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, the course starts with basic theories of International Relations and continues with introducing the role of international (governmental) organisations and international non-governmental organisations in various issue areas, such as migration, security and the transformation of global order. The lectures in this course provide a general framework for understanding the topics discussed above, while the tutorials explore contemporary issues and actors in an interactive way. A specific focus will be on studying practical examples to which conceptual lenses can be applied. Please note that this is an elective course and available places are limited.
The two main skills that students develop in this course 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 at the global level, students are able to understand these from a variety of conceptual perspectives and to critically interpret them. In this sense, the course also prepares for later courses on EU external policy. The skills trained in this course include:
- In-depth research and writing (during the exam);
- Understanding, explaining and conceptually interpreting issues in IR (during tutorial discussions and in the exam);
- Eﬀective team-work (in preparation for class discussions and chairing roles);
- Leading and facilitating discussions (both in small and big groups in class);
- Time-management (when preparing for tutorials and undertaking research on the final paper).
Baylis, John, Smith, Steve, & Owens, Patricia (Eds.) (2017). The Globalization of World Politics. An Introduction to International Relations (7th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.