Approved by Faculty Senate March 17, 2003.

 

WINONA STATE UNIVERSITY

North American Relations

Political Science 460

Semester Year

 

 

Professor

Gaspare M. Genna, Ph. D.

Lecture Times:  XXX

Office:   Minné 138

Hours:   XXX

Phone:   457-5379

E-mail:  ggenna@winona.edu

 

Catalog Description

This course examines the relations between the three countries of North America: Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The examination of these relations involves the applicable theories of regional cooperation and conflict with special emphasis on integration. The course will also develop an understanding of the evolution of the current state of relations among the three. Focus will be on trade relations, the institutions of NAFTA, security issues, migration, the potential of building a regional community (along political, social, economic, lines), citizen perceptions, and overall development. Offered every 2 years. Prerequisite: Political Science 130 or instructor’s permission.

 

Course Content

Overall, the aim of the course is to get students to think critically, yet constructively about the issues facing the countries of North America, especially those related to regional relations. This course will help you learn about and discuss these issues in an intelligent and informed manner (ORAL A-F). We will learn the difference between rhetorical opinion and positions on issues based upon facts and reasoning (ORAL B, C, F). In order to do this, we will look at the individual countries’ politics and society, the current and past state of relations among the North American countries, review theories of regionalization, and cover the objectives in order to give us the necessary tools to understand the issues before us (ORAL F).

 

University Studies Course Designation

 

This course has a University Studies Oral Communications Flag designation. It is designed to better students by helping them develop the principles of oral communications. This is done through the following mechanisms:

 

a) earn significant course credit through extemporaneous oral presentation,

b) understand the features and types of speaking in this discipline,

c) adapt your speaking to field-specific audiences,

d) receive appropriate feedback from teachers and peers, including suggestions for improvement,

e) make use of the technologies used for research and speaking in the fields, and

f) learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in this field.

 

To accomplish these objectives, students will orally present reports on two different issues found in the relations among North American countries as well as provide input during class discussion. More detail found in the sections that outline these assignments. (Italicized letters through-out the syllabus help designate where these occur)

 

 

Course Texts

 

Earle, Robert L. and John D. Wirth (eds). 1995. Identities in North America: The Search for Community. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

 

Pastor, Robert A. 2001. Toward a North American Community: Lessons from the Old World for the New. Washington, DC: Institute for International Economics.

 

Ronald Inglehart et al. 1996. The North American Trajectory: Cultural, Economic, and Political Ties Among the United States, Canada, and Mexico. New York: Aldine De Gruyter.

 

Course reader available on reserve in the library.

 

Course Obligations

There is a mix of obligations the student must meet to fulfill the requirements of the course. This includes 1) study and discussion of assigned reading materials (ORAL B-F), 2) one midterm 3) two oral presentations (ORAL A-F), 4) a final paper, and 5) a final exam.

 

All assignments that are completed outside the classroom are to be typed using the following format: 

1)      double spaced,

2)      new times roman font (12 point),

3)      1.25 inch margins,

4)      title page (title, course, name, and date),

5)      page numbers (page one is the first page of text),

6)      stapled with no plastic cover of any type, and

7)      citations and a bibliography.

 

Assignments will be accepted no later than two weeks after they are due. Students cannot receive full credit on late assignments. Being one week late will result in obtaining 80% of the possible points earned and two weeks late will result in obtaining 70% of the possible points earned.

 

The Academic Integrity Policy (pages 28-29 of the University Catalog) will be in full force in this course. Any violations of the policy will result in a failing grade for the assignment, quiz, or exam and a possible failing grade in the course (ORAL A & F). If you do not understand of the meaning of the word “plagiarism,” please see me or someone at the Academic Skills Center.

 

Class Discussion of Reading Assignments:

The principal reading obligation is to keep up with the assigned chapters within the course study outline contained in this syllabus. To maximize the learning experience, the reading should be done before the beginning of class. Class attendance is expected and participation will be evaluated on its contribution to the learning process (ORAL A-D, F).

 

In addition, students are expected to follow all global issues as they develop during the semester in the media. Some suggested periodicals include the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, or Christian Science Monitor. Students with knowledge of Spanish or French are encouraged to read Mexican and Quebecois newspapers on the internet. This reading will be important for developing ideas for your oral presentations.

 

Presentations

Each student is required to present (10 min.) two issues associated with the relations of North American Countries (ORAL A-F). Since it is possible that more than four students may want to present on any one issue-topic, a sign-up sheet will be available on a first-come basis.

 

Each presentation will be evaluated based on the organization of the students’ thoughts on the subject, which will include an understanding of the features and types of speaking found in political science and adaptation of your speaking style to field-specific audiences (ORAL A-F). To this end, students need to organize thoughts bases upon the following: 1) clear, yet concise, description of the issue (ORAL A-D, F), 2) hypothesis as to why the problem exists (ORAL A-D, F), 3) evidence to support the hypothesis (ORAL A-D, F), and 4) policy recommendation (ORAL A-D, F). Also, students are expected to use computer aided technology (such as Power Point) in order to improve speaking effectiveness (ORAL E).

 

After each presentation, a short (10 min.) Q&A session will take place in order to follow up on any missing items or confusion (ORAL D & E). This should be viewed as a time to improve your ability to “think on your feet” (ORAL B-D, F). It is expected that the same level of constructive engagement be applied during this feedback portion as in the actual presentation (ORAL A- F).

