COURSES ON International rELATIONS & foreign policy


FOREIGN POLICY ANALYSIS: Undergraduate and graduate; on-ground and online

This course introduces students to the scientific study of foreign policy. In the first part of the course, we begin by browsing the field: Why is FPA a distinct subfield in International Relations? How is ‘foreign policy decision-making’ different from ‘foreign policy behavior’ and what kinds of tools do we use to study each? Next, we unpack the different levels of decision-making in foreign policy and discuss how individuals and groups make foreign policy decisions. We then move on to a series of explanations that focus on domestic politics and public opinion, culture and identity, and national attributes.

The second part of the course surveys the foreign policies of three groups of states: major powers of Western Europe (the UK, France and Germany), the BRICs, as well as some of the major players in the Middle East (Turkey, Iran, and Israel). This part of the course is designed to provide students with the ‘case knowledge’ of a range of states--in addition to a rich theoretical background on foreign policy analysis, students also develop a ‘comparative’ approach in this area.

INTERNATIONAL POLITICS OF THE MIDDLE EAST: Undergraduate and graduate-level; on-ground and online

This course examines the regional and global aspects of Middle East politics with an emphasis on the Arab-Israeli dispute, the Arab Spring, the international political economy of the region, and the alliance structures. The course begins with an historical overview of the Middle East state system and its formative period marked by the demise of the Ottoman Empire, while focusing on the influences of Islam and Arab nationalism. It then situates the politics of the region within the Cold War and the post-Cold War international systems, and moves on to broader issues concerning the region’s political economy of the region and cooperation among states. In the remainder of the course, we focus on a series of controversial issues and discuss how they interact with regional and international factors, particularly within the framework of the region’s relationship with the United States and the European Union. The course conclude with a discussion of what lies ahead for the Middle East state system, specifically in light of the nuclear deal with Iran, the crisis in Syria, and ISIS.


This course provides students with the basic concepts, approaches and topics in the scientific study of international relations. We begin with the key concepts such as anarchy, power and the international system, followed by the main approaches that we adopt to understand and explain international affairs such as realism, liberalism, and constructivism. We then move on to discussing the major topics in international relations, including international organizations, the global economic order, terrorism, climate change and human security. The main approaches that we study in the first part of the course guide us as we understand and discuss the historical and contemporary issues and challenges in international relations in the second part.

WAR AND PEACE: Undergraduate and graduate; on-ground

This course surveys the major theoretical approaches that explain the causes of war and the likelihood of stability based on factors such as human nature, the systemic balance of power, international cooperation, regime type, economic relations, and domestic political institutions. The first part of the course focuses on interstate war, while asymmetric conflict, terrorism, and civil wars are studied as more recent examples of international conflict in the second part of the semester.