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Introduction to International Relations



The objectives of this course are
Goal 1: to introduce key issues, theories, and debates in international relations
Goal 2: to apply this knowledge to understand internationale relations


The course gives an introduction to international politics from a theoretical perspective. The discipline of international relations looks at political interactions at the global level. In the context of this course, we will look at states as the most important actors in international politics, although we will also look at the influence of, for example, international governmental organizations (such as the United Nations) and non-governmental organizations (such as Amnesty International or terrorist groups like the Islamic State). How can the behaviour of states and other actors be explained? This question is central to the course. Assumptions from various schools of thought, such as realism, liberalism, and constructivism are discussed extensively. In the course, the most important insights that these theories have presented are dealt with on the basis of concrete examples. Therefore, attention will also be given to specific issues and developments in international politics, such as globalization, regionalism, terrorism, war and peace, human rights, poverty and development, climate change and nuclear non-proliferation.

Study Material

The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations (7th edition) edited by John Baylis, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens




See Introduction page.


First opportunity for a written exam: Tuesday 24 October 2017, 13:30-16:30

Second opportunity for a written exam: Thursday 18 January 2018, 13:30-16:30