Course code EDS374B

EDS374B International Relations Theory

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Showing course contents for the educational year starting in 2020 .

Course responsible: Katharina Charlotte Laura Glaab
Teachers: Paul David Hagen Beaumont, Stig Jarle Hansen
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: 2019H
Preferential right:
Course contents:
The course is the second part of a graduate level introduction to International Relations (IR) theory, but can be taken independently. The course 1) introduces the students to main theoretical approaches in IR, core texts and their objects of study and 2) examines their meta-theoretical foundations to evaluate a theoretical lens. The course focuses on critical and reflectivist approaches in IR and within the broader social sciences, and introduces the students to key thinking, central debates and recent scholarship of this form of theorizing.
Learning outcome:
The course aims to provide students with knowledge of critical approaches in IR, and an understanding of the importance of theorizing. Students will develop independent and critical thinking skills and learn to analyse world politics. They will be trained to critically assess IR theories and discuss global politics from a conceptual perspective.
Learning activities:

The course includes lectures and seminars. In lecture sessions, the course convenor will provide an overview of this week’s topic, contending perspectives and situate it within the field of IR. The lectures help to guide you through the topics, but in order to be successful in this course, you are expected to do the readings and engage in critical discussions in the seminars. Every lecture will be followed by a seminar session, where participation is mandatory. A seminar will normally consist of a discussion of the required readings and the contents of the lecture.


For the discussion you are expected to prepare the ‘essential readings’ for the seminar. For a better understanding of the lectures, it also makes sense to do the reading before the lecture. The ‘further readings’ contextualize the topic. The list of readings is by no means exhaustive and serves to give you an overview of the academic debate and useful resources for your written work.

Prepare questions and points for further debate. In the seminar we will discuss the readings and the lecture in large and small groups.


The student presentation serves to illustrate how a specific theory is constitutive for empirical analysis and should give a new perspective to the discussion. In those weeks, in which we discuss specific theoretical perspectives, a small group of students is expected to give a short (10 minutes) presentation on one of this week’s main readings.

Teaching support:
Office hours and procedures are established at the first class meeting. A course schedule is handed out at the same time
See reading list in Canvas.
General knowledge of international issues, preferably undergraduate courses in relevant social sciences. The intro course EDS203 and EDSA.
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Seminar presentation.

The evaluation consists of two parts, which must all be passed in order to get credit for the course. Exam component I takes up 40% of the final grade, exam component II takes up 60% of the final grade. Grades are on an A-F scale:

  • Exam part I: Project work on popular culture in IR at the end of spring parallel. Hand in of 4000 word paper per group. The participation at the mock-conference is mandatory.
  • Exam part III: A theory-based research paper on a chosen topic of 5000-6000 words.
Entrance requirements:
Relevant Bachelor degree or equivalent.
Reduction of credits:
Both internal and external examiners will participate in the grading.
Examination details: Continuous exam: A - E / F