Course guide of International Relations (2121128)

Curso 2024/2025
Approval date: 13/06/2024

Grado (bachelor's degree)

Bachelor'S Degree in Political Science and Public Administration


Social and Legal Sciences


Política Internacional, Unión Europea y Política Comparada


Relaciones Internacionales

Year of study




ECTS Credits


Course type

Compulsory course

Teaching staff


  • Juan José Ruiz Ramos. Grupo: B
  • María Marcela Tabakian Maestre. Grupo: A


  • Juan José Ruiz Ramos Grupos: 3 y 4
  • María Marcela Tabakian Maestre Grupos: 1 y 2

Timetable for tutorials

Juan José Ruiz Ramos

  • Tuesday de 11:00 a 14:00 (Departamento de Derecho Internacional Público y Rrii. Facultad de Derecho)
  • Wednesday de 11:00 a 14:00 (Departamento de Derecho Internacional Público y Rrii. Facultad de Derecho)

María Marcela Tabakian Maestre

  • Tuesday de 16:00 a 18:00 (Departamento de Derecho Internacional Público y Rrii. Facultad de Derecho)
  • Wednesday de 16:00 a 18:00 (Departamento de Derecho Internacional Público y Rrii. Facultad de Derechoq)
  • Thursday de 16:00 a 18:00 (Departamento de Derecho Internacional Público y Rrii. Facultad de Derecho)

Prerequisites of recommendations

  • There are no prerequisites to register for the course. Nonetheless, it is advisable to:
  • Have a general knowledge of International Law.
  • Keep up with what is happening in the world by regularly reading a current events news source.
  • Bear in mind this is a lecture-based class with as many questions and answers sessions during each class period as possible. That means you must complete the required reading before each class. In order to help you keep current on the readings, periodic, in-class reading quizzes shall be used for assessing your progress.

Brief description of content (According to official validation report)

  • The emergence of the discipline and the nature of its subject matter.
  • Key agential concepts in IR: state; empire; international and sub-national agents; foreign policy.
  • Key concepts in IR: the states system; Euro-centrism, globalisation, global governance; security, international society; great powers; diplomacy; war; balance of power; international law and human rights, power and sovereignty; intervention; anarchy.

General and specific competences

General competences

  • CG01. Capacity for analysis and synthesis.
  • CG02. Organizational and planning skills.
  • CG03. -
  • CG05. Information management skills.
  • CG06. Problem solving skills.
  • CG07. Decision-making ability.
  • CG08. Ability to work in a team.
  • CG09. Interpersonal relationship skills.
  • CG10. Recognition of diversity and multiculturalism.
  • CG11. Critical thinking skills. 
  • CG12. Development of autonomous learning. 
  • CG13. Adaptation to new situations. 
  • CG14. Ability to develop creative activities. 
  • CG15. Leadership skills. 
  • CG16. Knowledge of other cultures and customs. 
  • CG18. Motivation for quality. 
  • CG19. Development of the ability to carry out a process well based on guidelines. 

Specific competences

  • CE04. Analyze the behavior of political actors and citizens. 
  • CE11. Analyze international and European Union policy. 
  • CE16. Be interested in current theoretical and methodological debates on the need to move towards more pluralistic, integrative and comprehensive approaches in Political Science and Administration. 
  • CE17. To acquire a critical and analytical attitude towards political events. 
  • CE18. To appreciate the importance of collaborating, participating and getting involved in the analysis of political processes, actors and institutions, as a guideline for the improvement of decision making. 
  • CE19. To foster an open, flexible and understanding attitude towards the complex, dynamic, social and ideological nature of politics and public administrations. 

Objectives (Expressed as expected learning outcomes)

Knowledge and understanding

  • Identify the fundamental features of central concepts and theories in international relations;
  • Analyze and understand the major themes of international relations and global politics
  • Develop an appreciation of the theory and its utility in the study and practice of International Relations explain the importance of central historical events and processes in the development of the study of international relations;

Competence and skills

  • Pursue argumentative reasoning in writing and orally;
  • Improve critical thinking and writing skills
  • Apply theoretical concepts in the study of empirical processes;
  • Demonstrate the ability to describe the legal, social, political, and economic forces that influence social behaviour and the global system.

Judgment and approach

  • Compare different theories in international relations and their underlying basic assumptions and premises;
  • Explain the significance of global problems being perceived in different ways depending on theoretical perspective as well as historical context.
  • Use knowledge of international affairs in a practical problem-solving way to address issues of immediate international concern

Detailed syllabus



This syllabus is based on Prof. Diego J. Liñán’s «Relaciones Internacionales» course. It has been adapted and translated by Prof. Ozana Olariu and Prof.Lucas J. Ruiz Díaz.


