History of International Relations

Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

Course Description

  • Course Name

    History of International Relations

  • Host University

    Universidad de Deusto - Bilbao

  • Location

    Bilbao, Spain

  • Area of Study

    History, International Relations

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

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

    This subject provides a historical context within which to make sense of International Relations and globalization. It introduces the most relevant aspects of International history, chronologically selected, and an overview of International society from its Modern times to the twenty-first century in order to provide a basic understanding of World politics, as well as some kind of context for thinking about the contemporary period of world history, mainly the post-Cold War period. This can help develop a deeper comprehensive knowledge, both theoretical and empirical of International Relations. The historical context is fundamental to think about new patterns of international history.

    I will assume that students have taken at least some courses in History. Ideally, they will have taken courses that are part of Contemporary History and that introduce them to formal and empirical studies of IR. This course is intended to complement the others of the degree by giving the historical grounding necessary for an intelligent understanding of International Relations.

    1.- Introduction to the discipline. Historiographical approach to the discipline. Key concepts and issues. The postmodern definition: Debate and controversial discussions. The historian and the political scientist. Introduction to the main concepts and discipline terminology. Elements and components to study the history of International Relations. Conceptualizing the International Society. Systems, actors, factors, structure and organizations. First Geopolitics.

    2.-The historical context. International History: From the Old Regime to the Imperialism.
    The Westphalian Order. Modern total wars. Europe and the Napoleon Empire. From the rising of nationalities to the end of the classic diplomacy. The Age of Alliances, Imperialism and crisis. The idea of International Society. The emergence of International Society.

    3.- From the First to the Second World War and the Aftermath. Causes, motivations, strategies 1905-1914. Political and economic process. 1929. The totalitarian effect. Restructuring Europe. Peace and the post war order: the road to a bipolar scenario. The post-westphalian order. The globalization of theinternational society

    4.-From the Cold War to the new world order. The Cold War. Origins, theories, periods, balance and the end of the cold war: conclusions. The post-world order. Decolonization, conflicts and cooperation. The USA in a world without balance. Geopolitics and predictions. East Asia and rivalry. Russia from Gorvachev to Yeltsin, The new international agenda (environmental issues, security, global economy, identity and nationalism, global politics...)

    To acquire the required competences the methodology of this course combines diverse techniques. The Professor's presentations on the topics in the classroom are completed by the students' active work through the theoretical and practical training activities. Activities are based on personal work and team work and focus on debates, commentary of texts and documents, case studies, news and audiovisuals. These are supplemented by individual and group tutorials.
    Some informative tasks are allocated in the platform Alud 2.0.

    The assessment of the students' work will be progressive and formative. It will include the following:
    1. Class Participation. You are expected to come to class prepared, and ready to discuss the readings, and to take part in the debates, commentary of texts and so forth.
    2. Group work paper and presentation (PPT). You will write a paper, which will be due by May. You must clarify the topic with me first:
    a. write an analytical narrative (theory-based explanation of events);
    b. compare and contrast existing theories using case studies; or
    c. evaluate an existing theory using multiple historical cases
    3. Final exam.

    Students will get credit for this course, handing in their paper on the appointed date, participating in discussions and getting a pass in their final exam.
    The assessment system of the competences of this subject will use the following procedures:
    1. The final exam will give evidence of an accurate commentary of texts confirming the concepts management, knowledge and critical thinking. The second part of the exam will respond to an open question related to a topic of the program (50% of the grade).
    2. Essay: Using different sources, distinguishing accurate and objective information, giving coherence and quality to the arguments; the short essay and its presentation (PPT) will make up the percentage (30%) of the mark and grade.
    3. Activities (based on oral communication) will amount to 20% of the final assessment.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

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.

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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