Spring 2022 - IS 101 D100

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

Class Number: 5242

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    WMC 3260, Burnaby



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.


The course is structured around the three interrelated streams of the undergraduate major at SFU: 1) International Security and Conflict, which examines the causes and consequences of wars, both within and between states, and of 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 around 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. We'll also examine the causes of these challenges and how they affect diverse communities around the world.


This course will be of general interest to students in all disciplines. It is also a gateway to the major in International Studies. It provides knowledge valuable for careers in: international development, international law, diplomacy, human rights, humanitarianism, journalism, and environmental sustainability. In addition to developing your knowledge of global affairs and your critical thinking skills, the course requirements are designed to help you develop the kind of practical writing skills needed to work in many jobs in government and nongovernmental organizations, as well as in a range of professions beyond academia.


  • Tutorial attendance and participation 15%
  • 4 Quizzes x 15% each 60%
  • Briefing paper/essay 25%


Students will be required to upload assignments to Canvas and through 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 SFU Library’s electronic collection.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.