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Course 2016-2017 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) - WBB (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - BIEF (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SPS/04) - BIEM (6 credits - II sem. - OP  |  SPS/04)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Course Objectives

The course provides models and tools to understand today’s international context by integrating political and economic analysis. The course is divided into 4 Modules. Module 1 focuses on the contribution of International Relations (IR) theories to the understanding of the current relations among world powers. Module 2 covers the issue of global governance, with specific attention attached to the functioning and objectives of the United Nations. Module 3 is specifically devoted to the European Union and to the need for its reform in a context of economic stagnation, political tensions, migration pressures and rising Euroscepticism. The last Module is dedicated to current geopolitical shifts, with regional and country-specific analyses including an overview of the turmoil in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, the Chinese challenge to the current global order, and the role of the United States and Russia in dealing with both global and regional issues.

Course Content Summary
  • Course presentation. Understanding International Relations (IR): complementarity of the economic and political approach
  • The creation of the modern state system and today’s international context: the main IR theories (realism, liberalism, constructivism and other theoretical approaches)
  • Global Governance: origins of the United Nations (UN)
  • The UN main bodies and subsidiary organs: Specialized Agencies, Funds & Programmes
  • The functioning of the UN (funding and staff) and its major objectives (development, peace and security)
  • IR theories and the functioning of the European Union (EU): Institutions, competencies, decision-making and power distribution
  • Explaining the creation of the Euro: a political approach
  • Economic stagnation, migration pressures and rising Euroscepticism: towards a European (dis)integration?
  • New forms of war: terrorism and international (dis)order
  • Geopolitical shifts: is the US decline a false myth?
  • The Mediterranean in turmoil: conflicts, regional powers and external intervention
  • The rise of China and the future of the West
  • Russia: a hollow superpower?

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods
Student must take a written exam. There are two options.
  • Students may take the exam in two written parts: a partial exam and a final exam. Partial exams have to be taken within the same academic year.
  • Alternatively, students may take a final general exam covering all the Modules.
Attending students may also propose group projects. The group project is valid until the end of the academic year.


Textbooks to be defined

Last change 24/05/2016 15:53