The Syllabus entails a short introductory note about the lecture’s objectives and it summarizes lectures’ content and documents’ references. Most of the readings can be dowloaded in the following posts.
This lecture introduces students to a general framework for understanding international politics, that is to say the study of human organization at its highest and most complex level. The main purpose of this lecture is to introduce students to the notion of war and to show its evolution, to familiarize students with the process of theorization and with key notions regarding international relations (state, nation, power, war, civil war, International Political Relations). Furthermore, the lecture will give a general introduction to the history of international relations
This lecture describes the main school of thoughts to explain how world politics work and which tenets shape its most visible outcomes, such as war, international crises, and revolutions.
At the end of the 5 hours lecture, students should be able to understand the interpretative framework of international relations and to formulate different interpretation to current events.
- Presentation of Realism theories: Classical Realism (T. Hobbes, E. H. Carr), Structural realism (K. Waltz), Offensive and Defensive Realism (Mearsheimer), Joseph Grieco (Theory of alliances)
- Description of Liberalism: The Kantian perspective, Democratic Peace (W. Wilson), Institutional theory (Keohane, Ikenberry)
- The constructivist approach of international relations: The social construction of power (Alexander Wendt), critical theory
- The English School: Hedley Bull and Martin Wight
- Post Marxism: the school of Frankfurt (Jurgen Habermas)
the Ennglish school
The conduct of diplomacy has changed significantly over the past sixty years. Prior to World War II, diplomacy was essentially a government-to-government relationship. Since the war, it has broadened to include as it is the diplomacy of the global economic system, cultural centers, international organizations, civil society organizations, etc. This lecture will try to explain the evolution of diplomacy, from the Westfalia treaty (1648) to contemporary diplomacy, identifying its key developments.
Intergovernmental Institutions are organizations composed primarily of sovereign states and established by treaty which provides to these institutions an international legal personality. This lecture aims at presenting the role of those intergovernmental institutions, in particular in the security sector, and to present the most important of them, that is to say the United Nations, the OSCE, the European Union, NATO, the African Union, the ASEAN, the Arab League, NAFTA.
The lecture intends to give insights on the process to achieve binding treaties, as well as the goals and impacts of the most important treaties framing international relations.
- Treaties making process
- The law of war
- Human Rights law
Download file Document name
Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations
North Atlantic Treaty
International Treaties: Features and Importance
The Rome Statute instituting the International Criminal Court
Track II diplomacy generally involves informal interaction with influential unofficial actors from civil society, business or religious communities, and local leaders. It generally seeks to supplement Track I diplomacy by working with middle and lower levels of society and often involves non-traditional methods, such as facilitating dialogue mechanisms and meetings that include participants from both government and non-government institutions. This lecture gives insights on the role of Non-Governmental Organizations and Institutional Organization as well as the limits of their influence to influencing and framing international issues.
Geopolitics traditionally studies the links between political power and geographic space, and examines strategic prescriptions based on the relative importance of land power and sea power in world history. This lecture will try to give a broad picture on who has got power in the world today and why, from a global to a regional perspective, trying to show how this notion of power has evolved with the evolution of technology and perceptions.
Download file Document name
Halford Mackinder, The Geographical Pivot of History
Samuel Huntington, Clash of civilizations, 1993
Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard : American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, 1953
The lecture will first try to define terrorism (and explain this phenomenon) as an international threat (and to explain why states didn’t succeed to find a common definition for it) before to clarify its roots in local grievances. Secondly, the lecturer will try to map the key natural resources in the world and their impact on international relations. Finally, the lecturer will analyze the correlation between the existence of natural resources and weak institutions in a country.
Understanding international negotiation is fundamental to appreciate the capacity of decision makers to ratify international treaties or to defend their national interest abroad. However, the complexity of international negotiations limits rationality of behaviors and the amount of information available for actors. Without trying to give a clear cut “formula” for successful negotiations (as there is not), the lecture aims at giving a broad picture of factors which may positively influence the outcome of a negotiation. In particular, this lecture focuses on Putnam and the two level game analysis, the game theory and the negotiation theory.
This lecture emphasized the role of the media in war coverage and in determining policies and outcomes of significant events (known as the CNN effect). In particular, it will emphasize the role of online media and new “propaganda” (or storytelling) to influence the perception on conflicts. Furthermore, the lecture questions the neutrality and objectivity of journalists, presenting the propaganda model and its opponents to explain current media behavior.
Since the middle of the 1990s, numerous analysts have argued that qualitative changes have occurred in the nature of violent conflict and that it is now possible to think in terms of ‘new wars’ that are distinct in significant ways from earlier forms of conflict. This new pattern focuses on ethnic competition as a source of conflict and distinguishing “new” civil wars as criminal, rather than political phenomena. The lecture’s intent is to explain the categorization of war and its consequences and to help students make their own opinion on this phenomenon. A brief focus will highlight the privatization of war and the use of private security companies.
This lecture gives insights on the process and difficulties to forecast crisis, presenting the main methodologies and indicators used by international institutions and private companies to determine country risks.
The lecture aims at giving a general understanding of the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the impact of international political relations on its current development.
- Historic development of the peace process
- The empricial situation
- An international law approach: strengths and weaknesses
- The regional dynamic: war in Syria, turmoils in Egypt, Lebanese threat and Jordan’s alliance
- The International recognition of the State of Palestine and its economic and political prospectives
War in Afghanistan is a very complex and multidimensional issue. Current war started in 2001 and has known several phases before partial withdrawal from the coalition of countries which invaded the country. Analyzing war in Afghanistan is an excellent exercise to understand the securitization process to go at war, current terrorism issues and the difficulties to build a strong and stable state. This analysis will specifically focus on:
? Recent history of the country (from the soviet invasion until today)
? 09/11 attacks and the legitimacy to attack Afghanistan
? The protracted war and the failure to create stable institutions and to fight against terrorism
Following the Arab Spring, social protests have been repressed by the Syrian Government. Against all expectations, a bloody civil war started, opposing Sunni tribes against the Shia minority at power, dividing the country and generating a humanitarian crisis. The analysis of the Syrian conflict will enable students to better understand the internationalization of a conflict and the geopolitics of the region. A particular emphasis will be given to the refugee situation in Lebanon and its consequences.