International Politics


This course provides a broad exploration of the field of international relations. We cover key theoretical concepts in IR and discuss how empirical evidence and key historical events relate to and inform theory. The course is organized around specific substantive questions such as: why do states choose to fight rather than negotiate?; why are levels of economic development among states so unequal?; how do international institutions affect conflict and cooperation?; what logic is behind the use of terrorism by political actors?; and, why do states experience civil war? Most weeks in the course, we will explore one big topic. Each week, we will generally first read the textbook chapter, which provides a nice overview and references to key pieces of literature. For the second lecture (and precept), we will read two or three important articles on the topic. This way, we will gain background through the textbook and subsequently build upon it with more specialized readings.
Course Attributes: EN S; BU IS; AS SSC; FA SSC; AR SSC

Section 01

International Politics
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