International Conflict, Order, and Justice

Course Material 2020/21

International Conflict, Order and Justice will delve into politics beyond the state. We seek to understand contemporary global politics as the product of intersecting forms of power, each with a distinct history and, perhaps, requiring a distinct analytical approach. The dominant traditions in the study of international relations have emphasized relations among states; however, as new global political realities have emerged, so have new theoretical approaches entered the debate to understand these new realities and to re-interpret dominant histories of international order. Some new approaches focus on actors beyond the state – international organizations, social movements, multinational corporations, or terrorist groups. Others argue that alternative logics – such as race, gender, or supposed civilizational divides – determine international politics and should not be ignored by focusing too exclusively on inter-state interaction. Others still have argued that giving priority to the Westphalian state obscures the very different visage that international politics may have from the standpoint of the non-Western world. Thus, a global international relations requires attention to other forms and histories of international order, as well as a robust history of the state and how we understand it. This paper explores international politics while leaving open the questions of what issues matter, whose experiences should be the basis for theory, and what methodological tools we can use in this pursuit.

Section notice

This material is intended for current students but will be interesting to prospective students. It is indicative only.