Theory of International Relations

Nelson Mandela University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Theory of International Relations

  • Host University

    Nelson Mandela University

  • Location

    Port Elizabeth, South Africa

  • Area of Study

    History, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    This module aims to introduce and familiarize students with the theoretical approaches of international relations. The objective is to inform students beyond the three main theoretical perspectives of realism, Marxism and liberalism to understand world politics socio-political lives. In all the theories put forward is the dominance of power not only of states but of international capitalism and economic autonomy.


    • Critical and coherent understanding and application of the overarching theoretical ideologies.
    • Comprehend that the political environment extends beyond states and includes multinational corporations and class/ethnic conflicts.
    • To examine some of the principle developments in world politics from the Greek tyrants to post WW2 to the rise of the economic superpowers often from different ideological perspectives.
    • Explain and describe the dominance of, and conflict between, of the paradigms and other theoretical approaches.
    • Discuss how the concept of ?truth? is debated in international relations with regard to the theories and the views of different worlds.


    • Theoretical, philosophical and ideological approaches within International Relations.
    • Contextualising political debates within the spectrum of realism, neo-realism, liberalism, neo-liberalism, structuralism, Marxist theories of IR, social constructivism and Green Theory.

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