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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2022/2023

The Theory of International Relations

Type: Compulsory course (Advertising and Public Relations)
Area of studies: Advertising and Public Relations
When: 4 year, 2 module
Mode of studies: distance learning
Online hours: 24
Open to: students of one campus
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3
Contact hours: 12

Course Syllabus


This course aims to familiarize students with the basic theories, history, and philosophy of international relations. This course deals with the leading theories of international relations such as realism, liberalism, marxism, and constructivism and covers such historical topics as World War I, World War II, the Cold War. Students will have the opportunity to assess the main stages in developing the international relations, theoretical approaches, and concepts of international relations prevailing at each historical stage and examine the major historical events from different theoretical perspectives. This course will be held in a blended format, including one introduction lecture, the online-course «Understanding International Relations Theory» on the Coursera platform, two seminar classes, essay and final exam.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The course aims to initiate a systematic and holistic view on the basic theoretical approaches to international relations as a discipline, their historical evolution and influence as well as to form a systemic view on the specificity of key global political and economic processes through the prism of IR theory.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • By reading Thucydides, Morgenthau and other realist scholars students would have a fairly good idea as to how realists understand the world and what lessons they are trying to teach the world
  • Students will be able to develop a comprehensive view on democracy and liberal values from different IR theories perspective.
  • Students will be able to discuss the great power rivalry though the prism of main IR theories.
  • Students will be able to examine the flaws of the traditional explanations for the end of the Cold War
  • Students will be able to examine the main causes of WWI, WWII and the Cold War.
  • Students will be exposed to Marx’s idea of communism and make a judgment as to what would be our best economic system.
  • Students will have a basic understanding of Copenhagen school of IR, namely securitizations theory, as well as security communities theory of Karl Deutsch
  • Students will have a basic understanding of realism, liberalism, marxism, constructivism, and neo theories as major theoretical paradigms of international relations in the US and the West: By studying historical cases such as WWI, WWII, the Cold War, etc., students will develop an interest in history. By combining theory, history, and philosophy, students will develop analytical and debating skills that will enable them to succeed in whatever they do
  • Students will have a basic understanding of such burning issues in IR theory as anarchic politics, ethical questions, and International Politics, three views of the role of morality.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • 1. An Overview of the course.
  • 2. Birth of the science and classical tradition
  • 3. Origins of liberalism
  • 4. The beginning: the World Wars and genesis of the IR science
  • 5. Academic writing – consultation
  • 6. Kenneth Waltz and structural theory
  • 7. Neoliberalism: the liberal paradigm after the WWII
  • 8. Marxism and neo-marxism
  • 9. Critical IR theories (constructivism, postmodernism, feminism)
  • 10. Actors in International Relations
  • 11. Power in International Relations
  • 12. Global governance
  • 13. Back to classics: the realist paradigm in the XXI century
  • 14. Russia as a realist power
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking In-class Participation
  • non-blocking Final Exam
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2022/2023 2nd module
    0.6 * In-class Participation + 0.4 * Final Exam


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Cristol, J. (2009). Morgenthau vs. Morgenthau? “The Six Principles of Political Realism” in Context. American Foreign Policy Interests, 31(4), 238–244. https://doi.org/10.1080/10803920903136247
  • Hamilton, J. B., & Fukuyama, F. (2018). The End of History and the Last Man. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.FFDEB7F0
  • Hamnett, C. (2018). A world turned upside down: the rise of China and the relative economic decline of the West. Area Development & Policy, 3(2), 223–240. https://doi.org/10.1080/23792949.2018.1439392
  • Lieber, K. A. (2007). The New History of World War I and What It Means for International Relations Theory. International Security, 32(2), 155–191. https://doi.org/10.1162/isec.2007.32.2.155
  • Sutter, R. (2010). Assessing China’s Rise and US Leadership in Asia—growing maturity and balance. Journal of Contemporary China, 19(65), 591–604. https://doi.org/10.1080/10670561003666186

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Jeffrey Haynes. (2019). From Huntington to Trump : Thirty Years of the Clash of Civilizations. Lexington Books.
  • Korab-Karpowicz, W. J. (2006). How International Relations Theorists Can Benefit by Reading Thucydides. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.B0893F4B
  • Kupchan, C. A., & Kupchan, C. A. (1995). The promise of collective security. International Security, 20(1), 52. https://doi.org/10.2307/2539215
  • Painter, D. (2006). A Partial History of the Cold War. Cold War History, 6(4), 527. https://doi.org/10.1080/14682740600979295
  • Zubok, V. M. (2002). Gorbachev and the End of the Cold War: Perspectives on History and Personality. Cold War History, 2(2), 61. https://doi.org/10.1080/713999954