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International Politics | SIS


We live in a world of porous borders, in which relationships between people, groups, firms, non-governmental organizations and states create an intricate web of connections. The field of International Politics (IP) tackles difficult questions about power and rules in this complex environment. The program equips students with theoretical and substantive knowledge about the causes, processes, and consequences of conflict and cooperation as played out on the global stage. The course of study stresses the role of the state and other agents both in traditional diplomatic interactions and in increasingly salient transnational problems and processes. To acquire the necessary analytical tools, students are trained in international relations theory and economics, as well as in research methods. An important component of the program is the active role taken by students, in consultation with faculty, in directing the focus of their studies by developing a specialization linked to their intellectual interests and professional goals.

Students in the IP field specialize in a substantive area to gain expertise that can be translated directly into professional opportunities. Students can choose courses, seek internships, and conduct research in areas such as:

International Security

  • The nature of war in the 21st century; gender and security; the relationship between identity and conflict
  • Arms, arms trade, and weapons of mass destruction; proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons
  • Multilateralism and collective security; the role of international organizations; security regimes
  • Security and globalization
International Organizations
  • The role inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations play in the international system, the ways they influence or contribute to major policy issues, and the factors shaping their performance
  • International law, regimes, and international cooperation
  • The specific role of and issues facing international economic organizations, both public and private
Transnational Crime and Corruption
  • Transnational crime and corruption as pervasive trans-border problems
  • Effects of crime and corruption on democratization efforts, financial markets, human rights, rule of law, and sustainable development
  • Means of combating transnational crime and corruption
Human Rights
  • Human rights and global conflict; war and humanitarian crises; human rights and security
  • Human rights, international organizations, and international law; human rights regimes and the implementation of human rights protections; gender and international relations
  • Human rights and the global economy; processes of globalization and the protection or endangering of human rights

SIS Abroad

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Enrich your undergraduate or graduate experience by enrolling in our dual degree or study abroad programs.

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