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International Relations: Theory and Approaches



International Relations is a diverse discipline. The identity, intellectual history, institutional bases, geographical boundaries and thematic focus of the discipline have always been contested. This course provides an introduction to International Relations that takes this diversity as its point of departure. We begin in Part I by examining the discipline’s historical development and its major approaches. In Part II, we focus on contemporary theoretical and methodological debates. Part III turns to key concepts such as power, sovereignty and legitimacy. Finally, Part IV examines substantive processes and issues.

Methods of Instruction

Seminar and presentation.


Approximately 1500 pages.


Presentations, review articles, and a final essay of ~ 4000 words.


Pieter de la Courtbuilding Leiden:
Wednesday 8 September till 27 October, 9.00-11.00 hrs. in 1A41 (except 13/10: 1A09) and
Monday 13 September till 25 October, 15.00-17.00 hrs. in 5B04 (except 4 October: no meeting).