History of International Relations

Universidad EAFIT

Course Description

  • Course Name

    History of International Relations

  • Host University

    Universidad EAFIT

  • Location

    Medellín, Colombia

  • Area of Study

    Business, History, International Business, International Relations

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations

    Lower

    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

  • Contact Hours

    48
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4
  • Overview

    DESCRIPTION
    The “history of international relations” could mean several things: it could mean the history of how the
    academic field of international relations has been studied over time; it could mean the ways in which nations
    themselves have historically related with each other; or it could mean the ways in which international actors
    have coalesced and interacted. It is this final concept of international actors, broadly conceived, that will
    concern us in this course. We will study not simply conflict and diplomacy between states, but how and by
    whom such states were formed, and how the qualities of such formation in turn shaped international relations.
    Moreover, we will consider international actors beyond states, analyzing how political lobbies, merchant
    groups, companies, and other transnational actors have shaped international politics. We will also consider
    how environmental and biological factors (e.g. climate change and diseases) have dramatically impacted
    international relations throughout history. Fundamentally, however, this is a course about relations between
    diverse groups of people. In a nutshell, it is concerned with how power works over long distances. Power
    takes at least four different forms: political, economic, ideological, and military. We will study how each of
    these power structures has operated on the global stage, paying particularly close attention to the intersection
    between political and economic power.
    OBJECTIVE
    The purpose of this course and the specific interpretation of “history of international relations” it offers is to give
    the student of international business a clear understanding of the processes that have created the complex
    world we live in today. Through understanding these processes—witnessing how transnational power
    structures have coalesced, developed, operated and interacted over time—the student will finish the course
    with a deeper understanding of contemporary transnational politics and economy. Such understanding is
    highly useful for those who wish to swim in the rich but treacherous waters of international entrepreneurship
    during their professional lives.
    CONTENTS
    The first two weeks of the course will focus on introducing the overarching themes and preparing students for
    their presentations. They will also concern the first historical module: the High Middle Ages (represented by
    the first floor of the virtual museum). Weeks three through five will deal with the second period of concern,
    which witnessed the emergence of European empire (c. 1400-1600). Weeks six through eight will digest the
    third historical module and museum floor, from roughly 1600 to 1830, which witnessed the foundations and
    emergence of industrial capitalism. Weeks nine through 12 will assess the global effects of industrial
    NI0259 Syllabus 2
    capitalism during the period from 1830 to 1970. Finally, weeks 13 through 15 will concern the contemporary
    period, wherein financial capitalism has become increasingly important and environmental catastrophe looms
    large on the horizon.