Unit 1. Understanding International Relations

  • International Relations: definition and Object of Study
  • International Relations today
  • International Relations Theories

Unit. 2. The development of the International System

  • The Classical period (1648-1789): the Westphalian System of States
  • Transitional Period (1789-1945): the Vienna and Versaille models
  • The post–World War II system (1945): the UN Charter model
  • The international system today


Unit 3. State Players

  • State actors in world affairs
  • States and power
  • States and foreign policies

Unit 4. International Organizations

  • Definition and international legal personality
  • Powers and competences
  • Regional Organizations
  • The United Nations

Unit 5. Other Actors

  • Introductory remarks and common traits of non-state actors
  • International Non-Governmental Organizations
  • Multinational Corporations
  • Subnational entities
  • Other international actors


Unit 6. War and conflicts

  • Definition and the nature of current conflicts
  • The use of force in international relations

Unit 7. International Security

  • International crises/conflict management
  • The Institutionalization of the Response. The Role of International Organizations

Unit 8. International Cooperation

  • Interdependence and world politics
  • Global concerns and international cooperation
  • Regionalism and regionalization



Monday 17th: Understanding International Relations

Tuesday 18th: The development of the International System

Monday 24th: State Players

Tuesday 25th: International Organizations in world politcs


Monday 3rd: The United Nations

Tuesday 4th: Other Actors

Monday 10th: Presentation in light of IR theory (Subgroup 1)

Tuesday 11th: Presentation in light of IR theory (Subgroup 2)

Monday 17th: Creation of an IO (Subgroup 1)

Tuesday 18th: Creation of an NGO (Subgroup 2)

Monday 24th: Simulation Security Council (Subgroup 1)

Tuesday 25th: Simulation Security Council (Subgroup 2)

Monday 31th: War and conflicts


Tuesday 1st: International Security

Monday 7th: Terrorism and globalization

Tuesday 8th: Humanitarian intervention in world politics

Tuesday 22nd: Presentations of conflicts (Subgroup 1)

Monday 28th: Presentations of conflicts (Subgroup 2)

Tuesday 29th: Human rights in International Relations


Monday 5th: Refugees and forced displacement

Tuesday 6th: Global trade and global finance

Monday 12th: Official Development Aid

Tuesday 13th: Environmental issues

Monday 19th: IR Debate (Subgroup 1)

Tuesday 20th: IR Debate (Subgroup 2)

Monday 26th: IR Debate (Subgroup 1)

Tuesday 27th: IR Debate (Subgroup 2)


Practical activities include, amongst others (to be detailed at the start of the semester, depending on the number of students enrolled):

  1. Group seminars
  2. Pop-quizzes and discussions to assess the level of knowledge and understanding of the syllabus.
  3. Group presentations and essays on given topics.

The lecture and seminar timetable shall be published in mid-February, during the second week of classes.


Basic reading list

  • ROCHESTER, J. M.. Fundamental Principles of International Relations, Routledge, 2010. Available at ProQuest Ebook Central.
  • BAYLIS, J.; SMITH, St. y OWENS, P. The Globalization of World Politics. An Introduction of International Relations, Oxford University Press, 2022.

Complementary reading

  • ADLER, E. Constructivism in International Relations: Sources, Contributions, and Debates, Handbook of International Relations, 2013, vol. 2, pp. 112-144.
  • BROWN, Ch. y AINLEY, K. Understanding International Relations, Palgrave, New York, 2013
  • DEVETAK, R., GEORGE, J. y PERCY S. (Eds.): An Introduction to International Relations, Cambridge University Press, 2017.
  • DOYL, M. W. New Thinking in International Relations Theory, Routledge, London, 2018.
  • Frieden, Jeffry A., Lake D., and Schultz. K. World Politics: Interests, Interactions, Institutions. Fifth Edition. New York & London: W.W. Norton & Company, 2022.
  • GRIFFITHS, M. (Dir): International Relations Theory for the Twenty-First Century, Routledge, New York, 2007.
  • HANSON, M. Global “Weapons Proliferation, Disarmament, and Arms Control." In Global Insecurity, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2017, pp. 175-193.
  • HAYDEN, P. Cosmopolitan Global Politics, Routledge, London, 2017. • HEYWOOD, A. Global Politics, Macmillan International Higher Education, New York, 2014.
  • JACKSON, R. y SØRENSEN, G. Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches, Oxford University Press, 2015.
  • MCLAREN, P. y GUTIERREZ, K. Global Politics and Local Antagonisms: Research and Practice as Dissent and Possibility, 2018.
  • PHILLIPS, A. “The wars on terror, dueling internationalism and the clash of purposes in a post-unipolar world”, International Politics, vol. 50, Issue 1, January 2013, pp. 77-96.
  • REUS-SMIT, Ch. y SNIDAL, D. (ed): The Oxford Handbook of International Relations, Oxford University Press, New York, 2008.
  • THOMPSON, P. Peace and war: A Theory of International Relations, Routledge, London, 2017.

