International relations

A.Y. 2020/2021
9
Max ECTS
60
Overall hours
SSD
SPS/04
Language
English
Learning objectives
The goal of the course is to provide students with the theoretical knowledge necessary to understand contemporary international politics and, more specifically, to grasp the main trends in international relations today. The course will introduce students to the main theoretic traditions and debates underpinning the discipline of International Relations (idealism, realism, institutionalism, and constructivism). Against this theoretical backdrop, the course will outline the fundamental features of the international system that distinguish it from the domestic political arena. In this view, it will introduce specific theories of International Relations (e.g. the democratic peace theory, theories of alliances, theories of interdependence etc.). Finally, this conceptual and theoretic background will be used to analyse the current trends of international politics: the paradoxes of the post-bipolar system, the decline of the international liberal order, the waning of the US leadership and the major post-Cold War crises.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course the students will be able to understand the peculiar logic of how the international relations works (especially, its difference from domestic politics) and will be familiar with the main paradigms of International Relations (IR). Thanks to the knowledge of both the structural features of the international arena and IR's theoretical models, students will be able to appreciate the current trends of the contemporary international system, developing a critical and autonomous ability to analyse international events. The familiarity with key concepts of IR will let the students to integrate notions from other courses and grasp the complex relationship between the political, economic and legal dimensions of world politics.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
Second trimester
The lessons will be held on the Microsoft Teams platform and can be followed synchronously based on the timetable of the second quarter (any information and updates will be available on the ARIEL website of the course).
Course syllabus
The first part of the course will focus on IR theory, the following topics will be addressed:
- The main schools and debates in the study of world politics: realism, idealism, institutionalism, constructivism;
- Introduction to specific theories of IR - e.g. Democratic peace theory; theory of alliances; theory of complex interdependence; foreign policy analysis.
The second part of the Course will consider the main trends that characterize the current international system (i.e. the post-Cold War period). This part will focus on:
- The paradoxes underpinning the post-bipolar system;
- The decline of the international liberal order and the difficulties of the US global leadership;
- The changing forms of war and violence: focus on the post-Cold War major crises (from the Balkans wars in the 90s to the rise and fall of the Islamic State).
Prerequisites for admission
Basic knowledge of political science and contemporary history is presumed.
The course on Political Science is preparatory to International Relations.
Teaching methods
Lessons
(during the covid 19 emergency lessons will be held on the Microsoft Teams - any information and updates will be available on the ARIEL website of the course).
Teaching Resources
For attendant students:

1) Stephanie Lawson, "International Relations", Cambridge, Polity Press (2017 - 3rd edition);

2) Kenneth N. Waltz, "Theory of international politics", New York, MacGraw-Hill (1979) or Long Grove (IL), Waveland Press (2010).

3) John J. Mearsheimer, "The Great Delusion. Liberal dreams and international realities", New Haven, Yale University Press (2018).


For non-attendant students:

1) Robert Jackson, Georg Sørensen, and Jørgen Møller, "Introduction to International Relations. Theories and approaches", Oxford, Oxford University Press (2018 - 7th edition). Only Part II (excluding chapter 6) and Part III (excluding chapter 7):
Part Two: "Classical Theories"
Chapter 3. Realism
Chapter 4: Liberalism
Chapter 5: International Society
Part Three: "Contemporary Approaches and Debates"
Chapter 8: Social Constructivism
Chapter 9: Post-positivism in IR

2) Stephanie Lawson, "International Relations", Cambridge, Polity Press (2017 - 3rd edition);

3) Kenneth N. Waltz, "Theory of international politics", New York, MacGraw-Hill (1979) or Long Grove (IL), Waveland Press (2010).

4) John J. Mearsheimer, "The Great Delusion. Liberal dreams and international realities", New Haven, Yale University Press (2018).
Assessment methods and Criteria
The final exam will be a written test through the Microsoft Teams platform or, if permitted by regulation, in person (any information and updates will be available on the ARIEL website of the course). In the written exam the students are asked to answer to 3 or 4 open questions based on the texts in the program.
The examination will be aimed at:
- ascertaining the knowledge and comprehension of the main IR theories and concepts;
- ascertaining the ability to apply that knowledge to current trends and events in international politics;
- ascertaining the mastery of the specific language concerning the IR vocabulary.
SPS/04 - POLITICAL SCIENCE - University credits: 6003
Lessons: 60 hours
Professor: Carati Andrea
Professor(s)