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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2019/2020

World Politics and International Relations

Type: Compulsory course (Political Science)
Area of studies: Political Science
When: 3 year, 3, 4 module
Mode of studies: offline
Language: English
ECTS credits: 4
Contact hours: 80

Course Syllabus


Students of this course are bound to ask the question – what exactly is IR? What distinguishes it from history or law, economics or comparative politics? When did IR emerge as an academic subject? How has it changed over time? What does IR contribute to the sum of human knowledge? And why has it become one of the most popular twenty-first century social sciences, despite the fact that – as you will discover, fairly early on – IR students have to spend more time than most defending and defining their subject? The purpose of this course is to try and answer these questions while providing you with a foundation for some of the more specialised IR topics that you may choose to study in the future. We will look in some detail at both the real-world problems which IR addresses, and some of the essential theories it employs to understand the international system. This course does not presup-pose a specialised knowledge of international affairs. On the other hand, it does assume that you will have a genuine interest in world politics and a willingness to expand your knowledge of geog-raphy and key moments in international history. This course is therefore a roadmap and guide to complex issues. Rather than trying to be exhaustive, it seeks to introduce you to a wide range of issues and problems that have preoccupied writers, scholars and policy-makers for many decades – even centuries. Instead of arguing in favour of a specific approach or pointing to an absolute truth in IR, this course will ask you to think about international events in a systematic and critical fash-ion, coming to well-reasoned conclusions based on a combination of empirical observation and theoretical rigour. The aim, in other words, is to inform and stimulate and, in so doing, to get you to ask questions and think of answers that you may never have thought of before. The course is modelled on the University of London’s, ‘Introduction to International Rela-tions’. We will be using the study guide from this course as a key reference point throughout. The working language is English. That applies for both lectures and seminars.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Explore the evolution of the discipline of international relations (IR) over the past century by examining our changing understandings of order in the modern world
  • Consider the impact of major historical events on the evolution of IR, including the treaties of Westphalia, the First World War and the ongoing influence of globalisation
  • Introduce a range of theoretical tools that will help students analyse the behaviour of interna-tional actors and the nature of international systems
  • Define and discuss some main concepts within the discipline, including war, the state and power
  • Critically assess challenges facing the contemporary international order, including problems of global governance and the rise of East Asian actors
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the evolution of international relations as an academic discipline
  • Explain the relevance of key terms in international relations
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of IR’s various theoretical approaches
  • Analyse contemporary and historical international events from a variety of theoretical view-points
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • History of International Relations (IR)
    (1) The Origins of IR; (2) The Short 20th Century; (3) The Post-Cold War World; (4) Globalisation
  • Theories of International Relations (IR)
    (1) The English School; (2) Realism I; (3) Realism II; (4) Liberalism I; (5) Liberalism II; (6) Constructivism; (7) Gender Theory; (8) International Political Economy
  • Key concepts of International Relations (IR)
    (1) The State; (2) War; (3) Power; (4) Global Governance
  • The future of International Relations (IR)
    (1) China Rising; (2) Analysing International Order
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Mid-term Test
  • non-blocking Written Assignment
    The deadline for this assignment is 06:00 on Monday 1 June 2020. No late submissions will be accepted, but students can submit their essay at any point before this deadline. The idea of this assignment is to test each student’s understanding of the course as whole, and also to evaluate their academic writing skills. This assignment should be 2000-words in length, not including the title, the student’s name and group number (which should all be included at the top of the first page). The bibliography at the end of will also not be included in the word count. Essays should not go over, or under, the word limit of 2000 words by more than 10%. Every 10% (200 words) higher or lower than the word limit will incur a 0.5 grade penalty. In other words, as-signments of 1795 and 2205 words will both receive the same 0.5 penalty. The essay should be written in 12 point Times New Roman with 1.5 spacing. Students can use larger font for the title and section headings, if they wish. The only file format that will be accepted is a Microsoft Word document (.doc) file.
  • non-blocking Seminars
    Obtaining an excellent grade, requires demonstrating an ability to understand and analyse key ideas and concepts from (all) the required readings and (at least one) of the recommended readings as-signed for the seminar. A scorecard for participation will be kept by the seminar instructor and used to calculate a final participation score for each student. If a student misses a seminar, and has a valid reason for doing so, there will be an opportunity to complete a brief written task in order to obtain a participation grade for the class they have missed. Confirmation of the validity of absence must be provided to the study office. The written task is to be arranged with the instructor.
  • non-blocking Exam
    This is a written exam. Interaction with students occurs by e-mail from the corporate address: igorelskiy@hse.ru. Students' works should be uploaded to the Dropbox cloud service (https://www.dropbox.com/request/3o1sTeVxD8hJ2wrqLuOj). Students will receive a set of written assignments 10 minutes before the exam. The student's computer must meet the following requirements: access to the Internet. To participate in the exam, the student must: appear for the exam according to the exact schedule, familiarize himself/herself with the tasks and fill out the appropriate Google form before the exam (https://forms.gle/GoUNp37kC8HRSfE39). During the exam, students are prohibited from: using tips, borrowing large parts of the text from other sources (it is supposed to check for anti-plagiarism). During the exam, students are allowed to: use a printed dictionary. A long-term communication disruption during an exam is the absence of a response in the Google form within 20 minutes after the exam begins. In case of a long-term communication disruption, the student cannot continue to participate in the exam. The retake procedure is similar to the first take procedure.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.35 * Exam + 0.2 * Mid-term Test + 0.2 * Seminars + 0.25 * Written Assignment


