Five area concentrations allow you to learn the history, language, society and foreign policy of a world region or country. Three thematic tracks allow you to concentrate on and gain expertise in issues, problems, and solutions that cut across geographic regions. 

Learn more about which courses count towards these concentrations and tracks.

› View a list of Current Course Offerings (BANNER).



International Relations: Topics/Issues (I or II; R; 3, 0)

Selected topics in international relations. Prerequisite: POLS 170.


Cultural Dimensions of International Relations (II; 3, 0)

The impact of culture on cross-cultural communication, diplomatic negotiation, conflict eruption and resolution, technology transfer, global trade, and investment.


Borders, Traffic, Statelessness (AII; 3, 0)

Explores the politics of historical and contemporary national borders, debates over trafficking goods and humans across them, and their links to citizenship and statelessness. Crosslisted as GEOG 216.


International Relations of Europe (I; 3, 0)

This course will examine the foreign policies of European countries, individually and collectively through the European Union, toward each other, regional and global intergovernmental organizations, and other regions/countries. Crosslisted as POLS 284.


Chinese Politics (I or II; 3, 0)

This course examines China's rich political history, its dynamic economic and social changes, its lasting political culture, its enduring struggle for modernization, and its evolving relations with the rest of the world. Crosslisted as EAST 269 and POLS 225.


East Asian Politics (II; 3, 0)

This course surveys history, politics, economy, and society of countries in East Asia. It investigates the continuity and changes in politics and policies in China, Japan, Korea and selected countries in Southeast Asia. Crosslisted as EAST 226 and POLS 226.


Middle East Conflict and Revolution (I; 3, 0)

This course explores some of the most significant controversies, conflicts, revolutions, and resolutions, both historical and contemporary, that define the Middle East as a region.


Conflict Resolution (I or II; 3, 0)

This course will examine conflict resolution, conflict prevention and post-conflict peace building techniques and policies. It will focus on contemporary case studies and seek to apply insights and strategies from the readings and class discussions to various conflicts.


Modern Africa (I; 3, 0)

Introduction to complexity, richness, and vitality of contemporary African cultures. Interdisciplinary perspectives on issues including economy, politics, family and community, art, literature, religion. Crosslisted as ANTH 235.


Human Security (II; 3, 0)

Explores emerging debates around human vulnerability and: conflict, climate change, displacement, development, and other forms of "security."


Race, Nation-state and International Relations (II; 3, 0)

The course examines the processes by which states as expressions of social relations that are embedded in political institutions have been used by social forces, nationally, and transnationally, to racialize nations, societies, and global politics. Crosslisted as HIST 260 and POLS 274.


Theories of International Relations (I and II; 3, 0)

Analysis and evaluation of main theories of international relations, including realist, neo-realist, liberal, neo-liberal, Gramscian, Marxist, feminist and postmodernist approaches. Theories are related to the major dimensions of international relations. Prerequisites: POLS 170, preference given to second semester sophomores and junior IREL majors. 


International Inequality and Poverty (AII; 3, 0)

This course examines the levels, patterns, sources, and trends in international inequality and poverty as well as some of their economic, social, and political consequences.


Political Economy of Global Resources (I or II; 3, 0)

A study of environmental and energy economics in the context of global resources and politics. The theme of sustainable development will be linked to the new realities of international relations. Prerequisite: ECON 103. Crosslisted as UNIV 252.


International Development Controversies (AII; 3, 0)

This course examines in-depth contemporary controversies in international development, for example obnoxious markets, farmland acquisitions by foreigners, and role of foreign aid.


International Law (II; 3, 0)

The nature, historical development, and sources of international law; substantive and procedural international law and its role in international relations. Crosslisted as POLS 278.


Humanitarianism (AII; 3, 0)

Explores the history of and contemporary politics around humanitarian intervention, including contemporary discussions of sovereignty, planning, empowerment, and humanitarian expertise.


Global Governance of Climate Change (I; 3, 0)

This course examines the global governance institutions for climate change and the current policies, debates and positions at the climate change summits and counter-summits.


Global Governance (I or II; 3, 0)

This course explores the rationales, processes, and institutions of multilateral governance in a globalized world. We examine the U.N., nongovernmental organizations, conflict resolution, economic development, environment, human rights, and international law. Not open to first-year students. Crosslisted as POLS 275.


Comparative Foreign Policy (I; 3, 0)

This course is designed to introduce students to the theories that have been developed to explain foreign policy processes and foreign policy behavior. The course will also examine and discuss the foreign policies of specific international actors. Crosslisted as POLS 276.


International Political Economy (I or II; 3, 0)

This course examines the politics of international economic relations including trade, finance, and development. Crosslisted as POLS 277.


