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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? Is there a place for the economy in world politics? Can feminists better explain global affairs? How does Western intellectual thought still drive international relations today? In this course, the aim is to engage students with these questions through in-depth reading of key texts that indirectly or directly contributed to the development of World Politics . The course builds on concepts, ideas and knowledge students learned in the ‘Global Challenges: Peace and Justice’ and the introductory courses offered in World Politics. The selected texts have strong conceptual and theoretical aims: they have furthered our understanding of world politics by contributing ‘big ideas’ and frameworks, sometimes launching major subdisciplines or areas of study in Internal Relations. In keeping with its title, the course takes seriously regions outside of Europe and North America, incorporating where possible critical and non-Western perspectives.

Course objectives

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

  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of fundamental, classic and contemporary, works in World Politics;

  • Critically evaluate the contribution these texts make to the development of IR as a discipline;

  • Assess their relevance and applicability in contemporary IR;

  • Writing and presentation skills based on in-depth understanding of the original texts.


Once available, timetables will be published here.

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. These texts including writings from Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, Hugo Grotius, Immanuel Kant, E.H. Carr, Robert Koehane, Graham Allison, Susan Strange, Cynthia Enloe and Dipesh Chakrabarty.


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 Machiavelli’s The Prince.