International Relations

University of Galway

Course Description

  • Course Name

    International Relations

  • Host University

    University of Galway

  • Location

    Galway, Ireland

  • Area of Study

    Political Science, Psychology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Students may not enroll in this course if already enrolled in SP226 Comparative Themes in Society, Politics and Culture

  • 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

  • ECTS Credits

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

    This course is an introduction to the study of international relations ? or the politics of relations between states and across states. We could also consider it the study of ?world politics? in recognition that, equally, relations between organisations, and the activities of terrorist groups, human rights groups and non-governmental organisations are pertinent. If nothing else, September 11th underlined the fact that states do not have a monopoly over power and influence on the global stage.

    To make sense of such a vast topic within 24 weeks we have to define more narrowly our scope, how we will proceed and what knowledge we will bring to assist us. In general four theoretical positions can be identified as providing explanatory and (somewhat) predictory positions in the study of international relations ? realism, liberalism, marxism and constructivism. The course will begin by setting these out and then move on to explore a range of topics and issue areas using these four lenses. Amongst the topics to be considered are security, conflict and war, human rights, terrorism and humanitarian intervention. We will look at the role and nature of the UN and examine particular indepth case studies, for example of Rwanda.

    Teaching and Learning Method: Lectures

    Method of assessment and examination: Two-hour written exam (70%). 30% of marks are awarded for coursework in semester 1 general seminars.

    Core Texts:
    John Bayliss and Steve Smith (eds.) 2005. The Globalization of World Politics, Oxford: OUP.
    Brown, Chris, with Kirsten Ainley, 2005. Understanding International Relations, Houndsmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Additional readings will be assigned as appropriate.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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