- Charlotte Lee
- Political Science
- Material Type:
- Activity/Lab, Lecture Notes, Lesson Plan, Reading
- Community College / Lower Division
- Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
- Media Formats:
- Downloadable docs, Video
Lecture slides: Marxism and constructivism
Lesson Plan_ Marxism and Constructivism
Reading #1: Pal (2018), "Marxism"
Reading #2: Lenin (1916), "Imperialism"
Reading #3: Theys & Behravesh (2018), "Constructivism"
Reading #4: UN (2019), "About the Responsibility to Protect"
Reading #5: Power (2016), "Remarks on Syria"
Marxism and Constructivism in IR Theory
Module on Marxism and constructivism in international relations theory. Intended for community college students and aligned with the requirements for POLS 140: Introduction to International Relations within the California Community College system. Includes readings, lesson plan, and ancillary materials (lecture slides and handout).
Lesson Plan: Marxism and Constructivism in International Relations Theory
Lesson Plan: Marxism and Constructivism
Topic: Critical Approaches I: Marxism and Constructivism
Week #: 3
Estimated Time: 150-180 minutes
Total page count: 35
By the end of this lesson plan, students will be able to:
Misconceptions of Topic:
Lecture: Review learning objectives
Brainstorm/write on board: Is Marxism dead in international politics? Why or why not?
Whiteboard for class discussion of question prompts on slide
Lecture and discussion: Key concepts in Marxism
Think Pair Share: Respond to Lenin’s Imperialism
Lecture and discussion: Key concepts in World System Theory
Lecture and discussion: Key concepts in Constructivism
Online video and discussion: Constructivism
Soomo Publishing (June 10, 2011), “Theory in Action: Constructivism” (Approx. 5 minutes)
Application and discussion: Responsibility to Protect in the case of Syria’s civil war
Readings 4 and 5
UN Security Council speech by Samantha Power on the situation in Syria: http://webtv.un.org/search/the-situation-in-the-middle-east-syria-security-council-7834th-meeting/5246494281001/#t=26m
Conclude and wrap-up
Required Readings: Marxism and Constructivism
- Reading #1: Pal 2018
- Reading #2: Lenin 1916
- Reading #3: Theys and Maysam 2018
- Reading #4: United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect 2019
- Reading #5: Power 2016
Introducing the readings:
This unit’s readings introduce students to two major theories in international relations, Marxism and constructivism. To anchor the study of each theory, there are at least two readings for each: an OER textbook chapter and one or more applied readings.
Marxism is a leading “critical” international relations theory in its focus on class-based exploitation that is global in scale. Pal (2018) presents an overview of major ideas in Marxism. To get a sense of the historical reach of Marxist ideas, as well as the intellectual contributions of V.I. Lenin, one accompanying primary reading is an excerpt from Lenins’s 1916 pamphlet on global imperialism.
Constructivism is a younger theory in the study of international relations. Theys and Behravesh (2018) provide an overview of key ideas in constructivism. One application of constructivism can be found in the study of a new global norm, the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). To understand the force of this idea, as deployed in the United Nations, two resources are the UN Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect’s webpage on “About the Responsibility to Protect” and remarks made by US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power to the UN Security Council on Syria in 2016.
Ancillary Materials: Marxism and Constructivism
Attached are CC-licensed lecture slides and a handout to accompany the lesson plan for Marxism and constructivism.