Theories of International Relations

Course NameTheories of International Relations
Course CodeIRS500
DescriptionThe course aims to provide students with the following objectives: first, an advanced knowledge of the various theoretical traditions of the discipline of International Relations (IR), by getting familiar with the canonical texts of the discipline, on top of the background textbook summaries. Second, throughout and after completion of this course, students should be able to critically compare and reflect on the various theoretical traditions in terms of meta-theoretical debates (ontology, epistemology, levels of analysis etc.) as well as the differing theoretical approaches to concepts such as the state, power, balance of power, security, national interest etc. Third, this course aims to introduce students to the process of scholarly writing, including skills such as peer-reviewing and editing a paper.
Learning OutcomesUpon completion of this course, students will be able to:
– Navigate among the multiple traditions of International Relations theories;
– Comprehend and have a clear understanding of each of the IR “schools”, their internal and external differences, their objects of analysis, as well as their approach to knowledge;
– Read scholarly texts with comprehension. Be able to compare the IR schools of thought and their respective authors in their assumptions about international politics and conceptual definitions (see participation; review article assignments);
– Critically examine IR texts – pose questions relevant to the schools of thought as well in context of broader disciplinary debates; answer questions using the argumentation of the (core) readings (see participation; reading/text discussions; review article assignments);
– Compare the IR schools of thought in terms of ontology, epistemology, levels of analysis, subjectivity/objectivity, normativity etc. (see participation; reading/text discussion assignments).
SchoolSchool of International Relations and Diplomacy (IRD)
Number of credits (US / ECTS)3 US / 6 ECTS