Latin American Economic Development (I or II; 3, 0)

A historical analysis of Latin America's economic and political development. Primary emphasis on the experiences of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Central America. May be crosslisted as ECON 276 and/or LAMS 365. Prerequisite: ECON 103.


Terrorism (AI or AII; 3, 0)

This course explores the concept of terrorism, its historical roots and contemporary forms, its multiple meanings, and the ways it shapes global and national governance.


European Security (AI or AII; 3, 0)

European security issues, including NATO enlargement, the military campaigns in the Balkans, the Iraq War, terrorism and ballistic missile defense. For Bucknell in London. Crosslisted as POLS 282.


East Asian International Relations (I or II; 3, 0)

This course offers an overview of international relations in East Asia, with focus on foreign policies of major states in the region as well as their political, economic, and social interactions. Crosslisted as EAST 248 and POLS 283.


The International Relations of Latin America in the 21st Century (II; 3, 0)

This course will examine the emergence of the New Left, the production of regional spaces, the impact of the BRICS and South-South cooperation in Latin America. Crosslisted as POLS 285.


Nonstate Actors in International Relations (I; 3, 0)

This course explores the role nonstate actors (such as nongovernmental organizations, multinational corporations, violent nonstate actors, and individuals) can and do play in various substantive areas of international relations. Crosslisted as POLS 286.


Service-Learning in Nicaragua (II; 3, 0)

This course focuses on the connections between Nicaraguan development processes and Brigade-based service-learning. Crosslisted as GEOG 292 and LAMS 292.


Global Manager as Diplomat (I or II; 3, 0)

This course will examine the changing role of the manager in the global business environment. Crosslisted as GLBM 390.


Gender in International Relations (II; 3, 0)

This course will serve as a critical introduction to the concept of gender in international relations. The class will examine how gendered conceptual categories, such as the state, security, war, peace, power and development inform and structure international politics and impact the opportunities and lives of women, men and children.


Globalization (I and II; 3, 0)

This course is designed to provide IREL majors with an opportunity to study global change. The course addresses contemporary issues in globalization. Specific topics may vary. Normally taken in fall of junior or senior year for those studying abroad. Prerequisites: IREL majors; students should preferably have both ECON 227 and IREL 250.


361. Independent Study (I, II; R; TBA) Half or full course.

Open to international relations majors who wish to pursue individual programs of reading, research, and writing under the supervision of a professor, usually for completion of the honors thesis. Prerequisite: permission of the supervising IREL professor.


Arab-Israeli Conflict, Peace Process (I; 3, 0)

This course is devoted to examining the failures and successes of the peace process between Israel and the Arab States. Exploring the roots of the conflict dating back to the late 1800s and conclude with the Oslo peace process and the involvement of outside actors. Prerequisite: POLS 170 or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as POLS 381.


American Global Strategy (II; 3, 0)

After defining the concept of strategy, students explore the historical development of strategy. In conclusion students define, analyze and critique the current American strategy. Prerequisite: junior or senior status with preference given to international relations majors.


Seminar: Topics in International Relations (I and II; R; 3, 0)

Selected topics of international relations at an advanced level for senior seminar credit. Prerequisites: second semester junior or senior status and permission of the instructor.


BRICS on the Global Stage (II; 3, 0)

This seminar will focus on the emergence of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa as new players in the global stage, the debates whether they represent the formation of a New World Order and the impact that the BRICS are having in different sub-regional formations.


Human Rights (I; 3, 0)

The seminar will study human rights, primarily from an international perspective, including self-determination, cultural rights, ethnic and racial rights, women's rights, religious rights, and gay and lesbian rights. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Preference given to international relations majors. Not open to students who have taken IREL 310. Crosslisted as POLS 389.


Social Movements and Society (II; 3, 0)

This seminar examines social movements in International Relations in multiple contexts across the globe, through a variety of scales.


Sovereignty: Theory and Practice (AI; 3, 0)

This senior seminar explores contemporary and historical theories of sovereignty and new global transformation of sovereign power.


International Relations of Migration (II; 3, 0)

This course will examine the causes and the international consequences of human displacement. It will consider the economic, political, social, and cultural components of international migration. Crosslisted as POLS 425.


U.S.-China Relations (II; 3, 0)

Through tracing the evolution of U.S.-China relations from the 19th century to the 21st century, this course discusses major issues and challenges between the two countries today. Future trends of the bilateral relationship will also be explored. Prerequisite: POLS 170. Preference given to EAST, IREL, and POLS seniors. May be crosslisted as EAST 382 and/or POLS 382. Not open to students who have taken EAST 380 or IREL 380 or IREL 382.


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