PS 857 Theories of International Relations

 This course offers a graduate-level introductory survey of the field of international relations.  The primary purpose is to understand the development of the field, and to understand and be able to evaluate the main theoretical approaches in this sub-discipline. The course covers many of what have come to be known as classic works in the field as well as some more recent theoretical and empirical applications. While it is not designed as a research course, it is useful preparation for more specialized courses of study emphasizing international relations research.  Another important purpose of the course is to prepare PhD students to pass the preliminary examination in international relations.        

Throughout the course, we will focus primarily on alternative theoretical approaches and perspectives, although we will also explore some empirical work.  Our goal will be to engage, discuss, and tackle the following questions:  What are the critical concepts?  How are cause and effect observed?  What kind of research design do the authors use?  From what theoretical perspective does the argument originate?  With whom are the authors engaged in debate?