Contemporary Issues of International Politics

Course Information
TitleΣύγχρονα Θέματα Διεθνούς Πολιτικής / Contemporary Issues of International Politics
FacultyEconomic and Political Sciences
SchoolPolitical Sciences
Cycle / Level1st / Undergraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter
CoordinatorIoannis Papageorgiou
Course ID100001458

Programme of Study: UPS School of Political Sciences (2014-today)

Registered students: 66
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS
CoreElective CoursesWinter-4

Class Information
Academic Year2018 – 2019
Class PeriodWinter
Faculty Instructors
Weekly Hours3
Class ID
Type of the Course
  • Background
  • General Knowledge
  • Scientific Area
Course Category
Specific Foundation / Core
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
The course is also offered to exchange programme students.
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
General Prerequisites
Students who choose this course should have passed courses "Introduction to International Relations" and "Introduction to Comparative Politics." Capacity to read scientific articles in English or another foreign language is necessary.
Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course, students: will have a comprehensive picture of the main parameters governing international relations today; will know and be able to analyze the behavior of major actors in the international scene; will be able to compare policies and stances on the basis of state interests in international politics.
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Retrieve, analyse and synthesise data and information, with the use of necessary technologies
  • Make decisions
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in an international context
Course Content (Syllabus)
The course examines the current international political situation in the light of certain major geopolitical and economic developments. It is shaped in the form of a thematic seminar, and aims to enable students to deepen their knowledge and to analyze the main parameters of international relations today. The course emphasizes the analysis of political, economic and political situation of key players on the international scene and the links formed between them as well as the impact of such links at regional and global level. During the year 2018-19, the study areas will be the following:: Lesson 1. Introduction. What does international politics mean in the 21st century • International politics in the 21st century. From the end of history and US as a hyperpower to an ‘anarchist' world. • Geopolitics - concept and content. • Nations, states, religions and economy in international politics. • War - an outdated tool or another form of peace? • The right to humanitarian intervention • The role of regional organizations in shaping international relations. Lesson 2. The Middle East. • The modern Middle East: Israeli-Arab conflicts • Islam and its divisions (Sunni-Shia) • Democracy, secular state and Islam. Lesson 3: Russia and Eurasia • Russia and the Russian world • Ukraine and Russia - Crimea • Democracy, illiberal democracy and dictatorship in the former Soviet Union • The Role of energy in international politics Lesson 4. Nation, States and self-determination of the peoples • Content and limits of the term “self-determination of the peoples”. Case studies (Abkhazia, Nagorno, Transnistria, South Sudan, Kurdistan). Separatist movements and democracy. The cases of Catalonia and Scotland. Lessons 5 -6. Africa: A historical background • Africa as a special case. The heritage of colonialism and the inability to create national states • The political and economic impact of colonialism • Multi-party democracy and tribalism. The dominance of one-party rule • The ‘failed states’ and their implications for international relations • Africa's developmental scourges (AIDS, famine, diseases) • Climate change and desertification in Africa: man-made and natural climate change (examples of Sahara's expansion and reduction of tropical forests) • Environmental refugees and international impacts of population movement Lesson 7. The United States • Relations with Europe and the shift towards the Pacific • NAFTA Lesson 8. The Chinese Century? • The rise of China on the international stage • Capitalism and a one-party system • The Chinese hinterland • Geopolitical dimension of Chinese hegemony. Lesson 9. The other Asia • Japan • The Indian particularism. • Democracy and religions in Asia • ASEAN and its states - model or exception? Are there still economic tigers? Lesson 10. Latin America • Regional integration and hegemonic aspirations (Brazil, Mexico) • Nationalism, populism, democracy and inequalities on the American continent. Lessons 11-12. International Justice as a tool for international politics • Basic concepts of international law • Basic concepts of the law of the sea • International courts and their role Lesson 13. Recap
international politics, international organizations, international relations
Educational Material Types
  • Slide presentations
  • Multimedia
  • Book
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
Course Organization
Reading Assigment301.1
Written assigments220.8
Other / Others50.2
Student Assessment
Monitoring and scoring process Since the lesson is a seminar, the regular attendance of students during seminars is critical. Each student is expected to coordinate classroom discussion in at least one case. The lesson includes work preparation (up to 10 pages) on a subject agreed with the teacher and delivered in November. The work is presented by the student in December. The student is examined in this paper at an oral examination at the end of the semester. Students are required to engage in group preparation for the confrontation of positions (debate). This year, the following discussions will be held: • The right to self-determination of peoples - limits and conditions (November 2018) • We must intervene in third states to prevent humanitarian crises / attacks (December 2018) • Multilateral organizations or bilateral relations? Regional cooperation as a tool for economic growth (January 2019).The course includes the preparation of a work (max. 10 pages) on a topic agreed with the professor, to be delivered during the month of November and to be presented in class by the student in December. Students shall also be examined on that topic in an oral examination at the end of the semester. The final grade is calculated as follows: 20% for participation in class, 40% the quality of the paper and the presentation and 40% for the final examination.
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Exam with Multiple Choice Questions (Summative)
  • Written Exam with Short Answer Questions (Summative)
  • Written Assignment (Summative)
  • Oral Exams (Summative)
  • Performance / Staging (Summative)
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
Προτεινόμενη Βιβλιογραφία Σε κάθε μάθημα θα παρέχεται στους φοιτητές αρθρογραφία και άλλο διδακτικό υλικό για τη συγκεκριμένη θεματική. Πέραν αυτού τα παρεχόμενα βιβλία είναι: Σωτ. Νταλλής: Από τις διεθνείς σχέσεις στη διεθνή πολιτική. Εκδόσεις Παπαζήση, 2014. Heywood, Andrew: Διεθνείς σχέσεις και πολιτική στην παγκόσμια εποχή. 1η έκδοση, 2013, Εκδόσεις Κριτική. Άλλη συνιστώμενη βιβλιογραφία περιλαμβάνει: Braden, Kathleen E. – Shelley, Fred M: Παγκόσμια Γεωπολιτική. 2η έκδοση. 2009), PRINTA ΕΜΠΟΡΙΚΗ & ΕΚΔΟΤΙΚΗ - ΑΝΔΡΕΑΣ ΚΑΡΤΑΚΗΣ Art, Robert – Jervis, Robert: ‘International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues’ (11th Edition), Pearson eds. 2012. ISBN-10: 0205851649.
Additional bibliography for study
Art, Robert – Jervis, Robert: ‘International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues’ (11th Edition), Pearson eds. 2012. ISBN-10: 0205851649. Braden, Kathleen E. – Shelley, Fred M: ‘Engaging Geopolitics’. 1999. Taylor & Francis Ltd. ISDN 10 0582035651 Heywood, Andrew: Global Politics (Palgrave Foundations series). Palgrave Macmillan. 2011. ISBN10 1403989826.
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