Stephen Sims Headshot

Stephen Sims

Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science
College of Liberal Arts

585-475-5609
Office Location

Stephen Sims

Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science
College of Liberal Arts

Education

BA, Thomas Aquinas College; MA, Ph.D., Baylor University

585-475-5609

Currently Teaching

POLS-330
3 Credits
This course explores the theoretical meaning, both domestically and internationally, and the institutional and political aspects of human rights. Issues covered include the definition of human rights; the relationship between civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights; the meaning and impact of humanitarian and international human rights law; the impact of cultural relativism in the definition and assessment of the promotion and protection of human rights; the significance of different religious perspectives; the question of the legitimacy of humanitarian interventions and the effects of globalization on human rights perceptions and practices.
POLS-325
3 Credits
The study of international law and organizations is the study of international cooperation and governance. The course will cover a variety of theoretical and substantive topics including the theories of international law and organizations, the historical development of international organizations, how these organizations work in practice, and whether they are effective. Emphasis will be placed on the United Nations and the role and usefulness of nongovernmental organizations in international organization. Several of the substantive issues discussed are interstate violence and attempts to address humanitarian concerns, globalizations, and the environment.
POLS-205
3 Credits
This course examines the role of ethics in international politics. It will address topics such as humanitarian intervention, just war, the ethics of immigration, international economic justice, accountability in international development aid, and the ethical role of international organizations and non-state actors. Special attention will be given to thinkers who discuss the promise and limits of ethics in international politics and who give an account of the force of international law in establishing ethical norms throughout international political history.
POLS-440
3 Credits
Explores the enduring reality of war through an analysis of regional and global conflicts since the establishment of the modern international system. Key concepts include deterrence, appeasement, offensive-defensive military strategies, and international balances of power. These will be applied to several historical cases to explain why wars occur and how they might be avoided.
POLS-360
3 Credits
The course provides a general overview of international themes, ethical principles, and issues that are taken into consideration in international political thought. Possible topics may include theoretical analyses of the ideas of sovereignty, nationalism, hegemony, imperialism, global civil society, political theology, balance of power, collective security, just war, perpetual peace, and human rights. Guiding themes of the course will be a reflection upon the nature of political legitimacy in the international context and the tension between political justifications based upon necessity and those based upon justice. In reading the major political thinkers students will be encouraged to reflect upon the challenge of reconciling ethical obligations to one’s own community with those of humanity in general.
POLS-599
1 - 3 Credits
A student may register for an independent study project subject to the approval of the faculty sponsor, student's department, the academic committee of the college of liberal arts and the dean of the college of liberal arts and providing that she or he has a minimum GPA of 2.7 at time of application. An independent study project is not a substitute for a course. It enables the interested student and his or her faculty sponsor to coordinate their efforts on subjects and topics that range beyond the normal sequence of course selection.