International Relations

62-073  International Relations

second cycle Master degree study programme Political Science

Course Supervisor: Assist. Prof. Primož Šterbenc


History (development) of international relations:

  • From rudimentary international relations to the first international system (Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indian and Chinese international communities, Greek international community as the first international system).
  • Creation of a strong state, European colonial expansion, breakthrough of the capitalist mode of production, and emergence of the universal (global) and hierarchically structured international community.
  • The Congress of Westphalia: definition of the territorial boundaries of the European states and dynamic conception of balance of power.
  • The French Revolution and incursion of the ideological element into international relations.
  • The Holy Alliance, the Concert of the European Great Powers; rigid alliances and outbreak of the First World War.
  • International relations between the two World Wars: the League of Nations as the first attempt to introduce a system of collective security; the Kellog-Briand Pact; creation of the Soviet Union and consequent “ideologization” of international relations.
  • International relations after the Second World War: bipolarity and the Cold War; decolonization; the United Nations (UN) and setting up of the system of collective security.
  • International relations after 1989: emergence of multipolarity; domination of the capitalist socio-economic system; social tensions and rise of the religiously motivated revolutionary movements (e.g. Islamism).

The structure of the international community:

  • Factors (spatial, demographic, scientific-technological, ideological).
  • Actors (states, international governmental and non-governmental organizations, peoples, minorities, liberation movements, the Roman Catholic Church, multinational companies and others).
  • Processes and relations (co-operation and conflict; development and underdevelopment).
  • Norms (international law).

Theories of international relations:     

  • Realism.
  • Idealism.
  • The English School (International Society Approach).
  • Structuralism/World-System Theory.
  • New Approaches to International Theory.


  • Globalization and domination of the neo-classical (neoliberal) socio-economic paradigm.
  • Humanitarian intervention (Responsibility to protect).
  • Role of Civilizations (culture, religion).
  • International relations in regions (Europe and the Russian Federation; the Middle East; Africa; Asia and the Pacific).

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