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Fall 2011 - 61160 - PA387G - The Nature of the International System

Instructor(s): Inboden, William Charles
Unique Number: 61160
Day & Time: M 2:00 - 5:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.221/212
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

The Nature of the International System introduces the systematic analysis of international affairs, factors that motivate foreign policies and private decisions, and instruments used in the conduct of international relations from a perspective of both theory and practice.

 

Section Description

How is the world today organized? What forces and factors drive international relations? Is the nation-state still the most important component of the international system? Who/what are the most important institutions and actors in the global landscape? What methodologies and theories are most useful for analyzing and understanding the international system and world politics? Last but not least, how have the answers to these questions changed over time? How has the international system evolved into its current form? These are just a few of the core questions that will animate this course.

The Nature of the International System will introduce students to a rigorous analysis of international affairs, teaching them how to identify the factors that shape the world and motivate foreign policies and private decisions, and to examine the instruments used in the conduct of international relations from a perspective of both theory and practice. The course will include an historical focus on how these issues emerged and evolved over time, in order to provide a richer background and context to our discussions of current and future international relations. We will also learn about and compare different theoretical and methodological approaches to international relations as ways to understand what are the most important structural factors in international relations. In doing so, the course will also introduce and explore a number of crucial concepts and issues, including war and peace; international economics; authority, sovereignty and legitimacy; international law and human rights; global governance and international institutions; and identity, ideas and culture