Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2023

Course Description

2020-2023 feels like a decade already. It may be impossible to look beyond the immediate but as the pandemic and the fallout of the war in Ukraine remind us, we are all globally connected. Even as many countries try to close themselves off, the limits and costs to doing so are all too apparent. In this course we will try and understand the theories, ideas and issues that mark the distinctive realm of the ‘international.’ We will grapple with both the enduring questions as well as the challenges of the day and understand how IR theorists have sought to explain these phenomena. We will first understand how- depending on the theoretical lens you adopt- you can arrive at different explanations of international relations, prioritize some issues over others, and provide different policy prescriptions. Then, equipped with these lenses, we will encounter some key issues that drive international politics focusing on three key sub-fields: International Security, Political Economy and Global Governance. Throughout, we will consider some important issues: the Ukraine crisis, Pandemic and its impact on war, trade and globalization, the rise of China and its relationship to the U.S., the challenges to international trade, as well as the problems of climate change and human rights. It is time to transition away from covid-related measures but still have flexibility should we have a surge in cases etc. So please pay attention to attendance and related policies. I recognize all of us will have challenges. Steady communication is key – please keep me apprised if you are struggling with deadlines. Importantly, that doesn’t mean you need to divulge personal information or ‘prove’ that you’re having issues. Keep me informed and we’ll try and figure out solutions.

Student Outcomes

To familiarize you with key theories, chief questions and issues in contemporary International Politics - To see how IR concepts can help us understand the key challenges facing us today - To learn how To analyze events – by the end of this course you should be able To articulate your own analysis of events and trends using appropriate concepts, language and evidence - be able To critically think about the basis and motivations behind various foreign policy stances. - Hopefully develop an interest in one or more areas/issues within International Politics and be able To critically argue about them. - the course learning goals align with university learning goals, specifically To “Identify and solve well-defined and ill-defined problems both collaboratively and individually, and apply these skills To problems facing humanity.”