16 episodes

World politics is full of dramatic singular events: wars, financial crises, terrorist attacks,
peace talks, revolutions, popular campaigns for human rights. International Relations
(IR) theory helps us explain and understand those events by equipping us with the
appropriate conceptual tools to use in placing these events into context. This course will
consider some of the major theoretical alternatives on offer in contemporary IR
scholarship, with an eye to clarifying their similarities and differences. Since many of
the perennial issues at stake in IR theoretical debates have their roots in classical
questions of political philosophy, the course will begin with discussion of some of those
classical authors. After this foundation has been established, we will move to a more
direct discussion of IR theoretical schools like realism, liberalism, constructivism,
feminism, and critical theory.

Theories of International Relations - Spring 2009 American University

    • Podcasts

World politics is full of dramatic singular events: wars, financial crises, terrorist attacks,
peace talks, revolutions, popular campaigns for human rights. International Relations
(IR) theory helps us explain and understand those events by equipping us with the
appropriate conceptual tools to use in placing these events into context. This course will
consider some of the major theoretical alternatives on offer in contemporary IR
scholarship, with an eye to clarifying their similarities and differences. Since many of
the perennial issues at stake in IR theoretical debates have their roots in classical
questions of political philosophy, the course will begin with discussion of some of those
classical authors. After this foundation has been established, we will move to a more
direct discussion of IR theoretical schools like realism, liberalism, constructivism,
feminism, and critical theory.

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