International Relations Theory

Course Description: 

The course aims at facilitating a discussion of some of the issues currently debated in International Relations theory. The course is centred around some of the theoretical debates in contemporary International Relations theory and is aimed at enhancing students’ ability to analyse the way various theoretical approaches are constructed and interact with each other. Although this puts together rather diverse approaches, all of them are united by their focus on the place of language in IR theorising. What is really in question, however, is the relation between language and politics. This does not mean that students are expected to convert to the ‘linguistic turn’ in IR regardless of their individual research focus. In fact, one of the tasks of the course is to critically question the validity of any theoretical turn. So students must focus primarily on their own research questions but learn to relate them to the theoretical debates and practical concerns that animate the field as a whole. Being an important theoretical skill in its own right, this exercise should also contribute to the students’ ability to meet one of the specific requirements of a doctoral project: awareness of the state-of-the-art theoretical discussions within the discipline.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of the course students will:
✓ enhance their ability to place their own research-questions into the overall context of IR theorising, on the one hand, and the possible configuration of global political order, on the other;
✓ critically engage with ideas discussed by various theorists and schools of thought;
✓ get an overview or some of the state-of-the-art theorising in the filed.

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