Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles

SPOL1312 - International relations


Credits : 5

Lecturer :
Teaching assistant :
Mode of delivery :
Face-to-face , first term, 30 hours of theory.

Timetable :
First term
Monday from 13:30 to 15:30 at 43 Botanique 4

Language of instruction :

Learning outcomes :
This course provides the knowledge and competences needed for the understanding and the analysis of international phenomena. More precisely, the course aims at making students:
1. Gain knowledge of the main actors and stakes of international relations.
2. Understand the main concepts and theories used in international relations.

At the end of the course, students should:
1. be able to associate each concept/theory to at least one concrete example;
2. have developed analytical skills and a critical mind with regards to the ideas produced by observers and practitioners on the international scene;
3. be able to discuss in detail the information contained in short publications dealing with international relations.

Prerequisites :
Co-requisites :
For the Bachelor in Information and Communication :

For the Bachelor in Political Sciences: General :

For the Bachelor in Sociology and Anthropology :

Course contents :
Each class can be understood individually. Put together, all classes follow the evolution of the discipline. They are organized as follows:

I. From international relations to International Relations: history and definition;
II. Analysing war and peace after World-War I: the classical theories of international relations;
III. Cold-War dynamics: the opening to the neo-classical debates;
IV. Questioning the importance of war and peace: when the economy shapes international relations;
V. Questioning the State as unit of analysis;
VI. Questioning the premises of IR theory.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
Description of the ex-cathedra lectures:
Each class starts with a common activity (role-playing, games, videos, etc.). It then exposes particular theories/concepts of international relations and gives concrete illustrations. The course rests on three teaching methods: active learning during the introductory activities; lectures that are given by the professor; several readings associated to the classes.

Description of the additional activity (AA impliquante):
Each student has to submit a research paper by the end of the semester.

Assessment methods and criteria :
The evaluation of the course is done in two steps:
- A research paper (10/20)
- A written exam (10/20) made of :
• one question on the course and on the compulsory readings (5/10)
• a MCQ (multiple-choice questionnaire) (5/10)

Recommended or required reading :
In addition to very short compulsory readings, a list of useful references for the course is provided.

Other information :
Face-to-face, first term, 30 hours of theory.
The slides are given to the students right after each session