International Relations: Contemporary Issues and Actors
Full course description
This course is about different conceptual understandings of International Relations (IR) and specifically the types of international actors and their relationships in a number of contemporary policy areas. As it serves as an introduction to the discipline of IR, it starts with some basic theories and concepts and continues with introducing the role of International (governmental) Organisations (IOs); and International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs). The course also introduces the role of the individual and self-organised groups of individuals that claim actorness in IR. The lectures provide general framework for discussing the role of the above-mentioned actors regarding different issue areas facing the international community today. The tutorials go in further detail on all topics by actively involving the students in lively debates, simulation games, quizzes and in-depth academic discussions. Please note that this is an elective course and available places are limited.
The two main skills that students develop are critical thinking and the ability to form and express their own conceptually informed opinions on the major issues, actors and processes in IR today. At the end of the course, when confronted with current events and latest news, students are able to understand these from a number of competitive conceptual perspectives, critically interpret them and quickly formulate a well-informed opinion. Other related skills include: • Efficient in-depth research and writing (on individually chosen topic for the final paper); • Quick reaction time in understanding, explaining and conceptually interpreting issues in IR (during tutorial presentations and discussions); • Effective team-work (in preparation for class discussions); • Persuasive presentation (of different topics in class); • Leading and facilitating discussions (both in small and big groups in class); • Efficient time-management (when preparing for tutorials and undertaking research on the final paper).
To be announced. Please see course manual.