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Corpus I, Core Course: Ideas and Beliefs in International Relations, major Concepts across Time and Space


Admission requirements

Admission to the MA International Relations, track International Studies.


This course discusses the theoretical and the empirical dimensions of critical political and
social concepts, ideas and beliefs in the spatial and temporal context of current global
politics. Central to the course is a keen interest in the practical relevance and topicality of
the ideas and beliefs that move and inspire people, governments and states: democracy,
sovereignty, identity, freedom, human rights, legitimacy, et cetera.
The principal claim of this course is that no coherent and balanced understanding of
international relations and global politics is possible without taking into full consideration
the rich diversity of ideas, beliefs and (self) perceptions that are behind current political
changes and events. The course focuses on four clusters of concepts and their global
impact: ideas and institutions, the various dimensions of power and Global Governance,
nationalism and internationalism, and sovereignty and state-building. The course traces
the origin and history of these ideas, beliefs, and practices, as well as their topicality and
contemporary relevance.

Course Objectives

The course requires students to engage with the scholarly debates and the practical
implications concerning critical political and social concepts, ideas and beliefs in global
politics today. Students are required to study both academic texts and other relevant
primary and secondary sources.
Firstly, students will expand their knowledge of the major theories and / or theoretical
approaches of International Studies (including International Relations), with special
reference to those theories that are particularly relevant to our Humanities’ informed
Additionally, students are required to research and discuss the various manifestations and
global relevance of the key contemporary issues and concepts of international relevance
mentioned above: ideas and institutions, power, global governance, nationalism and
internationalism, and sovereignty and intervention.



Mode of instruction

Lecture and seminar

Course Load

  • 24 Hours of classes

  • 120 Hours of reading and class preparation (10 hours per week over 12 weeks)

  • 36 Hours to prepare for the presentations

  • 60 Hours to complete the critical review element

  • 40 Hours to complete the research essay

Total: 280 Hours

Assessment Method

  • Participation: 20%

  • Policy Paper: 35%

  • Critical Reviews: 45%

The resit for the final examined element is only available to students whose mark of the final examined element is insufficient.


Yes, see Blackboard.

Reading list

Literature will be announced on Blackboard before the start of the course.


Via uSis.

Contact information

With the professor, by e-mail: Prof. A.W.M. Gerrits.