2017 International Relations C

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Academic unit or major
Humanities and social science courses
Kawana Shinji 
Course component(s)
Day/Period(Room No.)
Mon3-4(W935)  Thr3-4(W935)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
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Course description and aims

This course serves as an introduction to a variety of theories of International Relations (IR). The objective of this course is to help students to interpret and describe IR in terms of different types of theoretical approaches.We will survey some of the key schools of thought, including realism, liberalism, and constructivism. We will cover some of the major empirical applications of these approaches. Through it we try to understand the structure and pluralism of international relations. Its objective is to cultivate relative and problem-solving thinking to understand complex international relations.                                                         

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
1)Understand the major theories of international relations
2)Describe the major similarities and differences between the major IR theories
3)Understand the historical evolution of IR theory over time


Realism, Liberalism, Constructivism

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Lectures and Discussions: This course requires students to take an active role in their own learning.It is essentially important for students to attend all the classes.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introductory Remarks Understand the significance of IR theories to understand modern international politics.
Class 2 International relations in social science Understand the purpose of international relations as "social science".
Class 3 Range of major theories and methods Understand the scope of explanation and some methods of validation of IR theory.
Class 4 Realism: state of nature, anarchy and classical reailsm Understand the logics of realism and the characteristics of early realism.
Class 5 Realism: neorealism Understand the “structural realism.” and rationalism.
Class 6 Realism: neo-classical realism, realist constructivism Understand the interaction between international politics and domestic politics.
Class 7 Liberalism: natural harmony Understand the ideological foundation of liberalism.
Class 8 Liberalism: interdependence and international regimes Find out the reasons for the success of the liberalism since the 1970s.
Class 9 Liberalism: institutions and neoliberalism Understand why liberal Institutionalism relies on microeconomic theory.
Class 10 Constructivism: limits of rationalism Understand why did theory fail to predict the end of the Cold War.
Class 11 Constructivism: intersubjectivity, norms and logic of appropriateness Understand the non-material factors affect international politics.
Class 12 Structuralism: hierarchy in International Relations Explore patterns of U.S.-led hierarchy in the security and economic realms.
Class 13 Application: foreign policy decision making case study (Cuban crisis)
Class 14 Application: base politics case study(U.S. foreign military bases policy)
Class 15 Problems and possibilities of international relations theory Verify the current IR theories.


All materials are provided during class.

Reference books, course materials, etc.

See Japanese information.                                                  Supplemental materials will be distributed.

Assessment criteria and methods

Midterm exams 20%                  Final exams 80%

Related courses

  • LAH.S104 : International Relations A
  • LAH.S204 : International Relations B

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

There are no pre‐requisites for the course.

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