International relations and global politics

62-305  International relations and global politics

second cycle Master degree study programme Political science - international relations and economic diplomacy

Course Supervisor: Assist. Prof. Primož Šterbenc


Content (Syllabus outline):

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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