International relations

Foundations of International Relations (pathway elective)

Module code: 005RE
Level 4
15 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Workshop
Assessment modes: Essay

This module introduces you to some of the main theories and conceptual frameworks for understanding International Relations (IR). We will consider how IR has been constituted as a distinct scholarly discipline. We will also think about who and what is served by the different lenses through which scholars analyse international relations.

  • What role have colonialism and race played in the making of the modern international order, as well as in shaping received ideas about world politics?
  • How are global patterns of inequality and violence related to the dynamics of global capitalism?
  • Why – when the first departments of International Relations were set up – did they not asks these questions, but instead focused on relations between states?
  • What is the significance of international institutions like the UN? To what extent do they help make the world more peaceful and cooperative?
  • What about the role of identities and how we see the relations between self and other? How do gender relations affect all of this?
  • How and why do all these theories matter in the ‘real world’?

Module learning outcomes

  • Recognize problems and issues of current world politics
  • Understand the effects of globalization
  • Use various analytical standard tools of international politics
  • Present orally and in written confident analysis of current issues of world politics