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2021 Spring

CURRENT ISSUES IN IR FROM DIPLOMATIC PERSPECTIVES - IRS507 Spring 2021


Course
Tomas Dolezal
For information about registration please contact our admissions.

The course aims to develop students’ knowledge of IR Theory and their ability to properly apply IR Theory to real-world problems. Running complementarily to the Theories of IR, the course attempts to bridge the gap between the IR theoretical comprehension and the political practice of the current world affairs. The aim of the class is to explore selected topical issues in global politics from two perspectives. The first one uncovers the inner logic of the actors involved, their underlying assumptions and their foreign policy making and diplomacy. The other line attempts to achieve a more detached view by the confrontation of diverse academic interpretations stemming a.o. from various theoretical standpoints. Students practice an informed academic discussion in both oral and written form. The seminar debates cover the selected current international issues as well as theoretical and methodological reflection.

Here is the course outline:

Intro: The Current Shifts in International Affairs (and in IR reflection, respectively)

Feb 18

Sources, topics, key goals

The Lasting Hot Spots of World Politics and Specialized Online Sources: The Case of Middle East

Feb 25

Middle East II

Feb 26

Diplomacy and Power in 21st Century: Aspiring New Leaders?

Mar 4

Description: Shifts in power relations, theoretically and practically

Understanding the Current Foreign Policy of Russian Federation

Mar 11

Discussion based on required and recommended readings

Sharp Power and the Concept of Hybrid War

Mar 18

Soft, Smart - and Sharp Power? Are we all involved in the “hybrid” or even a new Cold war(s)? Or is the hybrid warfare rather a frequently overused concept?

New Technologies, Cyber (In)Security, New Dilemmas

Mar 25

Security and ethical aspects of applying high-tech innovations and resisting Cyber/Digital threads.

Postmodern (In)Security: New Challenges, Critical Concepts

Apr 1

Description: Besides Cyber Security already discussed, there are critical conceptions of security and cases linked to Human, Ontological, Feminist, Postcolonial, Bio- and even Post-Human (Environmental) Security.

Emotions and IR ...in the Era of Post-truth, Populist Politics

Apr 15

Emotions and IR ...in the Era of Post-truth, Populist Politics Description: Emotional Turn in IR

Religion and IR

Apr 22

Religious issues in politics, conceptualizations of Religion in various IR traditions

Understanding China and its Role in 21st Century´s World System

Apr 29

Understanding China and its role in 21st Century´s World System. Ideational foundations of the foreign policy of the PRCh. China-Western relations.

Environmental Politics: Power Relations, Diplomacy, Security

May 6

Studies of various environmental topics uncover security issues, challenges for negotiators as well as background power relations in global politics while using diverse theoretical lenses

Workshop - Draft Papers: presentations and discussion

May 13

The World, Politics, and Covid-19: Discussion

May 21

Have you read any insightful or visionary texts on Covid-19 or the Post-Covid era? What social and political changes do you expect, personally? Any comments on your home country - or World system transformations, (Great) Power relations, Security and insecurity concepts, Politicized Emotions, Environmental Politics, Religion?

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