[Political Science] Theories of International Relations


General information

Course name Theories of International Relations
Course type Seminar
Course code WSF-polw-4
Course coordinator  
Faculty Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences
Examination office Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences
Short summary As a discipline of political science, International Relations is not only concerned with the explanation of the great challenges of our time such as war and international conflicts, terrorism, or the question how to explain international institutions, cooperation and processes of global governance. IR as a discipline also addresses more theoretical questions regarding the distribution of power and wealth or the legitimacy of international norms and authority. Although the canon of the classical IR theory paradigms is well established in teaching, the scientific debate has become increasingly detached from the standard curriculum. Since the end of the cold war the emergence of post- positivist approaches has led to a fragmentation of the discipline as many researchers are not longer affiliated with a specific paradigm but refer to so called “turns” in their research. In the first part of the course, we will take a look at classical paradigms of IR theory and show how they can be used to explain phenomena in international politics. In the second part, we will examine alternative approaches in IR which came up after the so called third debate, namely critical constructivism, post-structuralism, feminist IR theory and gender theory. In the third part of the course, we will look at the contemporary state of the art reading articles on the practice turn, the visual turn and works related to Critical Security Studies.

Information about study level

Study level Bachelor
Also possible for  

Information about credit points, evaluation and frequency

Evaluation Exam
Frequency Winter term

Information about teaching language

Teaching language English
Minimum language requirement B1
Further information on the teaching language Better B2

Information about requirements

Recommended requirements  

Information about course content, reading list and additional information

Course Content  
Reading list


Additional information