Teaching methods

  • MD01. Lecture/exhibition 
  • MD02. Discussion and debate sessions 
  • MD07. Seminars 
  • MD08. Simulation exercises 
  • MD09. Analysis of sources and documents 
  • MD10. Group work 
  • MD11. Individual work 

Assessment methods (Instruments, criteria and percentages)

Ordinary assessment session

Examination in the course is carried out in the form of continuous assessment. Continuous assessment means assessing students’ progress throughout their course, evaluating their course assignments, and participating in classes and seminars (literature review quizzes, role play, simulation games, group projects, and presentations-all tasks are designed not just to test what you know, but to help you develop your knowledge, skills, and confidence- as well as through an end-of-term assessment). The course shall be evaluated by means of

  • Exams are to be determined by the course instructors (either written or oral exams or a combination of both). This assessment component shall make up 60% of the final grade.
  • Active participation in two review-debate-quiz sessions, as well as group or individual writing assignment. This shall make up 40% of the final grade. Compulsory attendance applies to review sessions, seminars, and discussion classes. The lack of fruitful participation will be reflected in the final grade.

The grading system will reflect a numeric mark, according to article 5 of R. D. 1125/2003, September 5th, regulating the European Credit System and the grading system in official university degrees, valid in the whole Spanish territory. The final mark obtained by a student will be the average grade of all assessment activities applicable to a particular course.

Students are strongly advised to carefully read the “Description of assessment”, available in PRADO.

Nota bene: Students who are not able, or not willing, to pass the exam may obtain a certificate of attendance. They MUST inform the lecturer at the beginning of the term and prove attendance to at least 80% of the lectures and seminars. Failure to do so at the beginning of the term precludes the issuance of such a certificate.

• Students must be aware that, in order to pass the course, they have to pass the written exam, scheduled at the end of the term. There won’t be any exception to this rule. Accordingly, it is useless to ask for any particular arrangement, such as “other type of assessment”, “an additional paper”, a different exam date, etc.

• This course amounts to a total of 6 ECTS credits (45 lecture and seminars hours / 150 students’ independent work hours) during the second term (February- June 2022). The workload is divided as such: a) 30 hours of Lectures over 15 Weeks b) 15 hours of Seminars over 15 weeks b) 150 hours of independent student research, reading, writing, tutorial, and virtual activities over 15 weeks In view of the plan adopted by the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology, students will be split into two groups upon enrolment and will attend classes, both theoretical and practical, in said formation. Please note that there will be no special arrangements on an individual basis.

Students who are unable to attend the course throughout the entire term (including exams in June (first call) or July (resits) are strongly advised not to enroll.

Extraordinary assessment session

Students shall sit an oral exam. This will be conducted by means of an individual interview. During the exam, the instructors shall ask both theoretical and applied questions covering the overall syllabus. The exam call shall indicate the particular time and place, as well as the assessment criteria. This exam shall account for 100% of the final grade.

Single final assessment

All students that have not followed the continuous assessment system and have been granted the right to sit the final exam shall be assessed by means of an oral exam. Teachers shall ask a minimum of three main questions, one for each part of the syllabus. Questions will cover the overall syllabus. The exam call shall indicate the time and particular instructions for taking the exam, as well as the assessment criteria. This exam shall account for 100% of the final grade.

Additional information

All teaching activities will encourage students’ participation and commitment. They will be the following:

  • Lectures.
    • Description: The lectures provide a broad overview of a topic, highlighting the main concepts included in the syllabus.
  • Classes or Seminars.
    • Description: Classes or seminars are small group discussions and provide an opportunity to explore a topic in greater depth, leaving room for practical activities and coursework assessment. Teaching consists of a mixture of lectures and classes/seminars, running in parallel, in which students will work through questions and problems raised in the studies and present and discuss their own results. Lectures are attended by all those taking the course. Classes or seminars are smaller, comprising at most half of the students enrolled at a given time. However, certain activities within classes shall be designed for a more reduced group of students. Lectures are not compulsory but are strongly recommended — with the exception of students that may require a certificate of attendance, in which case they must attend at least 80% of the total number, of course, hours, both lectures and seminars alike (see below, “Form of assessment”). Classes and seminars, however, are entirely mandatory and you will be expected to prepare and fully participate in every class you attend.
  • Individual activities (autonomous learning).
    • Description:
      • Activities intended to expand or deepen certain syllabus contents (e.g. a glossary);
      • Autonomous study; c) Assessment activities (tests, oral presentations, exams)
    • Aim: To foster the students’ capability of planning, developing, and assessing their own learning efforts, as well as adapting them to their particular situations and/or interests.
  • Academic supervision.
    • Description: inter-action “supervisor—student”.
    • Aim:
      • To offer support for the student’s autonomous learning;
      • To expand or deepen particular aspects of the syllabus content;
      • To offer advice related to the student curriculum.

Open Learning and professionalization

During the academic year, instructors will keep students duly informed of the Open Learning and professionalization activities organized either by the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology or the other bodies of the University of Granada. These complementary activities will strengthen their skills and competencies, and prepare students for their future professional career.

Mentoring and counseling

The University of Granada has created several organisms tailored to respond to specific issues of interest: