Spring 2023

POLS 232 International Relations [CRN 17848]

Overview of Course

How do we think differently about world politics? What tools do policymakers use to understand the world and make policies? The goal of this course is to introduce students to basic concepts, practices, and theories of international relations that enable them to understand and participate in contemporary debates in international politics. Students will learn about the historical and conceptual foundations of the field, as well about the contemporary challenges and approaches to global politics. The course will be divided into three segments. The first looks at the historical development of the international system, from Westphalia to the two World Worlds, from the concert of Europe to the League of Nations, from 9/11 to today. The second segment will introduce the main concepts and theories of IR: power and anarchy (realism), cooperation and institutions (liberalism), international society (English school), and justice (critical theories). The third segment will look at contemporary challenges such as the changing nature of conflict and violence, the development of international law and humanitarian intervention, and issues in international finance and trade. This course is designed to be multidisciplinary and is suitable for students of all disciplines who have a strong interest in international relations.