The purpose of the course is to introduce students to
the various ways of understanding contemporary international relations, to
give an overview of the issues acute on the agenda of current diplomacy,
international relations in general.
During the course attention will be given to the
conceptual models of international relations, subjects, objects, actors of
international relations, interests and tools for the achievement of goals
in international politics. Thus the focus will be on states,
international, transnational organizations.
After studying the theoretical basis of the course, the
role and structure of the UN system, NATO, attention will be given to the
analysis of the main issues standing on the global agenda – political and
economic cooperation among countries after the Cold War, the European
Union, European political, economic, security perspectives, Eastern Europe
in transition period, challenges for Russia and CIS countries after the
collapse of the Soviet Union, China’s economic reforms, USA under Reagan,
Bush, Clinton administration, USA and the world etc.
The problem of international conflicts, the ways of its
resolution as well as nuclear weapons and disarmament questions are of an
This particular course is a very interesting one,
intersecting with such subjects as political science, history, diplomacy.
So there is a need to combine the knowledge of these disciplines to
elaborate the special methodology of studying contemporary events taking
The work for which a student will be assessed with
respect to the course will comprise of the following:
- Class attendance and class discussion – 30%
- Mid-term exam – 20%
- Seminars – 20%
- Final exam – 30%
COURSE GRADING POLICY
Total – 100 points
41 & below F
- Syllabus issues: organization of class, class hours, explanation of
grades, office hours. Introductory Lecture. International
Relations subject, objects, actors, interests, levels, fields.
Lecture. 2 hours
- State, nation, national interests and balance of power. Lecture.
- States and International organizations. Lecture. 2 hours
- Cold War and its legacy. Periodizations of the Cold War period,
major international events. Multipolar, bipolar, onepolar systems.
- United Nations system. Historical background, structure, main fields
of activity. Lecture. 2 hours
- International organizations affiliated to UN system. Lecture. 2 hours
- Research writing skills. How to write a course/research paper.
Necessary guidelines and outline. Lecture. 2 hours
- Country analysis. Skills of analyzing the situation of a country,
its foreign policy. Scenario-writing. Lecture.2 hours
- Afghan crisis: historical background, its impact on the regional and
global security. Lecture. 2 hours
- Afghan crisis, its impact on the regional security in Central
Asia. Seminar. 2 hours
- European Union: historical background, EU structure, main issues of
the EU agenda. Lecture. 2 hours
- European Union and its enlargement. Seminar. 2 hours
- OSCE: from CSCE to OSCE, organizational structure, main fields of
activity, institutions and bodies. Lecture. 2 hours
- OSCE and election monitoring issues in Eastern Europe CIS.
Seminar. 2 hours
- Collapse of the Soviet Union and challenges for Russia and CIS
countries. Lecture. 2 hours
- Russia under B.Yeltsin. Economic and political reforms. Seminar.
- NATO and the main challenges standing before this
organization. Lecture. 2 hours
- NATO: Expansion to the East. Activities in Kosovo.
Seminar. 2 hours
- Interethnic relations in contemporary world. Measures on early
response and conflict prevention. Lecture. 2 hours
- Ethnic conflicts in Central Asia and China (Uigur problem).
Seminar. 2 hours
- The USA and the World. US under Clinton administration. Presidential
elections in USA. Lecture. 2 hours
- China’s political,, economic situation, her role in the contemporary
world. Lecture. 2 hours
- World business community. The process of globalization and
information new technologies. Lecture. 2 hours
- Analyzing the future. The world in 21 century. Lecture. 2 hours
List of recommended literature
- Brown, Michael E. (Ed.). Nationalism and Ethnic
Conflict. The MIT Press, 1997.
- Edwards, O. The USA and the Cold War. 1997.
- Friedrich, C., Brzezinski, Z. Totalitarian
Dictatorship and Autocracy. NY, 1965.
- Kissinger, H. Diplomacy. 1991.
- Macridis, Roy. Modern Political Systems: Europe.
- Magstadt, Thomas. Nations and Governments.
Comparative Politics in Regional Perspective. New York, 1994.
- Naik, J.A. A textbook of International
Relations. New Delhi, 1995.
- Papp, Daniel S. Contemporary International
Relations. Frameworks for Understanding. Allyn and Bacon, 1997.
- Roessingh, Martijn A. Ethnonationalism and
Political Systems in Europe. A State of Tension. Amsterdam Unuversity
Press, Amsterdam, 1996.