Fall 2022 - IS 101 D100

Global Challenges of the 21st Century: An Introduction to International Studies (3)

Class Number: 5090

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 7 – Dec 6, 2022: Thu, 2:30–4:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 10, 2022
    Sat, 3:30–6:30 p.m.



Introduces the interdisciplinary field of International Studies to all undergraduates and IS majors. Examines the major global challenges of our time, including poverty and inequality, environmental degradation, nationalism, civil war, and armed conflict. Explores the challenge of global governance and global citizenship. Breadth-Humanities/Social Sciences.


This course provides an introduction to International Studies, an interdisciplinary field focused on the global challenges of the 21st century. The course is structured around the three interrelated streams of the International Studies major at SFU:

1) International Security and Conflict, which examines the causes and consequences of wars, both within and between states, and the possible ways of resolving conflicts, and building peace and security;

2) Comparative World Politics, Culture and Society, which examines issues such as religion and politics, nationalism, and patterns of democratization and authoritarian rule around the world; and,

3) International Development, Economic and Environmental Issues, which examines the problems of poverty and inequality, development strategies and policies, and issues related to sustainable development.

The course introduces some of the questions, debates, and approaches for understanding and addressing important global challenges in each of the three streams.


The goal of this course is to help students develop an ability to:
• Describe and critically analyze contemporary global challenges related to security, development, environmental change, migration and global health
• Describe and evaluate key international responses to these challenges
• Describe and critically analyze: the system of sovereign states, capitalism, globalization, and international human rights
• Describe and critically assess the roles played by states, intergovernmental organizations, and nongovernmental organizations in addressing global challenges
• Communicate ideas clearly and persuasively in writing


  • Paper 25%
  • Midterm exam 25%
  • Final exam 35%
  • Tutorial participation and small group exercises 15%


Students will be required to submit their written assignments to Turnitin.com 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: http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/teaching.html.



Required readings will be available on Canvas, online, or in the Library’s electronic collection.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html 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. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html