World Politics and Power: An Introduction to International Relations

“International politics, like all politics, is the struggle for power.” – Hans Morgenthau

International conflict is not new. Yet scholars—and policymakers—remain divided over both the causes of discord and the conditions for cooperation in world politics. In fact, contemporary debate rages over such diverse issues as: intervention in Syria, ISIS and global terrorism, the causes of war, nuclear proliferation, trans-atlantic and pacific trade partnerships, financial reform, and global climate change. Understanding and resolving complex issues such as these requires a deeper understanding of how politics works in the international system.

This course provides students with an introduction to the study of international relations. It covers several approaches to and issues in the field, including theories of international politics, war, nuclear weapons, terrorism, trade, finance, globalization, international law and human rights, and the environment.

Class time includes a combination of lectures, discussion, film, in-class projects, and debate. These exercises are all designed to help students become better acquainted with the field of international politics.

Academic Directors

Dr. Susan Pratt-Rosato

Dr. Susan Pratt-Rosato

Dr. Susan Pratt-Rosato is a faculty member in the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include globalization, international political economy, international organizations, and international relations theory. Courses offered at Notre Dame include: Introduction to International Relations, The Political Economy of Globalization, Foundations of International Political Economy, NGOs in International Relations, and Thesis Research Design and Methods. Dr. Pratt-Rosato has previously held teaching positions at Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

Dr. Pratt-Rosato is the recipient of a CASPIC Fellowship (from the MacArthur Foundation), a University of Chicago Century Fellowship, and the Derek M. Bok Award for excellence in teaching at Harvard University. She received Notre Dame's Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C. Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2014. She received her B.A. in Economics from Colgate University and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago.

Sebastian Rosato

Sebastian Rosato

Sebastian Rosato is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Europe United: Power Politics and the Making of the European Community (Cornell University Press, 2011) and has published scholarly articles in several journals, including the American Political Science ReviewComparative Political StudiesInternational SecurityPerspectives on Politics, and Security Studies.

Professor Rosato has been a fellow at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, and the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. He received a B.A. (Honors) in History from Cambridge University, an M.Phil. in International Relations from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago.