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Understanding International Relations Theory

Учебный год
Обучение ведется на английском языке


Course Syllabus


The course aims to introduce the key assumptions of the international relations theory as a part of social science and as an analytic tool, focusing on the problems of war and peace, foreign policy decision-making, etc. The course combines historic approach and analysis of the modern political problems. The historic part shows the evolution of the international relations theory from being a part of political philosophy to its emergence as a special branch of political science, which is essential to understand the key ideas of the IR science. The lectures also include broad outline of the modern concepts and debates in the context of the contemporary political problems, such as rise of China and other emerging powers, threat of terrorism, US-Russia confrontation, etc.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The course aims to introduce the key assumptions of the international relations theory as a part of social science and as an analytic tool, focusing on the problems of war and peace, foreign policy decision-making, etc.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Describes a realist interpretation of the Russian actions within the international system.
  • Describes the evolution of the liberal paradigm during the Cold War.
  • Describes the great debates between the two grand paradigms during the World Wars and explain how the first scientific theories emerged from these debates.
  • Describes the one of the key theoretical problems in the IR science: who is actor of international politics?
  • Describes the Realist Paradigm in the XXI century
  • Describes the second grand paradigm of international relations: liberalism.
  • Describes the so-called critical theories and their interpretation of the key problems of world politics.
  • Describes the world of class struggle and imperialist wars
  • Finds out a realistic answer to the question: how to survive in the nuclear age?
  • Formulates, states and reasonably defends their own vision of the questions: is it possible to create a world government? And will this lead to "eternal peace"?
  • Gets to know the answers to the questions: What is power in IR and how can we classify it? What is the balance of power concept? Which state is the most powerful in the world and can a non-state actor dominate the world politics?
  • Names the ancient roots of modern IR theories
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Birth of the science and classical tradition
  • Origins of Liberalism
  • The beginning: the World Wars and genesis of the IR science
  • Kenneth Waltz and Structural Theory
  • Neoliberalism: The Liberal paradigm after the WWII
  • Marxism and Neo-Marxism
  • Critical IR theories (Constructivism, Postmodernism, Feminism)
  • Actors in international relations
  • Power in international relations
  • Global governance
  • Back to classics: the Realist Paradigm in the XXI century
  • Russia as a realist power
  • final lesson
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Tests 1
  • non-blocking Tests 2
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2021/2022 2nd module
    0.5 * Tests 1 + 0.5 * Tests 2


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Brown, C., & Ainley, K. (2009). Understanding International Relations (Vol. Foruth edition). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1522816
  • Burchill, S., Linklater, A., & Devetak, R. (2013). Theories of International Relations (Vol. 5th ed). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1526050
  • Chakrabarti, P. N. (2018). History of International Relations. [N.p.]: New Central Book Agency. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=2239647
  • Kaufman, J. P. (2018). Introduction to International Relations : Theory and Practice (Vol. Second edition). Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1668224
  • Lebow, R. N. (2003). The Tragic Vision of Politics : Ethics, Interests and Orders. New York: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=120527
  • Lebow, R. N. (2007). Coercion, Cooperation, and Ethics in International Relations. New York: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=193856

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • A Series of Publications in Japanese Studies: History, Politics, Foreign Policy, International Relations, Russia-Japan Relations and Japanese Studies in Russia ; Серия изданий по Японии: история, внутренняя и внешняя политика, российско-японские отношения, японоведение в России. (2016). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.D5768DF7
  • Acharya, A. (2013). The Making of Southeast Asia : International Relations of a Region (Vol. Reprint ed). Singapore: Cornell University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=671333
  • Controversies in international relations theory : realism and the neoliberal challenge / Charles W. Kegley. (1995). New York: St. Martin’s Pr. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.04206273X
  • Lebow, R. N. (2010). Why Nations Fight : Past and Future Motives for War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=337696
  • Lebow, R. N. (DE-588)110482727, (DE-576)161934102. (2008). A cultural theory of international relations / by Richard Ned Lebow. Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.28576392X
  • Rengger, N. J. (2000). International Relations, Political Theory and the Problem of Order : Beyond International Relations Theory? London: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=460203
  • Russia-EU relations : the present situation and prospects / Centre for European Policy Studies. (2005). Brussels. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.389731757
  • Waltz, K. N. (2001). Man, the State, and War : A Theoretical Analysis. New York: Columbia University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=461136