 

Final Paper

The final paper (about 8 pages) will continue the work already performed in one of your oral presentations. The final paper differs from the oral reports because the final paper is expected to be a full analysis. This means students are to employ analytical thinking through the use of one theory and related concepts taught in the course. Students are also expected to integrate the constructive critique discussed in the post-presentation Q&A. The final paper is due XXX

 

Exams

There are two exams for the course (a midterm and a final), both of which are closed book and are in an essay format. The midterm will assess students’ knowledge of the theories we will review in the beginning of the course. The final is comprehensive and will require you to answer two essay questions that will cover the issue-topics reviewed in class. The professor will provide a list of possible questions one week before the final. However, he will choose which question will be answered by the students. The midterm will be given on XX and the final is on XX.

 

Grade Weights

Each assignment and examination will be given a score out of a total 100 points and will be given the following weights in determining students’ final grades for the course:

 

Course Requirement

Due

Weight

Midterm

XXX

10 percent

Oral Presentations

(ORAL A)

XXX

40 percent (20 percent each)

(ORAL A)

Final Paper

XXX

20 percent

Final Examination

XXX

20 percent

Class Participation

(ORAL A)

All Meetings

10 percent

(ORAL A)

 

***************************

All assignments and exams must be completed in order to pass the course. I cannot pass someone that has not completed the obligations of this course (ORAL A).

***************************

 

Outline of Lecture Topics

 

I       Introduction

      A. North America Defined

      B. Canada

            1. Governmental institutions

            2. Societal Description

            3. Political Economy Overview

      C. Mexico

            1. Governmental institutions

            2. Societal Description

            3. Political Economy Overview

      D. United States overview

            1. Governmental institutions

            2. Societal Description

            3. Political Economy Overview

 

II    Historical Overview of North American Relations

      A. Key events in Canadian-US relations

            1. Early border disputes

            2. Security Alliances

                a. North American Treaty Organization (NATO)

                b. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)

      B. Key events in Mexican-US relations

            1. Texas annexation

            2. Mexican-American War

            3. Mexican territorial annexation

            4. Boundary treaties

            5. Prolonged years of silence

      C. Key events in Canadian-Mexican relations

 

III. Theories of Regional Integration

      A. Problems associated with international cooperation

            1. Comparison with European relations

      B. Functionalism

      C. Realism

      D. Liberalism

      E. Others

 

IV. Trade Development/North American Free Trade Agreement

      A. Definition of terms and concepts

      B. Political economy of interdependence

      C. Debates associated with the ratification of NAFTA

            1. Mexico

            2. Canada

            3. United States

      D. Institutions of NAFTA

      E. Side agreements

            1. Labor Agreement

            2. Environmental Agreement

      D. Assessment of NAFTA

 

V. Regional Development

      A. Poverty in the south

      B. Drug enforcement coordination

      C. Migration policy

            1. Security issues

      D. Developmental funding

 

VI. The North Americans/Los Americanos del Norte

      A. Values and Norms

      B. Differing images and perceptions of Canada, Mexico, and the US

      C. Public support for regional integration

      D. Evaluation of a potential North American identity

 

VII. Potential of deepening North American Relations

      A. Labor mobility

      B. Strengthening NAFTA institutions

      C. Freer trade/Customs Union

      D. Infrastructure development

      E. Economic policy coordination

 

 

Readings

 

Full detailed readings and lectures are described in this section. This will also include critical questions for each lecture. Important dates for course obligations are also included.

 

Course Outcomes

 

a)    Earn significant course credit through extemporaneous oral presentations

 

Each student is required to present two issues of their choice. Student presentations are limited to four 10 min. presentations plus a 10 min. Q&A. Since it is possible that more than four students may want to present on any one issue, a sign-up sheet will be available on a first-come basis. This will comprise 40% of the course grade. Another 10% is granted as a result of participation, which will be evaluated on its contribution to the learning process.

 

b)     Understand the features and types of speaking in their disciplines

 

The grade of the assignment is mainly based on the organization of the students’ thoughts on the subject, which will include an understanding of the features and types of speaking in this discipline and adaptation of your speaking style to field-specific audiences. To this end, students need to organize thoughts bases upon the following: 1) clear, yet concise, description of the issue, 2) hypothesis as to why the problem exists, 3) evidence to support the hypothesis, and 4) policy recommendation.

 

c)    Adapt their speaking to field-specific audiences

 

The presentation will require students to differentiate between novice and non-novice audiences. The terms used will require definitions when appropriate and the capability to be comfortable to employ key concepts used in class. Also see “B” above.

 

d)    Receive appropriate feedback from teachers and peers, including suggestions for improvement

 

In addition to the usual oral and written feedback by me, each presentation will conclude with a short Q&A session in order to follow up on any missing items or confusion. While I will participate in this part, the expectation is that students take on the bulk of the time in asking questions. This is viewed as a time to improve the students’ ability to “think on their feet.” It is expected that the same level of constructive engagement be applied during this feedback portion as in the actual presentation.

 

e)      Make use of the technologies used for research and speaking in the fields

 

Students are expected to use computer aided technology (such as Power Point) in order to improve speaking effectiveness. I will also encourage the use of graphs and tables in order to present facts affectively. This will require the use of such applications as MSExcel. Students likely will use the internet in order to obtain up-to-the-minute facts regarding their issue.

 

f)      Learn the conventions of evidence, format, usage, and documentation in their fields

 

Through this oral presentation, students will gain a greater appreciation for the types of arguments that are persuasive in this field. Students will be instructed to include citations for sources as they present facts to support their arguments. The conventions used in political science require the use of objective and general evidence, leaving anecdotal stories to be used only for the purpose of arousing interest among the audience and not as a substitute. The convention for citation requires the presenter to name the source of evidence. For example, saying “a study by researchers indicates that 30% of unemployment in the USA can be attributed to NAFTA” would not be acceptable. However, stated that “a report published by Project International Economics indicates that 30% of unemployment in the USA can be attributed to NAFTA” would be acceptable. See also “B” above.