International Relations Theory
The course aims at facilitating a discussion of some of the issues currently debated in International Relations theory. The course is centred around some of the theoretical debates in contemporary International Relations theory and is aimed at enhancing students’ ability to analyse the way various theoretical approaches are constructed and interacting with each other.
Students are expected to learn to place their individual research questions into the broader theoretical framework(s) addressing the question of global order. This means that students must focus primarily on their own research questions but learn to relate them to the theoretical debates and practical concerns that animate the field as a whole. Being an important theoretical skill in its own right, this exercise should also contribute to the students ability to meet one of the specific requirements of a doctoral project: awareness of the state-of-the-art theoretical discussions within the discipline.
Accordingly, both in their oral presentations for specific seminars and the two papers required for the course students are expected not merely to discuss the texts included in the syllabus but to draw on the literature from their respective sub-fields and to show how/why the questions raised in the texts from the syllabus may be important for the better understanding of those sub-fields. Put differently, the main outcome of this course is students’ enhanced ability to place their own research-questions into the overall context of IR theorising, on the one hand, and the possible configuration of global political order, on the other.