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Foundational Texts in World Politics




Admissions requirements

Students must have successfully completed at least one of the following 100-level courses: Introduction to International Relations & Diplomacy; Introduction to Globalization and Transnational Politics; and Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies.


Why do states go to war with each other? How they agree on peace? What keeps peaceful relations amongst states? What drives foreign policy decisions? Who is responsible for the world economy? Can feminists better explain global affairs? What are the big questions in world politics and what are the most important discoveries we have made about it?

These are important foundational questions for any student taking the World Politics major. Answering them requires a foray into the foundational texts that have defined World Politics as an intellectual endeavour. If you want to know what World Politics is about, you will need to read the big thinkers who made it what it is.

Foundational Texts in World Politics is intended for second-year students of the World Politics major with a basic understanding of international relations. It engages students in an in-depth and deliberate reading of the fundamental works that have defined various areas of the study of world politics. The selected texts have strongly conceptual and theoretical aims: they have furthered knowledge by contributing ‘big ideas’ and frameworks, sometimes launching major subdisciplines or areas of study. In keeping with its title, the course takes seriously perspectives outside of Europe and North America and mainstream research programmes, incorporating where possible critical and non-Western perspectives.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify foundational theories of international relations;

  • Identify the relevance and applicability of foundational theories to contemporary global challenges

  • Summarise foundational theories for a non-expert audience in writing and in oral presentations

  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of international relations theory


Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

The course is taught through two-hour seminars, using a mix of short lectures, class discussions, group work, and student presentations. Specific emphasis is placed on active student participation in seminar discussion. The role of the professor is primarily to safeguard the intellectual quality and academic rigour of seminar discussion.


19% class participation
19% presentation
30% book review
32% final essay


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list

The reading list for this course includes fundamental texts that will be read in their original versions. The authors include Niccolò Machiavelli, E.H. Carr, Susan Strange, Frantz Fanon, amongst others.


This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact


Dr. Densua Mumford


Before the start of the course, students are required to read Immanuel Kant’s Toward Perpetual Peace.