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International Relations


Admission requirements

Admission to the Masters programme.

Basic training in international relations or public international law.


International law takes form in the realm of international relations. In this realm, considerations of power and considerations of morality can clash or coincide, sometimes to the benefit and sometimes to the detriment of international law. Given its relevance to the development and application of international law, students of international law must have a basic knowledge of international relations and politics. This course aims to provide students with that knowledge, focusing both on the most important empirical theories of international relations (such as realism, liberalism and social constructivism) and on the moral considerations that are implicit and explicit in such theories. 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.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course
The course has the following objectives:

1) Making law students sensitive to the political context of international legal problems while providing them with insight in the interaction of international politics and international law. 2) Law students learn how to apply theories of international relations to concrete processes and issues in world politics.

Achievement levels
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course: Students are able to critically evaluate major theoretical contributions in the field of study, and to assess their relevance to policymaking.


The timetable of this course can be found in uSis.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (2 hour) lectures: 10

  • Names of lecturer: dr. Peter van Ham

  • Required preparation by students: Prior reading of book chapters

Assessment method

Examination form(s)
Written exam (one week after the final lecture).

Regulation retake passed exams
In this course it is possible to retake an exam that has been passed (cf. art. and further of the Course and Examination Regulations), on the condition that this course is included in the compulsory components of the degree programme. Students who have passed the exam may retake the final written assessment (test) of the course. Please contact the Student Administration Office (OIC) for more information or check ‘Course and exam enrolment’ on the student’s website.

Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination consists of the required reading (literature) for the course and the subjects taught in the lectures.


This course uses Blackboard (digital learning environment).

Reading list

Obligatory course materials
Joseph Grieco et al, Introduction to International Relations (Red Globe Press, 2018, 2nd ed.)

Course information guide:
Will be available 2 weeks before the beginning of the course.



Through uSis.

Contact information

  • Co-ordinator: to be determined

  • Work address: KOG

  • Contact information: through e-mail


  • Institute: Public International Law

  • Department: Public Law

  • Room number secretary: KOG, B1.11

  • Opening hours: 9.00-17.00

  • Telephone number secretary: 071-527 7578

  • Email: