International relations and world politics

62-042  International relations and world politics

second cycle Master degree study programme Political Science

Course Supervisor: Assist. Prof. Milan Brglez


Evolution and criticism of the classical theories of international relations and World Politics
The beginnings and the evolution of the classical theories. Traditions and paradigms and their epistemological meaning. “Grand debates” and their role with regard to development of international-political science. Evolution of political realism. “Inter-paradigmatic” discussions. The elementary differences between neo-realism and classical realism. “Defensive” and “offensive” realism. Kenneth Waltz and John Mearshimer. Neo-classical realism. R. Schweller’s post-classical realism. The concept of “clash of civilizations”.
The liberal criticism of realism. Differences between neo-liberalism and classical liberal-ideological theories. Basic reasons for dispute between neo-realists and neo-liberals. The theories of inter-dependence, trans-nationalism, liberal institutionalism. The characteristics of neo-liberal views: J. Nye, R. Keohane, A. Moravcsik, J. Rosenau.
Classical Marxism and neo-Marxism - in general and specifics. Post-modernism, constructivism and critical theories of international relations and World politics.

Contemporary geopolitical research in regard to international relations and World politics
Revitalisation of geopolitical research at the beginning of the 1990s and elementary causes for this trend. Geographical, starting-point and communicative factors as object of rivalry and competition between participants in World politics. Evolution of the classical foundations of geopolitics. The traditional geopolitical schools and their contemporary interpretations. Discussions about theoretical legacy of the Western geopolitical thought (H. Mackinder, A. T. Mahan, K. Haushofer) and Eurasianism (L. Mečnikov, V. Semjonov-Tjan-Šanskij, N. Savitckij).

National schools regarding study of international relations
Contemporary international-political science “as American as an apple pie”. Importance of the American contribution to the development of the science of international relations. Position of the discipline of international relations in the United States of America. The “English School”. The “French School” and the sociology of international relations.

Systemic and synergical approaches to study of contemporary international relations and World politics
Evolution of the systemic approach in the international-political science between the 1950s and the 1980s. Historical-descriptive and formal-theoretical understanding of international system.
Basic parameters of the systemic analysis of international relations. Compositional and configurational variables. The issue of definition of element of international relations and World politics.

Modelling of international relations and World politics
Evolution of methods of modelling in international and global researches in the 20th century. Model of arms race of L. F. Richardson.
Modelling as a part of systemic approach to international relations and World politics. Systemic-dynamic modelling. Types of models, fields and possibilities of their use in international-political researches. Empirical and normative modelling. Modelling and the issue of operationalization.

Political-psychological methods of study of international relations and World politics
Specific area of study of international relations and World politics. Connection with variables of systemic national-state area. Causes and conditions for increased focus on subjective assessment of international-political processes.

Situational analysis and professional methods for study of international relations and World politics
Applicable analysis of international politics. The problem of quality and availability of data regarding applicable international-political analysis. The issue of equivalence and interpretation in regard to situational analysis of global political processes. Basic components of international-political situation and phases of its analysis.

Theoretical-methodological problems regarding study of globalization, integration and democratization
Globalization, inter-dependence, internationalization: general terminology and specifics. The role of new technologies in the process of globalization. Discussions regarding level of uniqueness and meaning as well as content of globalization.
Processes of integration in contemporary world. Conceptual models and political strategies of integration. Functionalism and neo-functionalism; federalism; trans-nationalism; pluralism: advantages, weaknesses, mutual complementarity. Impossibility of mechanical transfer of models. Characteristics of regional processes of integration: EU, NAFTA, ASEAN, CIS; SCO etc.
Democratization and humanization as tendencies in evolution of international relations. Instability and inconsistencies of democratization and humanization of World politics.

The issue of demography, migrations and human development in international relations and World politics
Basic demographic trends at the beginning of the 21st century. Impact of demographic processes on World politics. Possible consequences of demographic domination of Africa and Asia. Ageing of population in Europe. Russia in context of global demographic trends. Modern instruments for regulation of demographic processes. Processes of migration in modern World: their influence on international-political processes. The issue of “human” development in modern World.

Terrorism and fight against terrorism
Terror and terrorism: evolution of terms. The phenomenon of terrorism and its main characteristics. Roots of terrorism. Typologies of terrorism, their advantages and weaknesses. Sources of terrorism in the Middle East. Emergence and evolution of Islamic radicalism and extremism. Terrorism as long-term factor of World politics. Basic tendencies of contemporary international terrorism. The events of September 11th 2001 and “global anti-terrorism”.

Ideas and ideologies in international relations and World politics
Ideological assessment of international relations and World politics, and its interpretation by representatives of rival theoretical schools – Realism, Liberalism, Marxism and Constructivism. Attainment, maintenance and extension of power and influence in World politics and international relations as functions of ideology.

New technologies as challenges to global security
Impact of technology on World politics. Innovations and leadership in global political process. Use of technologies for military purposes. Scientific-technological revolution and great powers in “era of technics and electronics”. Informatical technologies and their impact on reformulation of system of international relations. Impact of internet and new media on contemporary World politics. Space and nuclear technology in international-political processes.

Military-strategic issue in modern World
Role and place of military force in international relations and World politics. Causes and essence of war. Typology of wars and armed conflicts. Military-political situation and specifics of analysis of this situation. Characteristics of modern wars. Question of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Importance of possession of nuclear weapons regarding maintenance national security and international stability. Nuclear doctrines and nuclear policies of the US, Russia and other nuclear powers.

New types of diplomacy
Diplomacy as the basic instrument of international politics. Tradition and rules of classical international diplomacy. Functions of diplomacy. Continuity and causes for reformulation of diplomacy in contemporary circumstances. Manifestation of demonopolization of diplomacy and multiplicity of its functions. Spread of diplomacy beyond frameworks of specialized governmental bodies and traditional functions.

International political communication
Emergence and evolution of communicational subsystem in international-political system. Mass media in international-political processes. Levels of international-political communications. TV and radio technologies in global political processes during the last decades of the 20th century.

Specifics of political decision-making on global level
Decision-making in international organizations and on the basis of inter-governmental cooperation. Work of the United Nations: system and basic procedures of decision-making. Issue of reforming the process of decision-making in the UN. Decision-making with global reach in unipolar World. Formation of coalitions aimed at international-political decision-making and implementation of decisions. Legitimization of global political decisions.

Social Media