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • ALLISON, G. (2017). The Thucydides Trap. Foreign Policy, (224), 80. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=f5h&AN=123126463
  • Brown, C., & Ainley, K. (2009). Understanding International Relations (Vol. Foruth edition). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1522816
  • Doyle, M. W. (2005). Three Pillars of the Liberal Peace. American Political Science Review, (03), 463. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.apsrev.v99y2005i03p463.466.05
  • Ikenberry, G. J. (2008). The Rise of China and the Future of the West. (cover story). Foreign Affairs, 87(1), 23. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=f5h&AN=28018827
  • Krasner, S. D. (1999). Sovereignty : Organized Hypocrisy. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=74712
  • Rathbun, B. (2008). A Rose by Any Other Name: Neoclassical Realism as the Logical and Necessary Extension of Structural Realism. Security Studies, 17(2), 294–321. https://doi.org/10.1080/09636410802098917
  • Tammen, R. (2008). The Organski Legacy: A Fifty-Year Research Program. International Interactions, 34(4), 314–332. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050620802561769
  • Wendt, A. (1992). Anarchy is what states make of it: the social construction of power politics. International Organization, (02), 391. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.intorg.v46y1992i02p391.425.02

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Armitage, D. (2012). Foundations of Modern International Thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=498289
  • Baldwin, D. A. (2016). Power and International Relations : A Conceptual Approach. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1090916
  • Bartelson, J. (2006). The Concept of Sovereignty Revisited. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.4253F2F7
  • Booth, K. (2001). New Wars for Old. Civil Wars, 4(2), 163. https://doi.org/10.1080/13698240108402474
  • Bull, H. (2012). The Anarchical Society : A Study of Order in World Politics (Vol. 4th ed). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1523322
  • Clark Arend, A. (2003). International Law and the Preemptive Use of Military Force. Washington Quarterly, 26(2), 89. https://doi.org/10.1162/01636600360569711
  • Copeland, D. C. (2014). Economic Interdependence and War. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=810397
  • Enloe, C. H. . (DE-588)172063531, (DE-576)132937670. (2014). Bananas, beaches and bases : making feminist sense of international politics / Cynthia Enloe. Berkeley, Calif. [u.a.]: Univ. of California Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.408128828
  • Erik Gartzke. (2007). The Capitalist Peace. American Journal of Political Science, (1), 166. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-5907.2007.00244.x
  • Ferguson, N. (2005). Sinking Globalization. Foreign Affairs, 84(2), 64. https://doi.org/10.2307/20034276
  • Halliday, F. (DE-588)109995899, (DE-576)161282180. (1994). Rethinking international relations / Fred Halliday. London: Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.041315367
  • Hans Morgenthau, Realism, and the Scientific Study of International Politics. (1994). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.DA7BDEC
  • Ikenberry, G. J. (2014). The Illusion of Geopolitics. Foreign Affairs, 93(3), 80. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=f5h&AN=95603432
  • Jonathan M. DiCicco, & Jack S. Levy. (1999). Power Shifts and Problem Shifts. Journal of Conflict Resolution, (6), 675. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.sae.jocore.v43y1999i6p675.704
  • Julie Newton. (2013). Gorbachev, Mitterrand, and the Emergence of the Post-Cold War Order in Europe. Europe-Asia Studies, (2), 290. https://doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2012.759716
  • Kennedy, D. W. (2008). The Mystery of Global Governance. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.65985926
  • Krasner, S. D., & Pascual, C. (2005). Addressing State Failure. Foreign Affairs, 84(4), 153. https://doi.org/10.2307/20034427
  • Mazower, M. (DE-588)121850439, (DE-576)168139618. (2009). No enchanted palace : the end of empire and the ideological origins of the United Nations / Mark Mazower. Princeton, NJ [u.a.]: Princeton Univ. Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.311479782
  • Mazower, M. (DE-588)121850439, (DE-576)168139618. (2012). Governing the world : the history of an idea / Mark Mazower. London [u.a.]: Allen Lane. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.377319783
  • Nye, J. S. (2004). Soft Power : The Means to Success in World Politics (Vol. 1st ed). New York: PublicAffairs. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=461952
  • Realism, Neoliberalism, and Cooperation: Understanding the Debate. (1999). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.CDFD624D
  • Rengger, N. J. . (DE-588)121634248, (DE-576)167219286. (2000). International relations, political theory and the problem of order : beyond international relations theory? / N. J. Rengger. London [u.a.]: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.078786320
  • Rengger, N. J. (2000). International Relations, Political Theory and the Problem of Order : Beyond International Relations Theory? London: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=460203
  • Rosato, S. (2003). The Flawed Logic of Democratic Peace Theory. American Political Science Review, (04), 585. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsrep&AN=edsrep.a.cup.apsrev.v97y2003i04p585.602.00
  • Schweller, R. L. (1994). Bandwagoning for profit. International Security, 19(1), 72. https://doi.org/10.2307/2539149
  • Snyder, G. H. (2002). Mearsheimer’s World—Offensive Realism and the Struggle for Security. International Security, 27(1), 149–173. https://doi.org/10.1162/016228802320231253
  • Structural power : the limits of neorealist power analysis. (1993). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.6CAA16EA
  • The Coming Multi-Order World. (2016). https://doi.org/10.1080/13523260.2016.1150053
  • Waltz, K. N. (2000). Structural Realism after the Cold War. International Security, 25(1), 5–41. https://doi.org/10.1162/016228800560372
  • Weiss, T. G., & Wilkinson, R. (2014). Rethinking Global Governance? Complexity, Authority, Power, Change. International Studies Quarterly, 58(1), 207–215. https://doi.org/10.1111/isqu.12082