ASTK18014U  Core Subject: Concepts and Methods in International Relations

Volume 2018/2019

Core subject in the core-subject lines in Foreign Policy, International Relations and Conflict Resolution, and International Political Economy. Only accessible to students who are admitted to these core-subject lines.


This compulsory course provides a foundation in the discipline of International Relations (IR) at post-graduate level. It focuses on core concepts of international relations as well as the approaches that have been developed to study IR phenomena. Rather than relying on a traditional and in many ways outdated understanding of the discipline as a collection of theories and paradigms or series of great debates, the introduction offers a more fluid and dialogical understanding of the discipline as a collective interested in certain problems, developing concepts in response to these as well dedicated research approaches. The course conducts a survey which includes classical studies as well as contemporary ones. The focus on concepts and approaches allows for a fruitful dialogue between classics and contemporaries.

The course discusses foundational social-theoretical models, epistemological as well as methodological considerations. It does not, however, provide an introduction to research design, methods and the practicalities of designing, implementing and evaluating a small scale research project.

International Politics and Foreign Policy. A Reader in Research and Theory, ed. James N Rosenau. New York: The Free Press, 1969.

Handbook of International Relations, eds. Walter Carlsnaes, et al. Sage: London, 2002.

Concepts in World Politics, ed Felix Berenskoetter, Sage: London, 2016.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
3-day compulsory written take-home assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

- For the semester in which the course takes place: 3-day compulsory written take-home assignment

- For the following semesters: Free written assignment

Criteria for exam assesment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • Total
  • 28

Course information

Course code
7,5 ECTS
Full Degree Master
1 semester
Course capacity
Continuing and further education
Study board
Department of Political Science, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Political Science
Course Coordinators
  • Christian Bueger   (16-676c766d77786d6572326679696b6976446d6a77326f7932686f)
Saved on the 11-10-2018