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ASPO 1465A - Theories of International Relations

Type d'enseignement : Lecture and tutorials

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 48

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This course is an introduction to the major theories of international relations. It will not only present and evaluate the major theories of international politics, but also examine the highly contested issue of what the proper subject matter of IR theory is and the relationship between the history of IR theory and the history of international politics. While it is clearly intended that you should learn a good deal of both international history and IR theory this semester, the course's objectives go beyond this: during the course, students will also confront basic questions which face the whole range of social science disciplines. Why is war so common? Are there alternatives to "states"? Why do persons perceive international relations as they do? To what extent is "international relations" a gendered concept? These are all questions that are explored in various theories of international relations. There are, concurrently, many purposes that might be served by theory. The objectives of this course include helping students to interpret and describe international relations, to study a variety of explanations for various events and non-events, and to consider various prescriptions or solutions to different kinds of problems. At a more prosaic level, it is hoped that you will become a more intelligent 'consumer' of news about international issues. As you become familiar with the various approaches to the study of IR, and with their particular strengths and weaknesses, you will be able more readily to identify the options available to international actors and the constraints within which they operate.


HATTO, Ronald (Chercheur au CERI, Sciences Po)

Senior lecturers

  • ERFORTH, Benedikt (Doctorant en Sciences Politiques/ Teaching Fellow)
  • MADBOULY, Mayada (Doctorant contractuel)
  • RENNICK, Sarah A. (Researcher and operations coordinator)
  • VITTOT, Aurélie (Doctorante - Science Politique)
  • ZEDERMAN, Mathilde (Doctorante)