Area residents can gain a better understanding of politics in the global arena by taking two courses offered at Missouri State University-West Plains (MSU-WP).
What you will learn in International Relations
International Relations (PLS 232) is a three-credit-hour course offered each spring semester that takes a closer look at conflict and cooperation in the international state system.
Students will learn about the United Nations, World Bank, European Union, North American Free Trade Agreement, International Monetary Fund and other international organizations working for a more peaceful world, and about those working against them, according to Dr. Kathleen Morrison, professor of political science.
It also will bring to the fore the ongoing struggle between dictatorships (order) and democracies (freedom), she added.
“Our policy goal in International Relations is ‘Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards man,’” Morrison explained. “We learn about the things that can be achieved through international cooperation and the limits on that cooperation. We learn surprising facts like the rate of extreme poverty in the world has been halved in the past 20 years. That is progress. We try to understand how the world can be a better place for all of us.
“After this class, I hope those taking the course will feel better about the future of our world for them, their children and grandchildren,” she added.
The class will meet from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays during the 2023 spring semester. There are no prerequisites, and community members are welcome to audit the class or enroll in the course for personal enrichment, Morrison said.
Regular registration for the 2023 spring semester begins Nov. 12. For more information about admissions and registration procedures, call 417-255-7955 or visit WP.MissouriState.edu.
What you will learn in Countries and Cultures
Countries and Cultures (PLS 205) is a three-credit-hour course offered each fall semester that takes a comparative look at the principles, techniques and policy issues of government in constitutional democracies and authoritarian regimes.
Those taking the course will study such countries as Mexico, Iran, Russia, China and Germany from the inside out to understand the personalities and histories of these countries and successfully predict what they’re likely to do in the future, Morrison said.
“Countries are like people in that they have personalities, physicality, live in neighborhoods they view as safe or unsafe, personal history. When you know all those things about a person, you can predict how they will likely respond in a given situation. It is beneficial to understand these countries from the inside out for this very reason,” she explained.
“We learn some little-known facts, such as the vast majority of the population of Iran is under the age of 40,” she added. “These young people, for the most part, hate the Islamist regime in power and are friendly to the west. That is useful information in dealing with Iran.”
Morrison noted no prerequisites are required for this class, as well, and community members are welcome to enroll for personal enrichment or audit the class.
Those interested in taking Countries and Cultures can enroll during fall semester regular registration, which usually begins in April each year.
For more information about MSU-WP and the courses and programs offered, call 417-255-7953 or visit WP.MissouriState.edu.