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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 course is in two parts. Part one provides an introduction to the history and theory of IR, covering its post–war origins and revaluations from 1919 to the recent past. 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. Part two explores key concepts, trends and challenges of globalisation in world politics. We will look in some detail at both the real–world problems which IR addresses, 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 the broad array of non-state actors (from civil society groups to terrorist cells and international migrants) in the current age of globalisation.