Saturday, March 11, 2017

Trump Folks are Lousy Students

There was a fun series of tweets about what the Trump folks might have missed in Intro to Poli Sci.  It got me thinking about what they might have missed in my old Intro to IR course (which I have not taught since moving to Carleton).

Here are the topics (red indicating ones that the Trumpers must have missed:

Weeks 3-4: Basics: Levels of Analysis, Anarchy, Imperialism and Power 
Key concepts missed here are the costs of empire, that power is more than military stuff.

Week 4: Interests and Interactions                                                     
Key concepts missed here are that outcomes are products of interests of competing actors, that the security dilemma means that unilateral efforts to improve security produce counterproductive dynamics.

Week 5: Interactions, pt II, Institutions                                             
That institutions are expensive to build, that they serve US interests.

Week 6: Identity and Individuals                                                               
As white supremacists that think that individual personalities matter a great deal, they ace this part of the course, sort of.

Weeks 7-8: War and Coercive Diplomacy                                                
So much fail here: that bargaining involves credibility to do or not do what one promises to do or not do,  that force has limited utility, that war is not inevitable, etc.

Week 9: Alliances & Nuclear Weapons                                                      
Even more fail here: what causes alliances to develop or fall apart (bullying is not so good), that nuclear proliferation is bad, that nuclear weapons have limited utility, etc.

Week 10:  International Political Economy                                               
They get that trade can cause concentrated pain and diffuse benefits, but miss all of the Milner-esque goodness--that American firms rely on imports so tariffs would make their stuff less competitive.  Of course, they don't really care.
Week 11: Terrorism and Responses                                                        
They missed the lectures on how not to give terrorists assistance when it come to recruiting.

Week 12: Human Rights and the IR of Ethnic Conflict                                 
Human rights?  Oh my.  Oh, and they definitely missed the lecture where I trash Clash of Civilizations.

Week 13: The Environment                                                                           
“Tragedy of he Commons”?  What's that, the Trumpers ask.

Not in my class as I make sure that students need to have done the reading to pass the class.  So, these guys might eke out a C- but probably get a D in my Intro to IR class.  

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