Theories of International Relations

3010-101:
Discipline: Politics and International Relations
Instructor: Wagner
Credits: 3



Field Work: Day 1 - Wednesday, 9 March | Mauritius Download Syllabus

This course is designed to introduce students to key explanations of historical and contemporary events in international relations. The class encourages students to think about issues such globalization, the role of the state and non-state actors and the relationship between theory and policy from variety of theoretical perspectives. We will study the historical context of international relations from the emergence of the modern state system until present.  The class will then introduce a number of contending perspectives—realist, liberal, radical, constructivist—that have been employed by various thinkers from Thucidides to Henry Kissinger to explain issues in international relations. Special sessions before the arrival in the ports of call in the Spring 2016 itinerary will introduce students to relevant topics in international relations of particular concern to that country.

Field Work

Country: Mauritius
Day: 1 - Wednesday, 9 March

The effects of extremist politics, climate change and population growth have contributed to instability in the region and have become major geopolitical challenges for the United States. The visit to the US embassy in Port Louis familiarizes students with the role the US in the Indian Ocean and with the significance of the relations between Mauritius and the United States.

The unique role of Mauritius as the gateway between Asia and Africa has contributed to its economic development. It was the top-ranked African country in the 2013 World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report. It was also ranked as Africa's most competitive economy in the World Economic Forum's report for 2014, having risen twenty places in six years. A visit to an International Aid Agency allows students to learn about the challenges and successes of the practice of international development.

Lectures, readings and discussions before arrival introduced students to topics in international relations relevant to the Indian Ocean and in particular to Mauritius and allow them to apply their theoretical knowledge to their observations of the reality on the ground in Port Louis.

Academic Objectives:
1. The effects of extremist politics, climate change and population growth have contributed to instability in the region and have become major geopolitical challenges for the United States. The visit to the US embassy in Port Louis familiarizes students with the role the US in the Indian Ocean and with the significance of the relations between Mauritius and The United States.
2. The role of Mauritius as the gateway between Asia and Africa has contributed to its economic development. It was the top-ranked African country in the 2013 World Bank Ease of Doing Business Report. It was also ranked as Africa's most competitive economy in the World Economic Forum's report for 2014, having risen twenty places in six years. A visit to the World Bank office allows students to learn about the remarkable development from colonial plantation to financial hub.