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This course will provide an overview of the central theoretical concepts and debates in the field of international relations. The first part of the course will focus on theoretical questions that have preoccupied scholars since the time of Thucydides: What are the implications of an anarchic political structure for order and justice in world politics? What are the necessary conditions for peace and stability? Is military power all that matters in determining politics among nations? What role do moral, legal, and humanitarian considerations play in the conduct of international relations? Have new norms about human rights and humanitarian intervention changed the way that states interact with each other and their populations? How do important theoretical approaches like Realism and Liberalism help us understand world politics in the 21st century?
This course is not explicitly focused on current events, but since our subject matter involves theoretical and conceptual issues about the nature of world politics, all students will be required to keep up to date on important world events and policy debates.
Format: lecture; This course will largely be run as a synchronous seminar, although some lectures might be posted on GLOW.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
several short papers, weekly GLOW posting, and class participation
this is an introductory course, open to first-year students and sophomores; juniors and seniors may enroll only with permission of instructor and under special circumstances
first-year students and sophomores intending to major in Political Science
POEC Required Courses
PSCI International Relations Courses