.