International Relations (in English)

ISA Study Center with Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo-Sevilla

Course Description

  • Course Name

    International Relations (in English)

    Course Closed
  • Host University

    ISA Study Center with Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo-Sevilla

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    International Relations, International Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description & learning objectives: This course is intended to provide an introduction to international relations and politics. It seeks to familiarize students with the basic language, concepts and theoretical approaches to the subject and to offer a framework for the analysis and understanding of contemporary international affairs. After analysing the inherent difficulties of maintaining good relations at local and international levels, students will examine the evolution of the international system in the 20th century, the Cold War, and the changing balance of power following the disintegration of the USSR. Special attention will be paid to the role of the US in the world, the methods and motives of international intervention, the duties of the major powers towards developing countries and the response to the threat of international terrorism. Contemporary international conflicts will be analysed and the effectiveness of international organizations in dealing with them will be assessed.
    Learning outcomes:
    1) Understand the major concepts of international relations, including: power, State, Nation-State, anarchy, self-help, sovereignty, balance of power, war, conflict, cooperation, integration, globalization and interdependence.
    2) Critical evaluation of the international system since the formation of the modern state system, the Treaties of Westphalia and Utrecht, WWI & WWII, the Cold War era, and the current structure of the modern world.
    3) Theories and approaches applied to international relations: Realism, Liberalism, Marxist theories, Social constructivism, Post-structuralism, Post-colonialism, International Ethics.
    3) Key actors in international relations -including states, intergovernmental organizations (UN & EU), non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations, global civil society, and individuals- and understand how these actors interact to give substance to international relations.
    4) Review of current and recent conflicts worldwide (Israeli-Palestinian, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, Ukraine). Analysis of US foreign policy. European and Asian perspectives of world affairs. The features and effects of globalization, environmental problems, and human rights abuses.
    5) Demonstrate knowledge of the multi-disciplinary nature of international relations by establishing connections with the disciplines that have shaped and continue to influence international relations: history, economics, politics, culture, language, race, ethnicity and gender.
    6) Demonstrate skills of critical analysis and written and oral communication, including the ability to:
    -Read and reflect on disciplinary materials and literature carefully, critically, and insightfully.
    -Write well-organized, informed, logically argued, clear, persuasive, and stylistically correct essays and papers.
    -Participate actively in class discussions, verbally expressing ideas clearly, logically and persuasively.
    7) Work effectively in teams and project groups.
    - Definitions
    - Intellectual origins of IR, & IR as academic discipline
    - Historical evolution of the international system. Ancient World to Globalization.
    - Cultural aspects of a globalised world.
    - Realism
    - Liberalism
    - NeoRealist & NeoLiberal Theories
    - Marxist Theories
    - International Organisations:
    U.N. (generalist): a liberal approach to solving conflicts?
    N.A.T.O. (security): a realist approach to solving conflicts?
    E.U. (economic/political) regional integration, successes and challenges
    -Transnational Actors:
    Multinational Companies (MNCs): Economic, social and ethical considerations.
    Non Govermental Organizations (NGOs): scope, efficacy & fields of work
    US foreign policy: rationale for interventions, outcomes of interventions:
    - US-Latin America relations
    - US-Europe relations
    - US-Russia relations
    - US-China relations
    - US-ASEAN relations
    - US-Middle & Far East relations: Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Syria, Iran, AF-PAK, Arab Spring
    - US Africa relations
    Contemporary challenges:
    - Global Warming, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Poverty, Development
    - Global Trade and Finance
    - Internet, Big Data, Cyberwar
    Required readings: Baylis, J., Smith, S. & P. Owens (eds.), The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations. 6th ed., Oxford University Press, 2014.
    Complementary bibliography
    Brown, C. & Ainley, K. Understanding International Relations. Palgrave Mc Millan, 2009.
    Huntington, Samuel P. The Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of the World Order. Simon and Schuster Paperbacks, 1996.
    Jones, W.S., The Logic of International Relations, New York: Harper Collins, 1991
    Kegley, C. W. & E. R. Wittkopf, World Politics: Trend & Transformation, 10th ed., Thomson Wadsworth, CA, 2005
    Kissinger, H. Diplomacy. Simon and Schuster, 1994.
    Kung, H. A Global Ethic: The Declaration of the Parliament of the World's Religions. New York: Continuum, 1993.
    Monshipouri, M. Democratization, liberalization & human rights in the Third World. Boulder: L. Rienner Publishers, 1995.
    Nicholson, M. International Relations: A Concise Introduction. 2nd ed., Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2002
