International Relations (in English)

ISA Study Center with Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo-Sevilla

Course Description

  • Course Name

    International Relations (in English)

    Course Closed
  • Host University

    ISA Study Center with Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo-Sevilla

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    International Relations, International Studies

  • 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

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

    Course Description & learning objectives: This course is intended to provide an introduction to international relations and politics. It seeks to familiarize students with the basic language, concepts and theoretical approaches to the subject and to offer a framework for the analysis and understanding of contemporary international affairs. After analysing the inherent difficulties of maintaining good relations at local and international level, students will examine the evolution of the international system in the 20th century, the Cold War, and the changing balance of power following the disintegration of the USSR. Special attention will be paid to the role of the US in the world, the methods and motives of international intervention, the duties of the major powers towards developing countries and the response to the threat of international terrorism. Contemporary international conflicts will be analysed and the effectiveness of international organizations in dealing with them will be assessed.

    This course offer the possibility for a part time internship. Spots are limited and subject to a selection process.

    Learning outcomes:

    1) Understand the major concepts of international relations, including: power, State, Nation-State, anarchy, self-help, sovereignty, balance of power, war, conflict, cooperation, integration, globalization and interdependence.

    2) Critical evaluation of the international system since the formation of the modern state system, the Treaties of Westphalia and Utrecht, WWI & WWII, the Cold War era, and the current structure of the modern world.

    3) Theories and approaches applied to international relations: Realism, Liberalism, Marxist theories, Social constructivism, Post-structuralism, Post-colonialism,

    International Ethics.

    3) Key actors in international relations -including states, intergovernmental organizations (UN & EU), non-governmental organizations, multinational corporations, global civil society, and individuals- and understand how these actors interact to give substance to international relations.

    4) Review of current and recent conflicts worldwide (Israeli-Palestinian, Syria, Irak, Iran, Afganistan, North Korea, Ukraine). Analysis of US foreign policy. European and Asian perspectives of world affairs. The features and effects of globalization, environmental problems, and human rights abuses.

    5) Demonstrate knowledge of the multi-disciplinary nature of international relations by establishing connections with the disciplines that have shaped and continue to influence international relations: history, economics, politics, culture, language, race, ethnicity and gender.

    6) Demonstrate skills of critical analysis and written and oral communication, including the ability to:

    -Read and reflect on disciplinary materials and literature carefully, critically, and insightfully.

    -Write well-organized, informed, logically argued, clear, persuasive, and stylistically correct essays and papers.

    -Participate actively in class discussions, verbally expressing ideas clearly, logically and persuasively.

    7) Work effectively in teams and project groups.



    - Definitions

    - Intellectual origins of IR, & IR as academic discipline

    - Historical evolution of the international system. Ancient World to Globalization.

    - Cultural aspects of a globalised world.


    - Realism

    - Liberalism

    - NeoRealist & NeoLiberal Theories

    - Marxist Theories


    - International Organisations:

    U.N. (generalist): a liberal approach to solving conflicts?

    N.A.T.O. (security): a realist approach to solving conflicts?

    E.U. (economic/political) regional integration, successes and challenges

    -Transnational Actors:

    Multinational Companies (MNCs): Economic, social and ethical considerations.

    Non Govermental Organizations (NGOs): scope, efficacy & fields of work


    US foreign policy: rationale for interventions, outcomes of interventions:

    - US-Latin America relations

    - US-Europe relations

    - US-Russia relations

    - US-China relations

    - US-ASEAN relations

    - US-Middle & Far East relations: Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Syria, Iran, AF-PAK, Arab Spring

    - US Africa relations

    Contemporary challenges:

    - Global Warming, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Poverty, Development

    - Global Trade and Finance

    - Internet, Big Data, Cyberwar

    Required readings: Baylis, J., Smith, S. & P. Owens (eds.), The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations. 6th ed., Oxford University Press, 2014.

    Complementary bibliography

    Brown, C. & Ainley, K. Understanding International Relations. Palgrave Mc Millan, 2009.

    Huntington, Samuel P. The Clash of Civilization and the Remaking of the World Order. Simon and Schuster Paperbacks, 1996.

    Jones, W.S., The Logic of International Relations, New York: Harper Collins, 1991

    Kegley, C. W. & E. R. Wittkopf, World Politics: Trend & Transformation, 10th ed., Thomson Wadsworth, CA, 2005

    Kissinger, H. Diplomacy. Simon and Schuster, 1994.

    Kung, H. A Global Ethic: The Declaration of the Parliament of the World's Religions. New York: Continuum, 1993.

    Monshipouri, M. Democratization, liberalization & human rights in the Third World. Boulder: L. Rienner Publishers, 1995.

    Nicholson, M. International Relations: A Concise Introduction. 2nd ed., Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2002

    Pease, Kelly-Kate S., International Organizations. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2011

    Pettman, R., International Politics. Melbourne: Longman Chesire, 1991

    Roskin, M.G. & O.B. Nicholas IR: The New World of International Relations. 7th ed., New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2007

    Rourke, J.T. International Politics on the World Stage. 12th ed., McGraw Hill, 2007

    Russett B., Starr H., & D. Kinsella., World Politics: The Menu for Choice. 9th ed., Wadsworth Publishing, 2009

    Watson, A. The Evolution of International Society. 2nd ed., Routledge, 2009.

    Course Evaluation:

    20% Tasks and attendance

    40% Final exam

    30% Projects

    10% Subjective evaluation (students are expected to come prepared to class and the profesor will value that students are showing a mark of improvement)

    Spanish Grading Scale:

    Matrícula de Honor 10 Sobresaliente 9 – 9,9 Notable 7 – 8,9 Aprobado 5 – 6,9 Suspenso 0 – 4,9 No Asistencia (Student has exceeded the allowed number of unexcused absences)

    Please find as a reference the following grading scale conversion. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student’s home university or institution to determine the final grade equivalencies.

    Matrícula de Honor = A+ Suspenso = F Sobresaliente = A No presentado = Incomplete (attended Notable = B classes but did not take final exam) Aprobado =C No Asistencia = Incomplete (enrolled in the course but did not attend class)

    Appealing grades: The deadline for disputing grades is 30 days from the reception of the certificate at the home university.

    Class Attendance: class attendance is mandatory, and attendance is taken at every class meeting and is reflected in the course attendance sheet that is sent to the university.

    An 85% of attendance is required for the successful completion of the course. Not missing any class will be considered positively.

    If a student exceeds this limit, the grade in the transcript for this subject could appear as “not attended course”.

    Special Accommodations: Students with special needs who require reasonable modifications, special assistance or accommodations in this course (either for properly following-up classes, to take exams, etc.) should direct their request to Academic Coordination during the first week of the course.

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.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations