Marxism and Constructivism in IR Theory

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

 

Assigned Readings:

  1. Pal, Maïa. 2018. “Marxism in International Relations Theory.” In International Relations Theory, Stephen McGlinchey, ed. Adapted by Charlotte Lee. (9 pages, core reading)
  2. Lenin, V.I. Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism. 1916. Edited .pdf available (6 pages, core reading) Also available online at https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/imp-hsc/ch07.htm
  3. Theys, Sarina and Maysam Behravesh. 2018. “Constructivism in International Relations Theory.” In International Relations Theory, Stephen McGlinchey, ed. Adapted by Charlotte Lee. (10 pages, core reading)
  4. United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect. n.d. (accessed September 2019). “About the Responsibility to Protect.” Available online at https://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/about-responsibility-to-protect.shtml (5 pages, briefing)
  5. Power, Samantha. Dec. 13, 2016. Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power at a UN Security Council Emergency Briefing on Syria. Available online at https://www.belfercenter.org/publication/remarks-ambassador-samantha-power-un-security-council-emergency-briefing-syria (5 pages, news piece)

 

Total page count: 35

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this lesson plan, students will be able to:

  1. Define key concepts in two critical international relations theories
  2. Evaluate how Marxists and world system theorists describe and explain behavior in international relations
  3. Evaluate how constructivists describe and explain behavior in international relations
  4. Analyze an example of norm creation in international relations

Misconceptions of Topic:

  1. Students may associate Marxism solely with revolution in a domestic context
  2. Students may associate Marxism solely with communism and/or Cold War rhetoric in the US

 

Lesson Component

Ancillary(ies)

Lecture: Review learning objectives

Lecture slides

Brainstorm/write on board: Is Marxism dead in international politics? Why or why not?

 

Lecture slides

Whiteboard for class discussion of question prompts on slide

Lecture and discussion: Key concepts in Marxism

Reading 1

Lecture slides

Think Pair Share: Respond to Lenin’s Imperialism

Reading 2

Lecture slides

Lecture and discussion: Key concepts in World System Theory

Reading 1

Lecture slides

Lecture and discussion: Key concepts in Constructivism

Reading 3

Lecture slides

Online video and discussion: Constructivism

Reading 3

 

Online resource:

Soomo Publishing (June 10, 2011), “Theory in Action: Constructivism” (Approx. 5 minutes)

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYU9UfkV_XI

 

Application and discussion: Responsibility to Protect in the case of Syria’s civil war

Readings 4 and 5

Lecture slides

Handout

 

Online resource:

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

Lecture slides