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Understanding International Relations Theory

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National Research University HSE
2-4 hours (per week)
United Nations, Peace and Conflict
12 Weeks

Understanding International Relations Theory is an online course offered by the National Research University Higher School of Economics. The class is intended for individuals with an interest in diplomacy and foreign relations. Although the class is an entry-level course with no prerequisites required for admission, those who have some background in political theory will be at an advantage.

All of the coursework for Understanding International Relations Theory is presented through videos. Supplemental readings are given to deepen students’ knowledge of the course material. To do well in the class, students should plan to spend roughly 4 hours per week on the course. Each week, students will be given graded assignments, including worksheets, projects and essays.

Understanding International Relations Theory lasts for 12 weeks. The class is broken into 12 modules that begin with the history of foreign relations and conclude with modern day applications of international relations theory. Modules include: Birth of the science and classical tradition; Origins of liberalism; The beginning: the World Wars and genesis of the IR science; Kenneth Waltz and Structural Theory; Neoliberalism: The Liberal paradigm after the WWII; Marxism and Neo-Marxism; Critical IR theories (Constructivism, Postmodernism, Feminism); Actors in international relations; Power in international relations; Global governance; Back to classics: the Realist Paradigm in the XXI century; and Russia as a realist power.

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