    Week one (July 18)
    Conceptual introduction; tutorial in the virtual museum platform, discussion of schedule and assignments,
    presentation sign up.
    ACTIVITY: WORKSHOP ON COMMODITY PROPOSALS AND HOTSEAT/REVIEWS
    First Floor of the Museum: The Reawakening of European Commerce, c. 1000-1400 AD
    Week two (July 25)
    NI0259 Syllabus 5
    The Medieval Commercial Revolution; The Silk Road; Medieval Islam and Song Dynasty China
    Videos:
    • Medieval Commercial Revolution in Europe
    • The Song Dynasty
    • Medieval Islam
    Readings:
    • Introduction to first floor of the museum
    • Braudel, The Perspective of the World, pp. 89-138
    • Abu-Lughod, “The Thirteenth-Century World System”
    ACTIVITY: WORKSHOP ON COMMODITY PAPERS
    QUIZ: SYLLABUS, GUIDELINES AND FIRST FLOOR
    FRIDAY, JULY 28: PROPOSALS DUE
    Second floor of the Museum: The Emergence of European Empire, c. 1400-1650
    Week three (Aug. 1)
    Emerging oceanic networks in the Atlantic and Indian oceans: Fifteenth-century Portugal and China
    Videos:
    • Portugal and the Age of Discovery
    • The Ming Dynasty & The Treasure Fleets
    Readings:
    • Introduction to second floor of the museum
    • Braudel, The Perspective of the World, pp. 138-157
    • Finlay, “The Voyages of Zheng He”
    ACTIVITY: WORKSHOP ON COMMODITY PAPERS, PART II
    Week four (Aug. 8)
    The Columbian Exchange (The “discovery” of the New World and its immediate consequences).
    Video:
    • The Columbian Exchange
    Reading
    • Charles Mann, “The Dawn of the Homogenocene”
    Supplemental readings:
    • Nathan Nunn and Nancy Qian, The Columbian Exchange: A History of Disease, Food, and Ideas
    • Stuart McCook, “The Neo-Columbian Exchange: The Second Conquest of the Greater Caribbean”
    NI0259 Syllabus 6
    ACTIVITY: WORKSHOP ON THE COLUMBIAN EXCHANGE
    Week five (Aug. 15)
    The importance of silver and gold to the emerging capitalist system. The Reformation and the acculturation of
    capitalism
    Videos:
    • The Age of Silver
    • The Reformation and Capitalism
    Readings:
    • Braudel, The Perspective of the World, 157-174
    • Graeber, Debt: The First 5000 Years, 307-325
    Supplemental reading:
    • Flynn, Giraldez, “Born With A Silver Spoon”
    QUIZ: SECOND FLOOR
    Third Floor of the Museum: From Primitive Accumulation to the Birth of Coal-Powered
    Industry, c. 1650-1830
    Week six (Aug. 22)
    Slavery, debt, & the Triangular Trade
    Video:
    • The Slave Trade
    Readings:
    • Introduction to third floor of the museum
    • Davis, Inhuman Bondage, ch. 4
    • Mann, 1493, ch. 3.
    Supplemental reading:
    • Palmer, “Capitalism and Slavery” and the Politics of History
    Commodity papers due: salt, wool, silk, jade
    ACTIVITY: THE SLAVE VOYAGE DATABASE
    Week seven (Aug. 29)
    The Dutch Empire and the VOC; Tulipmania; Mississippi and South Sea Bubbles; The "Fiscal-Military State" &
    The "Second Hundred-Years War"
    Videos:
    NI0259 Syllabus 7
    • The Dutch Empire
    • Economic bubbles
    Readings:
    • Gelderblom, “The Golden Age of the Dutch Republic”
    • Galbraith, A Short History of Financial Euphoria, ch. 3-4
    Supplemental reading:
    • Emmer, "The rise and decline of the Dutch Atlantic, 1600-1800"
    Commodity papers due: tobacco, silver, sugar, pepper, indigo
    ACTIVITY: SIMULATION ON ECONOMIC BUBBLES
    Week eight (Sept. 5)
    From Industrious Revolution to Industrial Revolution
    Videos:
    • The Fiscal-Military State
    • The Industrial Revolution
    Readings:
    • Braudel, The Perspective of the World, 352-385
    • Allen, “The Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective”
    • Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolution, ch. 2
    Supplemental reading:
    • Jan de Vries, “The Industrial Revolution and the Industrious Revolution”
    QUIZ: THIRD FLOOR
    FRIDAY, SEPT. 8: SLAVE VOYAGE PROJECTS DUE
    POINTS THRESHOLD FOR 15% OF COURSE GRADE PERTAINING TO ACTIVITIES
    Fourth floor of the museum: The Age of Industry, c. 1830-1970
    Week 9 (Sept. 12)
    Nineteenth century globalization, liberalism and the Second Industrial Revolution
    Videos:
    • Globalization and the Great Divergence
    • The Second Iron Age
    Readings:
    • Introduction to fourth floor of the museum
    • de Vries, “The Limits of Globalization in the Early Modern World”
    NI0259 Syllabus 8
    • Hobsbawm, The Age of Revolution, ch. 9.
    Supplemental readings:
    • Peer H.H. Vries, Are Coal and Colonies Really Crucial?
    • Landes, D. S. (2006). Why Europe and the West? Why Not China?
