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Бакалаврская программа «Политология и мировая политика»

World Politics and International Relations

Учебный год
Обучение ведется на английском языке
Курс обязательный
Когда читается:
2-й курс, 3, 4 модуль


Course Syllabus


Students of this course are bound to ask the question – what exactly is International Relations (IR)? What distinguishes this subject from history or law, economics or comparative politics? When did ‘IR’ emerge as an academic subject? How has it changed over time in the West and in Russia? What does IR contribute to the sum of human knowledge? And why has it become one of the most popular twenty–first century social sciences despite the fact that – as students will discover fairly early on – IR scholars around the world spend more time than most defending and defining their ‘discipline’? The purpose of this inter–campus course is to try and answer these questions while providing students from the School of Politics and Governance at HSE Moscow and the Department of Political Science and International Affairs at HSE St. Petersburg with a common foundation in the theory and practice of international relations and world politics and an introduction to more specialised topics that they may choose to study in more depth in the future. The course is in two parts. Part one provides an introduction to the history and theory of International Relations (IR) the academic subject or discipline and international relations the practice(s) and politics, from their post–war origins and re–evaluations from 1919 to the present day. Students will learn about all the major theories of IR along with some of the more recent, innovative ones, and the debates over ‘theory and history’ that have shaped the ‘discipline’ over the last century as the practices, politics and order of international relations has been globalised. Part two explores key concepts, trends and challenges of this globalisation. We will look in some detail at both the real–world problems which IR addresses in todays’ world, and some of the essential theories it employs to understand and explain the varied experiences of world politics from perspectives of conventional actors (states and international organsiations) and a broad array of non–state actors (from civil society groups to terrorist cells and international migrants) in our current global moment. This course does not presuppose a specialised knowledge of international affairs. On the other hand, it does assume that students will have a genuine interest in world politics in addition to a willingness to expand their knowledge of geography, policy issues and events of international history. The course shall touch on the whole modern period of international relations, from the birth of the European state system in the early 15th century to the present day. But most of our focus will be on the last hundred years or so, a period marked by the quickening pace of globalisation, the search for a lasting, post–war international order and comparable events of international crisis associated with this collective enterprise. This course is therefore a roadmap and guide to the complex issues in an increasingly globalised context of world politics. Rather than trying to be exhaustive, it seeks to introduce students to a wide range of issues and problems, linked in some shape or form to changes brought about by political, cultural and economic aspects of globalisation; developments that have preoccupied scholars and policymakers alike around the world since the origins of ‘IR’ as a professional field of inquiry. Instead of arguing in favour of a specific approach or pointing to an absolute truth in IR, this course will ask students to think about the origins and dynamics to events and challenges in world politics in a clear and (where appropriate) critical fashion, coming to well–reasoned conclusions based on a combination of empirical observation and theoretical rigour. The aim, in other words, is to inform and stimulate and, in so doing, get all the students who take this course to ask questions and consider research puzzles about the international relations of the past and the present which they may never have thought of before.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Examine and evaluate the evolution of the discipline of international relations (IR) over the past century
  • Consider the impact of historical changes on how IR has been thought about in the past and is being thought about today (esp. the changes brought on by events of peacemaking, war and the dynamics of globalisation)
  • Introduce a range of theoretical tools for analysing the motives, intentions and behaviours of different international actors with regards the political order of states in the era of the United Nations (also referred to as the international political order of ‘global governance’ and more commonly the post–war ‘international system’)
  • Define and discuss some of the main concepts for tracking change(s) in this international order, including ‘new wars’, security, power, regionalisation and globalisation
  • Critically assess global policy challenges associated with this emerging and unstable international order such as nuclear threats, terrorism, migration and economic inequality, and concerns over runaway climate change
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the global evolution and limitations of International Relations (IR) as an academic discipline, including inside Russia
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches for understanding and explaining changes in international order since 1919 in terms of the agency–structure problem in theory
  • Analyse international events from a variety of actor–specific and theoretical viewpoints for understanding a range of (global) policy challenges in the twenty–first century
  • Evaluate the relevance of key concepts for making sense of empirical, policy–facing situations in world politics and developing the theory of international relations in analytical response to these cases
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • The History of ‘IR’ between Wales, America & Russia
  • Peacemaking and the ‘Crisis’ of International Orders
  • Realism
  • Liberalism
  • The Debate of Realism and Liberalism
  • Constructivism
  • The English School
  • International Political Economy
  • Critical Theory & Feminism
  • Understanding and Explaining the ‘Agent–Structure Problem’ in Theory
  • War
  • Power
  • Global Governance
  • Regionalisation & Globalisation
  • Security & Globalisation
  • The Challenge of Nuclear Threats
  • The Challenge of Terrorism
  • The Challenge of International Development
  • The Challenge of Population Change and Migration
  • The Challenge of Climate Change
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Essay
    There is one written essay for the course. The deadline for this assignment will be the end of Module 3 – a more specific date will be set by the seminar instructors in the first seminars of course in January. No late submissions will be accepted, but students can submit their essay at any point before the set deadline.
  • non-blocking Course reading
  • non-blocking Case study
  • non-blocking Final Exam
  • non-blocking Seminar participation
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2023/2024 4th module
    0.2 * Case study + 0.15 * Course reading + 0.15 * Essay + 0.3 * Final Exam + 0.2 * Seminar participation


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Lebedeva, M. M. V. (DE-588)1051718589, (DE-627)786618302, (DE-576)407279407, aut. (2018). Russian studies of international relations from the Soviet past to the post-Cold-War present Marina Lebedeva ; with a foreword by Andrei P. Tsygankov. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.51570654X
  • Wendt, A. (1992). Anarchy is what states make of it: The social construction of power politics. International Organization, 46(2), 391. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020818300027764

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Theory of international politics / Kenneth N. Waltz. (2010). Long Grove, Ill.: Waveland Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.322626552