School of Politics and International Relations

Theories of International Relations

What are the origins of economic, military, and political domination? What is the ‘international’ and how, if at all, is it distinct from politics in general? What is the basis of any claims to knowledge about ‘the international’? This course introduces and analyses the key bodies of international political theory that seek to answer these questions. It addresses the role each theory has played in the evolution of the discipline of International Relations, and their relation to wider debates within the social sciences. As well as analysing the general properties of each theory - the central concepts and underlying assumptions - the course addresses their normative and political dimensions. What ethical claims underpin different theories of international politics and whose interests do they serve?