Course 2014-2015 a.y.



Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31
CLEAM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - CLEF (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - CLEACC (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - BESS-CLES (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - BIEMF (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SPS/04)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Course Objectives

The course provides models, tools and insights to understand the international context by integrating economic analysis with the major theories of International Relations (IR). The course is organized in two parts. The first part focuses on the contribution of IR theories to the understanding of the European integration process, the functioning of the European Institutions, and the single currency also in light of the impact of the EU's political and economic crisis. The second part deals with the emergence and the progressive consolidation of the People's Republic of China as a global player, and its impact on bilateral and multilateral relations both from a political and economic perspective. This part also provides the instruments to understand China’s increasingly assertive behaviour on the international scene.

Course Content Summary

SECTION ONE - Europe in the world: a declining power?
  • Understanding International Relations: complementarity of the economic and political approach.
  • Introduction to the main theories of International Relations.
  • The European Union as a global actor: the Realist and Liberal views.
  • Functioning, voting system, and power distribution in the EU.
  • From the introduction of the Euro to the political and eonomic crisis: the contribution of IR theories.

SECTION TWO China in the world: the emerging power.
  • China’s development model amid growing integration into the world economy.
  • The evolution of China’s foreign policy: from ideology to pragmatism.
  • China’s relations with the US and the EU between interdependence and competition.
  • Integration in East Asia: relations with Japan, North Korea, and ASEAN.
  • China’s global reach: alliances in Africa and Latin America.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

Written exam. There are two options. Students may take the exam in two written parts: a 1st partial exam and a 2nd partial exam which cover the first half and the second half of the course respectively. In this case, the exam is considered as passed only if both exams are graded at least 18/30. Alternatively, students may take a general exam covering the entire course material.
The first partial exam is valid until the end of the AY 2014-2015.

Students who have NOT passed the exam yet for the previous year have to prepare the current program.

For information on recognition of exchange courses please contact prof. Antonino Villafranca.


  • D. GUTHRIE, China and Globalization, Routledge, 2012, Third Edition
  • A selection of articles and book chapters available as Coursepack at Mastercopy before the beginning of the course.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)
Last change 25/03/2014 15:30