International Relations Theory (POLS 540)

2019 Spring
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Political Science(POLS)
Meltem Müftüler-Baç,
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Doctoral, Master
Interactive lecture,Seminar
Interactive,Learner centered,Task based learning
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This course aims at providing the political science graduate students with a thorough analysis of international relations theory. The course will do so first, by analyzing the emergence of the modern state system and the evolution of the international relations as a discipline. Second, the course will focus on major approaches and paradigms in international relations theory, namely realism, neorealism,liberalism, neoliberal institutionalism. and contructivisim. By differentiating between rationalist and sociological approaches to international relations, the course will expose the students to the major current debates in IR theory. The course aims to furnish the students with advanced theoretical skills on international relations that would enable them to further their studies on international relations.


This course investigates the international relations theory, focusing on the realist/neorealist, liberal/neoliberal paradigms. The course touches upon the constructivist logic as well. The course is aimed to provide graduate students with a clear comprehension on the IR theory as a field of inquiry. The course aims to furnish the students with advanced theoretical skills on international relations that would enable them to further their studies on international relations


* List the main theories of international relations
* Distinguish between different IR theory paradigms
* Grasp the basic assumptions of international relations theories
* Identify the main theories of international relations
* Apply these theories to international events
* Accept the methodological and theoretical variety


1. Develop and deepen the current and advanced knowledge in the field with original thought and/or research and come up with innovative definitions based on Master's degree qualifications 5

2. Conceive the interdisciplinary interaction which the field is related with ; come up with original solutions by using knowledge requiring proficiency on analysis, synthesis and assessment of new and complex ideas. 5

3. Evaluate and use new information within the field in a systematic approach. 5

4. Develop an innovative knowledge, method, design and/or practice or adapt an already known knowledge, method, design and/or practice to another field; research, conceive, design, adapt and implement an original subject. 5

5. Critical analysis, synthesis and evaluation of new and complex ideas. 5

6. Gain advanced level skills in the use of research methods in the field of study. 5

7. Contribute the progression in the field by producing an innovative idea, skill, design and/or practice or by adapting an already known idea, skill, design, and/or practice to a different field independently. 5

8. Broaden the borders of the knowledge in the field by producing or interpreting an original work or publishing at least one scientific paper in the field in national and/or international refereed journals. 5

9. Demonstrate leadership in contexts requiring innovative and interdisciplinary problem solving. 5

10. Develop new ideas and methods in the field by using high level mental processes such as creative and critical thinking, problem solving and decision making. 5

11. Investigate and improve social connections and their conducting norms and manage the actions to change them when necessary. 5

12. Defend original views when exchanging ideas in the field with professionals and communicate effectively by showing competence in the field. 5

13. Ability to communicate and discuss orally, in written and visually with peers by using a foreign language at least at a level of European Language Portfolio C1 General Level. 5

14. Contribute to the transition of the community to an information society and its sustainability process by introducing scientific, technological, social or cultural improvements. 5

15. Demonstrate functional interaction by using strategic decision making processes in solving problems encountered in the field. 5

16. Contribute to the solution finding process regarding social, scientific, cultural and ethical problems in the field and support the development of these values. 5

1. Develop the ability to use critical, analytical, and reflective thinking and reasoning 5

2. Reflect on social and ethical responsibilities in his/her professional life. 5

3. Gain experience and confidence in the dissemination of project/research outputs 4

4. Work responsibly and creatively as an individual or as a member or leader of a team and in multidisciplinary environments. 3

5. Communicate effectively by oral, written, graphical and technological means and have competency in English. 4

6. Independently reach and acquire information, and develop appreciation of the need for continuously learning and updating. 4

1. Develop a thorough knowledge of theories, concepts, and research methods in the field and apply them in research design and data analysis. 5

2. Assess the impact of the economic, social, and political environment from a global, national and regional level. 5

3. Know how to access written and visual, primary and secondary sources of information, interpret concepts and data from a variety of sources in developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary analyses. 5

1. Design and model engineering systems and processes and solve engineering problems with an innovative approach.

2. Establish experimental setups, conduct experiments and/or simulations.

3. Analytically acquire and interpret data.

1. Begin to grasp historical evolution and contemporary character of world politics. 5

1. Be informed about the design and implementation processes of international policies in Turkey and around the world. 5

2. Understand the historical development and current functioning of international structures and establishments. 5

3. Comprehend the structures, roles, and functions of international, regional and inter-governmental organizations. 5

4. Develop an understanding of the process of foreign policy making, along with its bureaucratic structure, actor-structure relationship, and the interaction with domestic political environment and actors; and to acquire the ability to appraise the effects thereof and to bring forth suggestions for improvement. 5

5. Obtain the scientific background and formation leading to advanced academic study. 5

1. Analyze historical and contemporary developments in Europe, specifically of the European integration process, from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

2. Grasp the main dynamics of the European order, politically, historically and economically.

3. Explain the European integration process and the EU?s decision-making procedures and it?s institutions.

1. Establish a strong theoretical background in several of a broad range of subjects related to the discipline, such as manufacturing processes, service systems design and operation, production planning and control, modeling and optimization, stochastics, statistics.

2. Develop novel modeling and / or analytical solution strategies for problems in integrated production and service systems involving human capital, materials, information, equipment, and energy, also using an interdisciplinary approach whenever appropriate.

3. Implement solution strategies on a computer platform for decision-support purposes by employing effective computational and experimental tools.

4. Acquire skills to independently explore and tackle problems related to the discipline that were not encountered previously. Develop appropriate modeling, solution, implementation strategies, and assess the quality of the outcome.


  Percentage (%)
Final 40
Midterm 20
Term-Paper 30
Participation 10



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