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The purpose of this course is to help students advance along the lines of their specific interests in the policy issues of International Relations. These issues include, among others, conflict-resolution, regional cooperation, poverty-reduction, and environmental protection. Equally important for students, however, is the establishment of firm theoretical footings. As in many other policy-related fields of inquiry, theories in International Relations are not context-free. The constraints of time often dictate theory formulation as they profoundly influence the theorists’ normative commitments.
Given these, the course consists of three major components. 1) A firm historical background, a common prerequisite for all issue-specific perspectives. 2) Critical examinations of selected empirical and normative theories. 3) Examinations of specific policy issues in light of normative perspectives.
The course fuses these three major components into a narrative flow moving from “High Politics” to “Low Politics.” Along the way, the course discusses a new framework for defining policy issues in need of solution, Human Security.

Faculty Michio Umegaki
Term2012 Fall
Level Undergraduate

Inquiry - Inquiry about this course

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#012012/09/27 Introdution
- Introduction to the course
- ppt for the first meeting
Introduction to International Relations offers a general 
perspective on how the course will evolve throughout the 
semester. Week 1 also offers certain film (video) footage on 
key issues in International Relations.

#022012/10/11 The beginnings of Post-World War II world order
- IR 12-2
A historical survey of the beginnings and the closing of the 
Cold War should help students identify the origins and changes 
in the policy issues of their choosing. The points should be 
made that the Cold War itself is a uniquely North-Atlantic 
phenomenon, and that the conflicts at its peripheries need to 
be examined accordingly.

#032012/10/18 Conflicting Norms and Policy Agenda
- IR 12-3
The focus here is the normative background which helped promote 
the tenets of the “Realist” school of International 
Relations. Though professing to be rooted in the human nature, 
the realist school in fact represents more of the sense of 
uncertainty surrounding the rise of the Soviet power since the 

#042012/10/25 Beyond the North Atlantic Region
- IR12-4
Undoubtedly under the immense influence of the bipolarization, 
the regions outside the North-Atlantic region, nonetheless, had 
their own policy agenda. De-colonization process needs to be 
examined in light of its own forces 

#052012/11/01 “Proxy Wars”
- IR12-5
As misleading as it is powerful, the notion of a “proxy” 
dominated much of the decision-makers in the United States 
throughout the Cold War period. There is no other theater of 
conflict than Vietnam where this notion served to distort 
strategic thinking of the Western bloc.

#062012/11/08 Cold War and Japan: Defense Policy
- IR12-6
A postwar invention, the notion of national security, 
nonetheless, established itself quickly as the underlying theme 
for any nation’s external contact. However, a twin questions 
of what is to be “secured” and from what it is to be 
“secured” turn the notion practically emptied of manageable 
contents. As a result, anything could be justified as long as 
it comes under the promotion of “national security.” Only 
after mid-1970s, some theorists began questioning the primacy 
of “national security” in dictating the relations among the 

#072012/11/10 An Entirely Different World... ?
- IR12-7
Are there innovative way(s) of reconstructing the issues of 
“national security” to meet the need of post-Cold War era? 
What could be “national security” issues when nation-states 
are no longer the most dominant actors in International 

#082012/11/15 An Entirely Different World...?(2)
- IR 12-8
An examination of changes in economic development theories 
reveals a number of assumptions that are needed for their 
hypotheses to work. These are the assumptions which make most 
of the development theories unrealistic against the backdrops 
of former colonies. Nonetheless, the attempts at economic 
development have never been halted. Why?

#092012/11/29 Regimes and Globalization
- IR 12-9
An engine of economic development, the Bretton Woods System, 
before its tenure expired, is claimed to have enriched the 
world and installed the basic “infrastructure” for the 
production and distribution of global wealth by non-violent 
means. Taking it at face values, what have this system and the 
ensuing World Trade Organization accomplished?

#102012/12/06 The Rich and the Poor
- IR12-10
One of the key issues involved in what appears to be a 
perpetual experimentation with economic development is the 
widening gap between the rich and the poor. To what extent, the 
widening gap discredit the claims of the Bretton Woods System 
and the current World Trade Organization? How should we 
evaluate the roles of the World Bank and International Monetary 

#112012/12/13 Dethronement of GNP
- IR12-11
The criticisms of economic development have their roots not 
only in the perceived income-gap among the nations, but also in 
other pressing issues that are accompanying policies of 
economic development. What are the adjustments by the 
proponents of economic growth policies?

#122012/12/20 Human Security: New Deal for Policy Analyses?
- IR12-12
Since “Human Development Report, 1994,” a new sort of 
language has emerged as a way of highlighting the policy issues 
that most directly affect the lives of people in the world. 
Human security, as the condition entailing “freedom from 
threats and freedom from want,” has gradually occupied many 
organizations, GO and NGO alike, dealing with a broad range of 
policy issues. Where does this new perspective come from and 
take us? We will examine the normative foundation of human 

#132012/12/27 Human Insecurity: the Need for Micro Perspectives in International Relations
- IR12-13
Human security can be recognized only through its absence. This 
is one of the oft-quoted observations. How so, is the major 
concern this week. As a mental exercise, we will reconstruct a 
profile of a few selected countries by using data available in 
the following documents, and highlights the epistemological 
problems associated with the macro (aggregate) data in 
identifying specific issues. 

#142013/01/17 Alternative to
- IR12-14 + Final Take-home exam.
What are the desciplinary alternative to international 
relations that helps solve the "problems" in global governance?

#152013/01/17 Alternative to
Need to develop normative discussions concerning the goals -- 
peace and prosperity -- which have been too easily taken for 

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