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UPCES International Relations Courses

Here you'll find the full list of UPCES courses related to International Relations. Please note that course offerings are subject to change or cancelation based on faculty availability and student enrollment. All course subjects must be approved by your home institution for departmental credit.

Each course includes a detailed description, any cross-listed subjects, and a downloadable syllabus.

European Integration: Why and How


This course covers the main political, social, cultural, and economic factors which conditioned and accompanied post-war European integration. It invites students to critically rethink what the motivations were behind European integration at its emergence and how they have been changing up until the present. The course material includes historical texts, documents and audiovisual material.  In the first part of the course students get acquainted with the milestones of European integration and interests and positions of key players. The key reading on history is Tony Judt's Postwar – one of the few books covering both the Eastern and Western 'halves' of Europe in the period under scrutiny. The second part of the course focuses on the major driving force of European integration – the EU's outreach beyond its borders via enlargement and neighborhood policy. The final session addresses some of the major challenges facing Europe today: immigration, integration of minorities, and economic crises. After taking the course, students should have a strong knowledge of various competing interpretations of what the EU is and what it should be for its citizens and in the international system. The course consists of lectures, discussions, and simulations based on the required readings.

European-American Relations in the 21st Century


This course explores the history and the current state of political, economic and cultural relations between the United States and Europe. Ever since the end of World War II, the cooperative relationship between these two parts of the world, often described as "the West“, has been a bedrock of international stability, security and prosperity. After the end of the Cold War, this relationship has undergone changes, along with the whole system of international relations. Recently, on both sides of the Atlantic, the talk has been about a crisis of the Euro-American relationship. We will examine the validity of these claims, the causes of the current problems and possible ways of overcoming them. Throughout, we will emphasize the overwhelming nature of common values and interests on both sides of the ocean as well as the risks stemming from a potential rift for both Europe and America. We will examine the compatibility of current European and U.S. policies with respect to third countries or regions, such as Russia, China and the Middle East. We will also analyze the specific role played in this relationship by countries of Central and Eastern Europe as relative newcomers to democracy, to the Atlantic Alliance and to European Union.

Human Rights in Central and Eastern Europe


The course aims to provide an interdisciplinary understanding of the international human rights framework in Central and Eastern Europe, where the human rights system mirrors the historical developments of the countries within the globalizing world. This course invites students from all disciplines to explore and make sense of the current human rights issues, cases and problems in the region. By the end of the course students will be familiar with the core principles of human rights and have a sound understanding of the issues and recurring themes of human rights violations in the region. Rather than offering simple answers, the aim of the course is to allow for critical thinking and discussions. This course offers an immersion into the human rights system not only through the academic prism but also through active engagement with human rights practitioners and activists.