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International relations attempts to explain the interactions of states in the global interstate system, and it also attempts to explain the interactions of others whose behavior originates within one country and is targeted toward members of other countries. In short, the study of international relations is an attempt to explain behavior that occurs across the boundaries of states, the broader relationships of which such behavior is a part, and the institutions (private, state, nongovernmental, and intergovernmental) that oversee those interactions. Explanations of that behavior may be sought at any level of human aggregation. Some look to psychological and social-psychological understandings of why foreign policymakers act as they do. Others investigate institutional processes and politics as factors contributing to the externally directed goals and behavior of states. Alternatively, explanations may be found in the relationships between and among the participants (for example, balance of power), in the intergovernmental arrangements among states (for example, collective security), in the activities of multinational corporations (for example, the distribution of wealth), or in the distribution of power and control in the world as a single system.

Research Groups




Faculty in International Relations:

  Mark Copelovitch Lisa Martin
Nadav Shelef
  Helen Kinsella
Jon Pevehouse
Jessica Weeks
  Andrew Kydd
Jonathan Renshon

Dissertation and Paper Awards for International Relations Graduate Students

Student Dissertation and Paper Award
Courtney Hillebrecht Steven C. Poe Graduate Student Paper Awards, ISA Human Rights Section (2010)


Courses in International Relations - Fall 2014-15


103 - Introduction to International Relations

Faculty: Jon Pevehouse      Field: International Relations

316 - Principles of International Law

Faculty: Helen Kinsella      Field: International Relations

319 - Terrorism

Faculty: Andrew Kydd      Field: International Relations

338 - European Union: Politics & Political Economy

Faculty: Nils Ringe      Field: International Relations

346 - China in World Politics

Faculty: Edward Friedman      Field: International Relations

362 - African International Relations

Faculty: Michael Schatzberg      Field: International Relations

371 - International Political Economy

Faculty: Mark Copelovitch      Field: International Relations

376 - Analysis of International Relations

Faculty: Patrick Kearney      Field: International Relations

378 - Conflict Resolution

Faculty: Andrew Kydd      Field: International Relations

702 - International Political Economy

Faculty: Mark Copelovitch      Field: International Relations