Course/Grade Levels Units

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  • Course Code
    Content Area
    Social Studies
    Politics and Conflict in the Modern World is designed for students interested in developing a knowledge and understanding of the origins, nature, and effects of 21st Century political and civil conflicts at both the national and international level. Students will evaluate the role of national and international policy in facing these conflicts, along with the role of individuals and non-governmental agencies. Through analysis of sources from a variety of perspectives, students will engage in debate, and construct arguments related to the challenges and opportunities of developing potential resolutions to current conflicts.

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Unit Description
SSPC1Introduction to American Foreign Policy
This unit will introduce students to American foreign policy including origins, terminology, and influence. Students will analyze how American foreign policy is influenced and its impact on the global political environment. Students reflect on global changes, assess national priorities, and decide for themselves the role the United States should play in the world today.
SSPC2The Role of Force in International Politics
This unit focuses on the role of force as an instrument of power. Students will examine the causes and motivations of U.S. involvement in major world conflicts, both historical and contemporary. Students will examine the purposes, successes, and legitimacy of coercion force, military power, and strategic nonviolent action through investigation of various sources and case studies.
SSPC3Proliferation and Counter Proliferation
This unit is an examination of historical and current nuclear policy, beginning with the Cold War through proliferation in the post-Cold War era. Students will investigate modern nuclear proliferation and its influence on current U.S. policy decisions.
SSPC4Motivations for Internal and External Conflict
This unit examines the patterns and evolution of instability, conflict, and irregular warfare within and between states due to the growing challenges posed by armed groups that have proliferated in number and importance since the Cold War ended. Topics include examination of: the global strategic environment which armed groups exploit; the causes of internal/transnational conflict; types of armed groups, and their operational patterns and strategies.
SSPC5Understanding Mass Atrocities
Beginning with the introduction of the term “genocide,” students will explore a range of terminologies and frameworks for defining and explaining mass violence against civilians and the U.S. and response to past genocides. Students will determine how the U.S. should consider potential future atrocities. Students will study the development of policy related to genocide and mass atrocities, key definitions, and thresholds of violence that should trigger action by international groups.
SSPC6Conflict Resolution
This unit reviews different approaches that seek to settle and to transform the relationships of disputing parties in international conflicts. Students will consider the question, “What type of America should we be?” and propose a workable foreign policy. Specific course themes and content should be cited using this foreign-policy paradigm: US obligation to build a democratic world, US commitment to protect only US interests abroad, US responsibility to build a more cooperative and humane world, or US withdrawing into isolation to focus on domestic affairs.