Contemporary International Relations

General Information
Lecture and Workshop, 1st group
dr Marek Musioł
208 lecture (9:45), 101 workshop
Number of Hours: 
Tuesday 9:45 - 11:15
Tuesday 15:30 - 17:00
Preliminary requirements: 

The preliminary requirements in order to take part in lectures and seminars, refer to the general knowledge concerning main factors and aspects ruling the international relations. It is also highly recommended to track current, international developments and know the history of international relations particularly after the Second World War and the Cold War that might influence on a contemporary perspective.  

Course Description: 


  1. Introduction. The nature and determinants of international relations
  2. Main theories and research paradigms of international relations. Research methodologies in international relations
  3. The problem of regulation in international relations
  4. The international environment and determinants of its features. Factors affecting international relations
  5. Foreign policy in international relations
  6. Participants of international relations – state and non-state actors in global politics
  7. The international and global security in the post-Cold War era
  8. International regimes and institutions
  9. The United Nations system and its importance


  1. Regionalism and Globalization. Between integration and fragmentation
  2. International disputes and conflicts
  3. Relations North - South. Developing countries in international relations. Global problems of humanity: the issues of population, development imbalances, hunger, raw materials and energy, ecology, terrorism and human rights, new technologies
  4. Culture in international relations. The Clash of Civilizations? The role of Western civilization and its contestation. The vision of the future
  5. Human rights, humanitarian interventions, the problem of gender
  6. Sustainable growth, environmental protection and global issues
  7. International political economy. The world economy and international relations. Regional integration. Economic governance
  8. International Order at the beginning of the XXI century
  9. Selected case studies
Aims of the course: 

Student has basic knowledge in the area of international relations and knows how to locate them in the field of other areas of social and political science.

Student has basic knowledge on various types of structures and institutions of international relations (economic, political, legal, cultural, military and social).

Student has basic knowledge about state as an actor of international relations,  inter-state and international relations, including political and economic problems of the world.

Student has basic knowledge in the area of culture-related problems of the contemporary world.

Student can correctly interpret basic phenomena (cultural, political, legal and economic ones) that occur within contemporary international relations.

Student can apply basic theoretical knowledge to analysis of specific processes or phenomena (cultural, political, legal and economic ones) that occur within contemporary international relations.

Student on the basis of organized knowledge can construct elementary scenarios of development of processes and phenomena in the area of international relations (cultural, political, legal and economic).

Student has skills of analyzing international events while using instruments and methods of scientific nature.

Student can analyze specific problems in the field of international relations  and select optimal solution to the problems.

Student can make a synthesis of various categories of determinants (political, economic, social, demographic, cultural, military, information) in the process of analysis of relations between subjects of international relations.

Student presents objective and non-emotional reflection while assessing historical and contemporary events.

Student can make judgements on issues of important political and economic matters of the contemporary world.

Teaching methods: 

The main assumption of this module is to expand knowledge about divers and basic analytical and theoretical aspects and concepts regarding contemporary international relations. This crucial assumption will be achieved through the following seminar teaching methods listed below:

 - in-tutorial thesis-oriented presentation;

- discussions and debates;

- individual consultations;

- group work.

Evaluation & Completion: 

The participation in lectures and seminars are mandatory for all students. Students are expected to keep up with reading materials and conclusions presented during lectures. During seminars students should be active. The seminar evaluation of each students will be based upon their participation in debates and other proposed forms of the course. Students will be also asked to prepare and present case studies of various phenomenon and processes devoted to the contemporary international relations. The final evaluation will be based on students attendance and contribution to the debates. In case of the lack of substantial contribution, student will be asked to fill the multiple choice test. The test is passed when student reaches the result of 51% of correct answers. The completion of a seminar is a key condition to take an exam in order to finish lectures.

Basic Literature: 
  1. Abrahamsen R., Williams M., Security Beyond the State: Private Security in International Relations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
  2. Carlsnaes W., Risse T., Simmons B. A., Handbook of International Relations. London: Sage Publications, 2013.
  3. Chatterjee P., Finger M., The Earth Brokers: Power, Politics and World Development, London: Routledge, 1994.
  4. Duffield M., Global Governance and the New Wars: The Merging of Development and Security, London: Zed Books, 2001.
  5. Frieden, J. A., Lake, D. A., & Schultz, K. A., World politics: interests, interactions, institutions, New York: WW Norton, 2010.
  6. Groom A.J.R., Light M., Contemporary International Relations: A Guide to Theory, Frances Pinter Publishers Ltd, 1994.
  7. Baylis J., Smith S., The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations, OUP Oxford, 2007.
  8. Burchill S., Theories of International Relations, 5th edition, Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
  9. Jackson R., Sørensen G., Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches, Oxford University Press; 5 edition, 2013.
  10. Jones B. G., Decolonizing International Relations, Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006.
  11. Kavalski E., Encounters with World Affairs, An Introduction to International Relations, Ashgate, 2015
  12. Mauer V., Cavelty M. D., The Routledge Handbook of Security Studies, Routledge, 2011.
  13. Shaw M. N., International Law, 6th edition, Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  14. Shih Ch., Yu P., Post-Western International Relations Reconsidered, The Pre-Modern Politics of Gongsun Long, Palgrave Pivot, October 2015.
  15. Williams P. D., Security Studies: An Introduction, Routledge, 2nd Edition, 2012.
Additional Literature: 
  1. Cavelty M. D., Mauer V., The Routledge Handbook of Security Studies, Routledge, Abingdon (UK), New York 2010.
  2. Frick M., Oberprantacher A., Power and Justice in International Relations: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Global Challenges, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2009.
  3. Fukuyama F., The End of History and the Last Man, Free Press; Reissue edition March 1, 2006.
  4. Guilhot N., The Invention of International Relations Theory: Realism, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the 1954 Conference on Theory, 2011.
  5. Harvey D., A Brief History of Neoliberalism, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  6. Huntington S. P., The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. NY: Simon & Shuster, 1996.
  7. Hurrell A., On Global Order. NY: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  8. Krauthammer Ch., The Unipolar Moment, w: Foreign Affairs, nr 1, 1990/1991.
  9. Kupchan Ch., The End of the West, w: The Atlantic Monthly, November 2002.
  10. Reus-Smit Ch., Snidal D., The Oxford Handbook of International Relations. NY: Oxford University Press, 2008.
  11. Rochester J. M., Fundamental Principles of International Relations 1st Edition, Westview Press; 1 edition, 2010.
  12. Sorenson G., Introduction to International Relations, Theories and Approaches. NY: Oxford, University Press, 2nd ed., 2003.
  13. Toffler A. i H., Creating a New Civilization: The Politics of the Third Wave, Turner Publishing, 1995.