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DAFF 2070A - Primer on international affairs (A)

Type d'enseignement : Elective

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

The aim of the course is to help students acquire the necessary tools to analyze, as citizens as well as practitioners and workers, international affairs in the contemporary world. It will explore international issues, based on research and practice, through economic, strategic, political and social lenses. National and international political issues will be of particular interest. Indeed, all actors, should they be public, private, non governmental, etc., have to face questions related to power, communication, financial means, culture and organisation. Hence the course will begin by studying global and so-called transversal issues to lay the foundations for examining regional and national issues. Theories of international relations will be used in as far as they shed light on the practice of world affairs as well as history, geography, economics, strategy or other social sciences. The study of the international system requires an introduction to the various actors of the international scene, conflicts, regional issues, etc. The course will attempt to be as exhaustive as possible to cover the most important issues, actors and geographical areas. In addition to the teacher's introductions and class discussions, we will use class debates, case studies and students' presentations to practice the skills that are critical to success in public service as well as the private sector—deep intellectual knowledge of the core issues of our time, analytical thinking, effective writing skills and the ability to make clear, succinct oral presentations and arguments. Each student will be required to make a presentation and write a memo on a topic of their interest. Selected readings will be required, while a larger bibliography will be provided for those interested in further reading.


COMOLET, Emmanuel M. (Economiste)

Course validation

The exposé lasts 15 minutes. It is an oral exercise to be told, not read. In addition to the form of your exposé, its assessment will take into consideration: the contextualisation of the topic, a precise definition of terms, a clear organisation and dynamic of ideas, facts, examples and arguments. It will count for a third of the final grade. The participation will be graded, with a continuous and apposite participation valued positively, and on the contrary, a feeble participation sanctioned. It will count for a third of the final grade. The memo will be a 10 000 character paper written for an executive of your choice on a topic chosen in agreement with the teacher. It will be handed in at least two classes before the end of the semester. It will also count for a third of the final grade.

Required reading

  • Two to three readings will be required in preparation for each class.
  • KISSINGER, Henry. Diplomacy. Simon & Schuster, 1994, 912 p. (Diplomatie. Fayard, 1996, 860 p).
  • BRZEZINSKI, Zbigniew and SCOWCROFT, Brent. America and the World, Basic Books, 2008, 304 p. (L'Amérique face au monde. Pearson, 150 p.)

Additional required reading

  • HUNTINGTON, Samuel P. The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order. Simon & Schuster, New York, 1996, 318 p. (Le choc des civilisations, Paris : Odile Jacob, 2000, 545 p.).
  • De MONTBRIAL, Thierry, L'Action et le système du monde, PUF, 2001, 472 p.
  • L'Atlas des atlas : le monde vu d'ailleurs en 200 cartes. Arthaud, 2008, 191 p.