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Introduction to International Relations

Bachelor's level | 15 credits | Course code: IR1111
Autumn 2020
100% Day
Period: 31 August 2020 - 2 November 2020
2) Only EU/EEA citizens and students with approved residence permit in Sweden can apply

About the Course

This course introduces International Relations (IR) as a scientific subject and its historical background. The overall purpose of the course is to provide a broad overview of the different theoretical perspectives that have dominated IR as a subject since the beginning of the 20th century. The course begins with a comprehensive discussion about liberalism and realism, covering their contemporary expressions, such as neoliberal institutionalism and neorealism, as well as Marxist challenges, for example World-systems Theory and Critical Theory. The latter are addressed in the context of having challenged the dominating viewpoints within the theoretical IR debates very early on. We will briefly cover the most important debates and theories within contemporary challenges and historical interpretations of IR theories, with special focus on social constructivism, postmodernism and postcolonialism.

All the theories, both classical and contemporary, will be discussed through a feministic and green perspective to the extent possible. By providing alternative theoretical frameworks, the course allows for the interpretation of a multifaceted picture of the world political history. It will also establish the essential theoretical perspectives and debates in a historical context. We will focus on the different historical stages and events in the rise of the current global order, giving special attention to the significance of the post-war period in the establishment of international institutions, as well as the Cold War’s and contemporary globalization processes role in contemporary global politics.

As a student, you will obtain the theoretical tools to be able to understand how global issues are perceived and explained in different ways depending on theoretical perspectives as well as historical context, so that you can examine the underlying assumptions behind the different theories, identify the key actors as well as the practices and processes relevant to different perspectives. We see this as a fundamental requirement in order to be able to reflect upon ideas for solving central global issues.

More Information

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Course Syllabus


Requirements and Selection

Requirements: General entrance requirements

Selection: Selection is based upon average grade from upper secondary school (34 %), the number of credits from previous university studies (33 %) and Högskoleprovet - Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (33 %)

Tuition Fee

Application fee: 900 SEK
Full course cost: 21 250 SEK
First payment: 21 250 SEK

EU/EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students do not pay fees. More information on:

Study Guidance

För generell studievägledning:

För information om kursen:


School of Global Studies
Box 700
40530 Göteborg
Visiting address: Konstepidemins väg 2

Page Manager: Pontus Sundén
Last update: 2/18/2020 2:41 PM

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Page Manager: Pontus Sundén|Last update: 10/16/2018

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