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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
Term2013 Fall
Level Undergraduate

Inquiry - Inquiry about this course

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#012013/09/26 Introdution
- IR 1 Introdution and Orientation [Enrolled Students Only]
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.

#022013/10/10 The beginnings of Post-World War II world order
- Trying to catch up [Enrolled Students Only]
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.

#032013/10/17 Conflicting Norms and Policy Agenda
- IR 13-3
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 

#042013/10/24 Beyond the North Atlantic Region
- IR13-4
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.

#052013/10/31 Cold War and Japan
- IR 13-6

#062013/11/07 From “High” Politics to “Low” Politics ?
- IR 13-7 [Enrolled Students Only]

#072013/11/14 Syrian Uprising
- Lecture Material (PDF)

#082013/11/28 The Syrian Conflict
- Lecture Material (PDF)

#092013/12/05 Cold War in The Middle East
- Lecture Material (PDF)

#102013/12/12 An Entirely Different World
- IR13-11

#112013/12/19 An Entirely Different World (2)
- IR 13-12 [Enrolled Students Only]

#122013/12/26 An Entirely Different World (3)
- IR13-13

#132014/01/09 Human Insecurity: the Need for Micro Perspectives in International Relations
- IR13-14 + Final [Enrolled Students Only]
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. 

#14 Alternative to
What are the desciplinary alternatives to international 
relations that help solve the "problems" in global governance?

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

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