    Commodity papers due: ivory, mahogany, rice, porcelain
    ACTIVITY: DEBATING THE RISE OF THE WEST, PART I
    Week 10 (Sept. 19)
    The Great Age of Imperialism and its causes
    Videos:
    • Nineteenth-century imperialism
    • World War I
    Readings:
    • Hobsbawm, The Age of Empire, ch. 3, 13
    Supplemental readings:
    • Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts, ch. 1
    Commodity papers due: cotton, tea, diamonds, opium
    ACTIVITY: DEBATING THE RISE OF THE WEST, PART II
    Week 11 (Sept. 26)
    Crisis renewed: The Great Depression and its consequences
    Videos:
    • The 20 Years’ Crisis
    • World War II
    Reading:
    • Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes, ch. 3-4
    Supplemental readings:
    • Cargill and Mayer, The Great Depression and History Textbooks
    • E.H. Carr, The Twenty Years’ Crisis, ch. 3
    Commodity papers due: beef, soy, shrimp, guano
    ACTIVITY: DEBATING THE RISE OF THE WEST, PART III
    Week 12 (Oct. 3)
    NI0259 Syllabus 9
    The Bretton Woods System and the emergence of the Cold War
    Videos:
    • The Bretton Woods System
    • The Cold War
    Reading:
    • Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes, ch. 8-9
    QUIZ: FOURTH FLOOR
    Fifth floor of the museum: Neoliberalism and Ecological Peril, c. 1970-present
    Week 13 (Oct. 10)
    The Breakdown of the postwar capitalist compromise and the neoliberal “solution”
    Videos:
    • The Crisis of the 1970s
    • Neoliberalism
    Readings:
    • Introduction to fifth floor of the museum
    • Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes, ch. 14
    • Greaber, Debt, ch. 12
    Supplemental readings:
    • Rodrik, The Globalization Paradox, ch. 5
    Commodity papers due: rubber, bananas, natural gas, palm oil
    ACTIVITY: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF CLIMATE CHANGE, PART I
    Week 14 (Oct. 17)
    Climate and the changing face of international relations
    Video:
    • Climate geopolitics
    Reading:
    • Foster, “The Fossil Fuels War”
    Supplemental readings:
    • Dalby, “Environment and International Politics”
    • Diamond, “Prologue: A Tale of Two Farms”
    Commodity papers due: oil [petroleum], copper, cacao [and/or cocoa], coltan, lithium
    NI0259 Syllabus 10
    ACTIVITY: THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF CLIMATE CHANGE, PART II
    Week 15 (Oct. 24)
    Course summation
    Video
    • Lessons for Colombia
    Reading
    • Hylton, “Medellin’s Makeover”
    Supplemental reading:
    • Bedoya, “Seguridad y Ciudadanía”
    QUIZ: FIFTH FLOOR
    Week 16 (Oct. 31)
    Awards ceremony
    ACTIVITY: SCAVENGER HUNT
    FINAL DAY TO SPEND CLIOS: MONDAY, NOVEMBER 6
    BIBLIOGRAPHY
    Assigned readings
    Abu-Lughod, J. (1987). The Thirteenth-Century World System. Studies in Comparative International
    Development. 22/4, pp.3-25.
    Allen, R. C. (2006). The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective: How Commerce Created The
    Industrial Revolution and Modern Economic Growth. Working paper, Oxford University.
    Braudel, F. (1984). The Perspective of the World. New York: Harper & Row.
    Braudel, F. (1979). The Wheels of Commerce. New York: Harper & Row, 1979.
    de Vries, J. (2010). The Limits of Globalization in the Early Modern World. Economic History Review 63/3, pp.
    710-733.
    Finlay, Robert. (2008). The Voyages of Zheng He: Ideology, State Power, and Maritime Trade in Ming China.
    Journal of the Historical Society 8/3, pp. 327-347.
    Foster, J. B. (2013). The Fossil Fuels War. Monthly Review 65/4, pp. 1-14.
    Galbraith, J.A. (1990). A Short History of Financial Euphoria. Penguin..
    Gelderblom, O. (2011). The Golden Age of the Dutch Republic. In The Invention of Enterprise:
    Entrepreneurship from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern Times. Ed. David Landes et al. Princeton,
    2011. Pp. 156-182.
    NI0259 Syllabus 11
    Graeber, D. (2011). Debt: The First 5000 Years. New York: Melville House.
    Hobsbawm, E. (1977). The Age of Capital, 1848-1875. London: Abacus.
    Hobsbawm, E. (1987). The Age of Empire, 1875-1914. New York: Vintage.
    Hobsbawm, E. (1996). The Age of Extremes, 1914-91. New York: Vintage.
    Hobsbawm, E. (1996). The Age of Revolutions, 1789-1848. New York, Vintage.
    Hylton, F. (2007). Medellín’s Makeover. New Left Review 44, pp. 70-89.
    Mann, C. (2011). 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created. New York: Knopf.
    Mann, C. (2011). The Dawn of the Homogenocene. Orion magazine 30, pp. 16–25.