    Pease, Kelly-Kate S., International Organizations. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2011
    Pettman, R., International Politics. Melbourne: Longman Chesire, 1991
    Roskin, M.G. & O.B. Nicholas IR: The New World of International Relations. 7th ed., New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2007
    Rourke, J.T. International Politics on the World Stage. 12th ed., McGraw Hill, 2007
    Russett B., Starr H., & D. Kinsella., World Politics: The Menu for Choice. 9th ed., Wadsworth Publishing, 2009
    Watson, A. The Evolution of International Society. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2009.
    Course Evaluation:
    20% Tasks and attendance
    40% Final exam
    30% Projects
    10% Subjective evaluation
    Class Participation: It is expected that all students be willing to participate actively in the class. The weight of the grading for participation reflects this expectation. Students who simply attend the class but do not participate, will not be awarded points within the participation assessment. Participation entails critically discussing issues emerging from lectures and readings, to develop oral skills, and to construct students´ own perspectives on issues raised. Participation assessment will be based on both the regularity of contributions to discussions, and on the extent to which those contributions reflect students reading and thoughtfulness.
    Midterm and final exams: The midterm and final exams are designed to establish and communicate to you the progress you are making towards meeting the course learning objectives listed above. They are comprised of short-answer questions, and a short essay. Both exams will last 90 minutes.
    Presentation and midterm paper: students are expected to give a 20-25 minute oral presentation. Topics are to be chosen by a list you will receive in week 1, or alternatively will be devised by students as the term progresses, and as they gain more knowledge about the themes addressed in lectures. The lecturer will assist all students in formulating a precise presentation topic/question. Topics need to be finalized by Wednesday, Week 9 of the course. Students are to prepare a PowerPoint or Prezi file for their presentation. This document must include all sources consulted in a reference list on the last slide. Always use the appropriate academic reference style when citing your sources. A printed copy of the presentation should be given to the lecturer at the beginning of the presentation for reference purposes. Students are also expected to engage the class in debate/discussion during, or at the end of their presentations. Students will receive a mark out of thirty (30), and will be graded on the following criteria:
    - Structure - Intro, body, conclusion (5 marks)
    - Argument - Logic, clarity, development (5 marks)
    - Content - Theory, examples, interest (4 marks)
    - Diction - Enunciation, projection, flow (3 marks)
    - Body Language -Eye contact, gestures, group rapport (3 marks)
    - Materials -Relevancy, grammar & spelling, references, page set-up (5 marks)
    - Class engagement - Organization of/originality of/ability to respond well to questions (5 marks)
    Final letter grades will be assigned using the following scale, expressed in terms of the percentage of total possible points earned:
    10 = Matrícula de Honor (one for every 20 students)
    9 ? 9,9 = Sobresaliente
    7 ? 8,9 = Notable
    5 ? 6,9 = Aprobado
    0 ? 4,9 = Suspenso
    Attending the course but not taking the exams = No presentado
    Missing class more than permitted = No asistencia
    Class Attendance: class attendance is obligatory, it is checked every class day and it is reflected in the course attendance sheet that is sent to the University. An 85% of attendance is required for the successful completion of the course. Not missing any class will be considered positively. If a student exceeds this limit, the grade in the transcript for this subject could appear as ?not attended course?.
    Justified absences: medical certificates will be considered only if issued by a physician (not notes from the family explaining the student absence). The certificates must include the exact dates for which a student should be excused for having missed classes.
    English expression
    The students should express themselves -both orally and in writing- in good formal English. Particularly in the written partials and quizzes, as well as the presentations, good academic writing is essential. Bad, sloppy academic writing (misspellings, deficient syntax, etc.) will be penalized.
    Auditors: Courses cannot be taken as auditors, thus attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class.
    Tardiness: It is expected that students arrive to class on time and that they return directly to class after any given break. Arriving 10 minutes late (or more) and/or early class departures are considered unexcused absences and will be taken into account as half absence.
    Class Protocol: Students are required to be involved in class activities. They are expected to show their preparation by participating in discussions, by asking relevant questions, being critical and analytical with the contents presented in class as well as by sharing their ideas and opinions. In class the student is required to maintain a polite demeanor always and under every circumstance. Students are asked not to eat in class and to put their cell phones on silence. Laptops are not to be used in class.
    Special Accommodations: Students with special needs who require reasonable modifications, special assistance or accommodations in this course (either for properly following-up classes, to take exams, etc.) should direct their request to Academic Coordination during the first week of the course.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations