Carnegie Mellon University

Theories of International Relations

Course Number: 84-326

This course introduces students to the discipline of international relations. In the first half of the course, students review the modern history of IR from colonialism to today and are introduced to core concepts such as the national interest, power, and international order. Students also survey a broad range of IR theories, including "grand paradigms" from realism to constructivism, mainstream "mid-level" theories that help explain global politics and aid in foreign policy analysis, as well as critical, feminist, and non-western IR theory. The second half of the course introduces students to the two major sub-fields of IR, namely security studies (concerned with the causes of war and peace, the politics of alliances, etc.) and international political economy (concerned with the causes of protectionism and free trade, the politics of economic tools of statecraft such as foreign aid, sanctions, etc.). The course ends by considering contemporary challenges posed by armed non-state actors, climate change, and various threats to the post-World War II liberal international order. This course should help students to better understand the world we live in and equip students with tools for analyzing various international events and foreign policy challenges.

Academic Year: 2022-2023
Semester(s): Fall
Required/Elective: Required
Units: 9
Location(s): Pittsburgh

Fall 2022
Monday and Wednesday
1:25-2:45 PM



Required course for the following IPS degrees:
BS International Relations and Politics
Additional Major in International Relations and Politics
BS Economics and Politics
Additional Major in Economics and Politics
Minor in International Relations and Politics
Minor in Politics and Public Policy (one of three options)
Minor in Cybersecurity and International Conflict (one of two options)

Elective course for the following IPS degrees:
Minor in Military Strategy and International Relations