Checking date: 28/03/2022

Course: 2022/2023

International Relations
Study: Master in Social Sciences (325)


Department assigned to the subject: Department of Social Sciences

Type: Electives
ECTS Credits: 6.0 ECTS


Basic Competences Possess and understand knowledge that provides a basis or opportunity to be original in the development and/or application of ideas, often in a research context. Students know how to apply their acquired knowledge and problem-solving skills in new or unfamiliar settings within broader (or multidisciplinary) contexts related to their field of study. Students are able to integrate knowledge and face the complexity of making judgments based on incomplete or limited information that includes reflections on the social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgments. Students know how to communicate their conclusions and the knowledge and the reasons behind them to both specialised and non-specialised audiences in a clear and unambiguous way. Students possess the learning skills that will enable them to continue studying in a way that will be largely self-directed or autonomous. General Competencies Understand the main analytical tools from political science, sociology or economic history. Evaluate and compare different contributions to important social science debates from an analytical, methodological and empirical point of view. Evaluate the internal logic of a scientific publication, examining the consistency between theory, analytical strategy, indicators, results and conclusions. Understand and know how to synthesize the main theories into one or more contemporary debates in the social sciences. Specific Competences Apply formal models in the study of strategic decisions, negotiation and delegation processes and collective action phenomena. Analyze from a comparative, historical and statistical point of view (i) the main problems that arise in the construction of an institutional political order and (ii) the determinants of the political conflict. Identify the economic and social bases for the functioning of political regimes. Learning outcomes Familiarity with theoretical debates on international relations. Mastery of databases on conflict and violence. Knowledge of major conflict theories. Knowledge of realist theories on the causes of war. Knowledge of rationalist theories on the causes of war (incomplete information, ¿commitments¿). Knowledge of debates on democratic peace. Knowledge of the literature on the determinants of civil wars. Familiarity with the literature on peacemaking and peace processes. Knowledge of the methodological problems (on the selection) of peace missions and their treatment. Knowledge of the literature on the determinants of terrorism. Familiarity with the analysis of suicide terrorism. Knowledge of the main debates on international political economy. Knowledge of debates on globalization. Knowledge of development aid policies. Knowledge of theories on trade and international order. Knowledge of foreign investment theories. Familiarity with debates on the consequences of economic sanctions. Familiarity with debates on the international coordination of monetary regimes.
Skills and learning outcomes
Description of contents: programme
1. Anarchy and cooperation in the international system. 2. Theoretical models of wars between states: security dilemma, spiral model, incomplete information, ¿commitments¿. 3. Empirical analysis of wars and military disputes. 4. Democratic peace. 5. The determinants of civil wars. 6. The logic of violence in civil conflicts: types of insurgency and types of violence. 7. Peace processes and peace missions. 8. The effectiveness of international organizations in security problems. 9. Terrorist violence. 10. Suicide terrorism. 11. The principles of international political economy. 12. Globalization. 13. Development aid policies. 14. International trade and the political regime. 15. Economic sanctions. 16. Determinants of foreign investment. 17. Monetary regimes.
Learning activities and methodology
TRAINING ACTIVITIES Theoretical class Practical classes Tutorials Individual student work TEACHING METHODS Presentations in the professor's lecture room with computer and audiovisual support, in which the main concepts of the subject are developed and a bibliography is provided to complement the students' learning. Critical reading of texts recommended by the subject professor: Press articles, reports, manuals and/or academic articles, either for later discussion in class, or to expand and consolidate knowledge of the subject. Resolution of practical cases, problems, etc. raised by the professor, either individually or in a group. Presentation and discussion in class, under the moderation of the professor, of topics related to the content of the subject, as well as practical case studies. Developing pieces of work and reports, individually or in group.
Assessment System
Basic Bibliography
  • Arreguín-Toft, Ivan. . How the Weak Win Wars. A Theory of Asymmetric Conflict. . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. . 2005.
  • Balcells, Laia. . Rivalry and Revenge. The Politics of Violence during Civil War. . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. . 2017.
  • Cederman, Lars-Erik, Kristian Gleditsch & Halvard Buhaug. . Inequality, Grievances, and Civil War. . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. . 2013.
  • Fearon, James & David Laitin. . "Ethnicity, Insurgency & Civil War.¿ . American Political Science Review, 97(1): 75-90. . 2003.
  • Fearon, James. . ¿Rationalist Explanations for War.¿ . International Organization, 49 (3): 379-414. . 1995.
  • Gambetta, Diego (ed). . Suicide Missions. . Oxford: Oxford University Press. . 2016.
  • Hoffman, Bruce. . Inside Terrorism. . New York: Columbia University Press. . 1998.
  • Kalyvas, Stathis. . The Logic of Violence in Civil War. . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. . 2004.
  • Levy, Jack S. & William R. Thompson. . Causes of War. . London: Wiley-Blackwell. . 2010.
  • Morris, Ian. . War. What Is It Good For? . London: Profile. . 2014.
  • Pinker, Steven. . The Better Angels of Our Nature. Why Violence Has Declined. . London: Penguin. . 2011.
  • Rodrik, Daniel. . The Globalization Paradox. . Oxford: Oxford University Press. . 2011.
  • Shapiro, Jacob. . The Terrorist¿s Dilemma. . Princeton: Princeton University Press. . 2013.

The course syllabus may change due academic events or other reasons.