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GLB5120 Theories & Practice of International Relations: Home

Course Description

This course introduces the main theoretical approaches of international relations, including realism, liberalism, constructivism, radicalism, and their variants, and examines how these theories conceptualize international relations as a field of study and how these theories. It will trace the evolution and development of international relations theories by highlighting various debates and conversation among different theoretical perspectives and how these debates have helped move the discipline forward. The course tends to provide students with the conceptual, theoretical and analytical tools necessary to evaluate the arguments critically in international relations when conducting their research. 

Recommended Books

The Oxford Handbook of International Relations

This book begins with an introduction of approaches and major arguments, and a series of contending perspectives on what the central empirical focus ought to be. The book then engages with the major theories-realism, Marxism, neoliberal institutionalism, new liberalism, the English School, critical theory, postmodernism, and feminism. Then the book surveys the methodological approaches such as rational choice, sociological and interpretative, psychological, quantitative, qualitative, and historical methods. The book also examines the discipline’s relation with cognate disciplines, addresses the relationship between scholar and policy-maker, presents the diversity of scholarship. The book finally ends with accounts of the past and future of this discipline.

The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics

The central claim of this book is that national security is a social practice. The introduction and conclusion parts contextualize the book within the field of international relations and security studies. The basic argument is that the interests of states are not determined by material factors alone and that international and domestic cultural environments influence the behavior and identity of states. The case studies parts provide well-executed case studies, including the origins and duration of alliances in Europe and the Middle East; the formation of military doctrine and strategy in France, Germany, Japan, and China; humanitarian intervention; Third World military procurement; and the nonuse of nuclear and chemical weapons, etc.

National Interests in International Society

This book argues that international norms embedded in international organizations actually teach new conceptions of the national interest to the states. Three case studies are presented in this book: first, UNESCO’s promotion of national science planning and the changes in state structure it produced in the late 1950s; second, the role of the Red Cross and the acceptance of the Geneva Convention rules of war; and third, the World Bank’s definition of development changed to poverty alleviation. Each case shows how international organizations socialize states to accept new political goals and new social values.

Recommended Databases