Theory of International Relations

General Information
Lecture and seminar
dr Maciej Herbut
prof. Andrzej Polus
Number of Hours: 
Thursday 8:00 - 9:45
Thursday 11:30 - 13:00
Preliminary requirements: 

- Interested  in Global Politics/IR;

- Basic knowledge on Political Doctrins and Philosophy of science; 

- knowledge on current affairs/20th century history ;

- Motivition to deal with theories; 

Course Description: 

1. A Introduction in Epistemology of I.R. Studies (Political Science)

2. B Presentation of Classical Theories of I.R.

3. C. Presentation of Contemporary Theory-Schools of I.R.


1.Introduction in the topic and in the program of the seminar by the lecturer;

2. Disscussion on the theoretical texts;

3. text analysis; case studies; presentations; group work 


Aims of the course: 

W1. Terms, Methods and Theories of I. R as a part of Political Science;

W2. Classical Theories of I. R;

W3. Important contemporary Theory-Schools of I.R;

W4. Verification/Falsification of Theories/Schools of I.R


U1. Ability to understand and to use terms, methods and theories in the field of International Politics;

U2 Ability to identify, to adopt or to criticize theories and schools of I.R;

U3. Ability to analyze historical or contemporary international or bilateral political constellations;

U4.Ability to do research in I.R.;



K1. Learning Responsibility, Tolerance, Respect of Diversity;

K2. Ability to Teamwork


Teaching methods: 
  1. Lecture with introduction and presentation of theories and follwing discussions;

  2. Supervised Seminar with the combination of textanalysis, case studies and Paper- or Powerpoint presentation of students and following discussion

Evaluation & Completion: 
  1. Active participation in the discussions;
  2. Presentation (Paper or Powerpoint) of  one topic of  IR Studies;Time: 10 minutes;
  3. Oral Exam on one topic of IR Studies; Time 20 minutes –  two questions;
  4. An  Essay on IR thoeries (5 pages including front page, index and list of literatur)

Students can decide what they prefare, Oral exam or an essay.

Basic Literature: 

Burchill S., Linklater A., Devetak R., Donnelly J., Paterson M., Reus-Smit Ch., True J., Theories of International Relations, Palgrave 2005 Available on Internet:

Cox R., Social Forces, States and World Orders: Beyond International Relations Theory, “Millenium: Journal of International Studies”, Vol. 10, No.2, 1981. 

Dougherty, J./ Pfalzgraff, R.(Ed): Contending theories of International Relations, New York 2001.

Enlow C., Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics, University of California Press, 1990. 

Segbers K., Global politics: How to use and  apply theories of International Relations,  Berlin 2006

Sullivan M. Theories of International Relations, New York 2002.

Waever O., The rise and fall of the inter-paradigm debate, “International theory: positivism & beyond”, ed. S. Smith, K. Booth, M. Zalewski, Cambridge 1996. 

Waltz K., Theory of International Politics, Reading 1979. Available at:

Weber C., International Relations Theory. A Critical Introduction,New York 2001.

Wendt A., Anarchy is what states make of it: the social construction of power politics, “International Organization”, Vol. 46, No. 2, Spring 1992.

Additional Literature: 

Eschle C., Critical Theories, International Relations and the anti-Globalism movement(2005)

Lee Ray J., Does Democracy cause Peace?avaliabele online:

Mearhimer J., Reckless States and Realism, “International Relations”, Vol. 23, Issue 2, 2009, available on-line:

Waltz K., Structural Realism after the Cold War, “International Security” Vol. 25, No. 1, Summer 2000.