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Archived Curricula Guide 2011–2012
Curricula Guide is archieved. Please refer to current Curricula Guides
ERS17 Major Theoretical and Methodological Orientations in International Relations: Introduction 12 ECTS
Organised by
International Relations/ISSS
Person in charge
Dr. Sergei Prozorov, University of Helsinki

Learning outcomes

To advance the students’ grasp on theoretical orientations and methodological trends in the discipline of International Relations.


The course presents a disciplinary history of International Relations from its inception to the present, focusing on the major theoretical and methodological debates in the discipline. We shall analyze the development of the discipline in terms of key debates, focusing on ontological foundations, epistemological principles and methodological orientations. The course will cover the realist-idealist debate of the 1920s-1950s, the traditionalist-behavioralist debate of the 1950s-1970s, the ‘interparadigm debate’ of the 1970s-1980s and the fourth, ‘post-positivist’ debate of the 1990s. The course concludes with the discussion of the current state of the discipline and its relation to the wider debates in philosophy and social sciences.

Teaching language


Modes of study

Lectures, exam on the lectures, literature exam


Numeric 1-5.

Recommended year of study

1. year autumn

Autumn 2009

Study materials

- Dunne, Tim & Milja Kurki & Steve Smith (2007). International Relations Theories: Discipline and diversity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

- Hardt, Michael & Antonio Negri (2000). Empire. Cambridge: Harvard University Press

- Morgenthau, Hans (1955). Politics among nations. New York: Knopf (or any other edition)

- Waltz, Kenneth (1979). Theory of International Politics. New York: McGraw-Hill.

- Wendt, Alexander (1999). Social Theory of International Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Belongs to following study modules

School of Communication, Media and Theatre
Archived Teaching Schedule. Please refer to current Teaching Shedule.
School of Management