International Studies: History, Theory, Practice


As befits the complexity of the realm it investigates, international studies is a multifaceted, interdisciplinary field, characterized more by recurrent debates and disagreements than by broadly consensual knowledge. This course begins by introducing three key controversies in the field—whether international politics is inevitably the domain of coercive force, whether actors on the international stage act based on interests or on ideas, and whether the international environment is relatively immutable or is amenable to more or less deliberate efforts to change it—and then exploring how those controversies inform a variety of historical cases and contemporary issues. The focus throughout the course is on making explicit the principles and perspectives underlying different and divergent views of international relations, including the principles and perspectives brought to the course by the students themselves.

Required for the following concentrations at International Relations Online:

Global Security
Int’l Development
Int’l Negotiation & Conflict Resolution
US Foreign Policy & National Security