Issues in International Relations

6 credits

Teacher: Prof. Marco Clementi

The course will present the features and trends that have come to characterize the contemporary international system and will examine if and how they are changing the patterns of conflict and conflict management in international relations. The course is designed to combine rigour academic analysis with a policy relevant study of current issues.

First of all the course will focus on some fundamental issues of contemporary dynamics and discuss their theoretical and policy implications. More particularly, it will pay attention to the issue of great powers’ identity and role; the issue of system polarity and the strategic consequences of unipolarism; the issue of the international effects of good governance and institutional fragility at the state level; the issue of the political consequences of competition for natural resources in a globalized world; the issue of the US foreign policy dilemmas.

Secondly, the course will deal with some regional security complexes in order to grasp how these fundamental issues combine to influence regional dynamics and, in turn, global outcomes. In this regard, the course will focus on security dilemmas affecting Europe and the Arctic; Africa and the Middle East; Asia; and, South America.

The course aims to provide students with knowledge to understand international relations; to select and analyse the main issues in contemporary relations; to retrieve data on international phenomena; and, to approach the position and interests of key international subjects.

Introductory readings: K.A. Mingst and I.M. Arreguin-Toft (2011), Essentials of International Relations, Norton and Company, 5th edition.

Preparatory Readings: B. Buzan (2004), The United States and the great powers: world politics in the twenty-first century, Cambridge, Polity Press.

Enrolled students may view the full course syllabus via Kiro.