Problems in International Politics


In everyday language, ’problems’ are questions to be considered, tackled, or answered. In science, ’problems’ are ’puzzles’, identified by Thomas Kuhn as topics amenable to explanations within scientific paradigms. If we combine these two definitions, “Problems in International Politics” can be defined as issues to be considered, tackled, or answered thanks to theories, concepts, and methods used in the discipline of International Relations. The aim of this course is to address some contemporary international political problems, such as the consequences of the rise of China, the reasons of Donald Trump’s decisions, the causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the risks of nuclear proliferation, etc., by having a look at them through the scientific lenses provided by the discipline of IR. The analyses proposed are debatable: there are no neutral, or objective, analyses in social sciences – merely more or less rigorous ones.

Recommended Prerequisite(s)

Students should have basic knowledge of IR theories and must be deeply interested in current international political affairs.


  • Baylis (John), Smith (Steve), & Owens (Patricia) (eds.), The Globalization of World Politics. An Introduction to International Relations, Oxford, OUP, 2016, 7th edition.

Educational formula

The course consists in lectures. Students should have a look at the reading material put on Moodle before coming to class.

In brief

Year Third year

Teaching languageEnglish

Teaching term Six-monthly

ECTS credits 2.0

Number of hours 18.0

Teaching activityLecture course

ValidationFinal written examination

Optional teaching



Forest Amandine [+]

Prévot Christophe [+]

Educational manager :
Battistella Dario [+]