Germany, Berlin

International Relations: Theories and Application

when 13 July 2019 - 10 August 2019
language English
duration 4 weeks
credits 4 EC
fee EUR 1100

This course is designed for students interested in understanding global issues and actors in a time of fast-moving political and social change. Students will learn the evolution of today’s international system as well as key issues and actors in contemporary politics. To learn how to assess these developments critically, the course will introduce the students to the main theories of International Relations (IR).

The field of IR studies the functioning of the international system and deals with the nature of the changing relations between states and with non-state actors. This course starts with discussing the classical theories of IR from Realism to contemporary attempts of theoretical bridge-building. Next, the course will deal with current political debates against the backdrop of the changing international system. Among others, topics to discuss include the role of the United Nations, the state of the world economy, and challenges to globalization. The course continues with examining the role of emerging powers such as China and Russia as well as non-state actors and key issues in contemporary IR such as terrorism or the environment; the goal is to discuss IR theories in the current political context. Finally, the course concludes with a reflection on the prospects for international politics.

In this course, students will learn political concepts and theories through lectures. To compare international political phenomena, each student has to introduce a current issue or actor in a short oral presentation. The students are expected to discuss theoretical questions about the political world in working groups making use of the current news on international politics. In addition, students will learn and practice how to voice their opinion and persuade their audience in an academic essay. Finally, the students will gain insight into daily international politics and IR research through field trips and meetings with IR scholars and international policy experts.

Course leader

Elisabeth Winter

Target group

The course is designed for students with different academic backgrounds and a general interest in international politics. There are no specific prerequisites for this course.

Credits info

4 EC
40% Participation
30% Oral Presentation
30% Final Exam (essay)

Fee info

EUR 1100: Tuition
EUR 250: Program fee