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Seminar International Relations


Admission requirements


Hans J. Morgenthau said in Politics Among Nations, which is regarded as one of the classics in International Relations (IR): “for more than two thousand years the fate of Korea has been a function either of the predominance of one nation controlling Korea, or of a balance of power between two nations competing for that control.” Throughout this account, Korea is completely stripped of its agency. Non-Great Powers such as Korea can hardly have any place or agency in the ‘balance of power’ scheme. This suggests that Great Powers-oriented IR scholarship has a problem in its theoretical point of departure. That is, this scholarship assumes that Great Powers are the only major actors in international politics.

Against this backdrop, the course offers an overview of the historical and contextual development of IR. In Part I, it focuses on historical background and various perspectives including recently emerging approaches in the field of IR. In Part II, the course seeks to situate Korea/Asia within critical and postcolonial IR scholarship.

Course objectives

  • Obtaining a contextualised knowledge of the field of International Relations

  • Exploring situated scholarship in Korean Studies

  • Formulating independent agendas and ideas

  • Developing writing and presentation skills



Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

  • Total workload 140 hours;

  • Contact hours: 2 hours per week X 13 weeks = 26 hours

  • Preparation: 4 hours per week X 13 weeks = 52 hours

  • Preparing presentation= 12 hours

  • Essay: 50 hours

Assessment method

  • Essay 40%

  • Presentation 40%

  • Attendance and participation 20%

Resit: students who fail the course (a grade below a 5.5) may resit the essay if they have participated in the presentation.


Blackboard will be used

Reading list

See blackboard.


Students are required to register for this course via uSis, the course registration system of Leiden University. General information about the Registration procedure### Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte via:
Registration Contractonderwijs via:


Dhr. Dr. S. Park-Kang