The following are course descriptions of the requirements and electives for a major in International Relations. Many of these courses are cross-listed with the departments of Political Science, History, and Modern Languages and Literatures.
For a full list of courses, please review the university's course catalog
IR 101 - Catholic Thought, the State and Security in the Modern World - 3 credits. The increasing tensions of the present security environment can have a strangling effect on the spirit and ethos of moral reason, and faith founded social institutions. The State needs to be secure and have its people secure. Doing so, however, may involve hard choices to do things it would not do ordinarily. How can a principled and faith founded people respond to these exigencies? This course introduces the student to the rich tradition of Roman Catholic thinking on the subject of war, peace, the State and the dignity of the individual. It will then open a conversation with some of the other approaches to contemporary problems, as well as assess responses to pressing security issues confronting the world. Cross-listed with POSC 101.
IR 102 - Careers in International Relations - 1 credit. This course is intended to introduce the new IR major to fundamental logistics of a career in International Relations generally and the IR program at Duquesne University specifically. It will cover professional and academic elements, review internship processes and outline study abroad options. Further it will provide a stepping stone to the IR advisement process, career options with the major and help students focus on setting and achieving career goals after graduation.
IR 103 - Elementary Arabic I for International Relations - 3 credits. This is an introduction to the Arabic language. Emphasis will be given to appropriate lexicon for students of IR.
IR 110 - Current Problems in International Politics - 3 credits. A survey of issues that states currently face in world politics. Cross-listed with POSC 110.
IR 120 - Introduction to Political Economy - 3 credits. An introduction to how government decisions about trade, investment, debt and market developments impact people domestically and worldwide. Special attention is given to the problems experienced by poorer countries and responsibilities of developed nations. No background in the subject matter is required. Cross-listed with POSC 120.
IR 200 - Writing and Research in International Relations - 3 credits. Students will learn to do research and write papers related to IR issues.
IR 201 - Human Security in Sub-Saharan Africa - 3 credits. Focusing on sub-Saharan Africa, the course examines human security issues including religious and ethnic conflict within states; genocide and mass slaughter; terrorism; food security; migration and human trafficking; development and aid; and democratization. Among countries considered in the course are some of Africa's largest and most important, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, and Zambia. Cross-listed with POSC 201.
IR 206 - Japanese Culture - 3 credits. It introduces students to interdisciplinary approaches to the holistic study of Japanese culture; its tradition and the contemporary society. It draws on case studies of current issues that require students to think analytically and critically about how we approach, interpret, and respond to different cultures. The class will also experience the taste of culture through hands-on crafts and the culinary arts. The course is designed to help students broaden their knowledge of Japan and prepare them for global competition. Cross-listed with MLJA 206.
IR 207 - Arab Culture - 3 credits. This course will engage students in the study of a variety of literary, linguistic, geographical, historical, social, religious, cultural and artistic aspects of the modern Arab world. Many course components are specifically intended to heighten students' sensitivity to racial bias and sharpen awareness of multicultural issues. The course intends to increase tolerance and understanding by providing students with a realistic view of the cultural contours of the modern Arab world and the richness of the Arab cultural heritage. Cross-listed with MLAR 206.
IR 208 - Politics of Great Powers - 3 credits. An introduction to government, politics, culture and economic policy in Europe and Japan. Cross-listed with POSC 208.
IR 209 - Politics of Emerging Powers - 3 credits. An introduction to government, politics, culture, and economic policy in the developing world. Cross-listed with POSC 209.
IR 210 - Introduction to International Security Studies - 3 credits. This course seeks to establish to basic foundations of the use of force by States, legal and moral restrictions on its application and the fundamental foundations of strategic policy. It will examine how states have responded to their security challenges over the centuries as technology has transformed the strategic landscape by examining a series of State security case studies.
IR 216 - Foundations of International Relations Theory - 3 credits. The goal of this course is to develop understanding of how contemporary international relations theory rests upon a long-standing historical conversation about the conditions for a just international order. Specific objectives include comprehending a) classical realism, idealism, imperialism and cosmopolitanism b) Christian just war theory and cosmopolitanism c) early modern realism, the rise of the state and international law d) modern liberal nationalism and internationalism e) modern cosmopolitanism and imperialism. Cross-listed with POSC 216.
IR 222 - Intelligence and Foreign Policy - 3 credits. The Central Intelligence Agency has at times been in step with American policy and at other times (in Cuba in the 1960's and in Afghanistan, 2001) seemed to drive it. The course will look at the CIA through the eyes of the individuals chosen to lead it, from Allen Dulles to Stansfield Turner and, in an age of transnational threats, from George Tenant to the tenure of John Brennan. The course will also explore the relationship between the various CIA Directors and the presidents they served.
IR 245 - International Relations - 3 credits. A study of politics between states including sovereignty, balance of power, war, and economics. Cross-listed with POSC 245.
IR 254 - American Foreign Policy - 3 credits. A study of American foreign policy since World War II. Cross-listed with POSC 255.
IR 296 - Intelligence Operations - 3 credits. Intelligence existed as a profession long before intelligence organizations became instruments of power. The development of national intelligence agencies was - in some instances - crucial to a government retaining or increasing control; in other instances intelligence organizations were partly responsible for a government's collapse. This course examines the role of intelligence in national power, the Intelligence Cycle and basic principles of intelligence operations.
IR 300 - Intelligence, Covert Action and Counter-Insurgency - 3 credits. Covert action operations and counter-intelligence have been employed in counter-insurgency from the 1600's to the present global struggle against terrorism. The same forms of low intensity conflict are being fought in Afghanistan and the Middle East. This course will survey counter-insurgency doctrine and analyze the value and problems intelligence operations present in these types of conflicts.
IR 301 - Security Ethics - 3 credits. This course seeks to review traditional ethics governing the use of military power in society, including Catholic Just War theory as well as Hindu, Islamic, Confucian and later Christian rubrics on the use of force. It will analyze contemporary security dilemmas as case studies, including the morality of strategic weapons, the use of drones, terrorism and the rising use of clandestine and hybrid operations as surrogates for war.
IR 303 - The Politics of Immigration - 3 credits. This course explores the challenges of immigrant incorporation in an increasingly transnational world. Through comparative case studies drawn from the European and American contexts, as well as community engaged learning activities with Pittsburgh partner institutions, students gain both a theoretical and practical exposure to the difficulties that both immigrant groups and policymakers face regarding immigrant incorporation. Cross-listed with POSC 303.
IR 326 - German Foreign Policy - 3 credits. This course surveys the transformation of German political aspirations from the ascendancy of Kaiser Wilhelm II to the disintegration of Imperial Germany following defeat in the First World War in 1918. The rise of Adolf Hitler in the Weimar Republic resulted in the ascendancy of the Nazi movement in 1933 and its complete collapse in 1945. The course will trace the growth of Germany as the economic powerhouse of Europe in the post-war age, and the pivotal roles of chancellors Konrad Adenauer, Willi Brandt, Helmut Kohl and Angela Merkel in the development - and the problems - of the European Union.
IR 345 (W) - Ethics and International Relations - 3 credits. The course's principal purposes are to explore the possibilities, limits, and obligations of ethical action in international relations. The course applies the insights of different theories of ethics to a number of issues, including various wars, terrorism, and humanitarian intervention. Cross-listed with POSC 345W.
IR 349 - United Nations I - 1 credit. Examines the processes and policies of the United Nations through classroom lecture and experiential (lab) activities. A strong focus will be placed on reinforcing professional skills such as research, negotiation, and public speaking. The required lab portion of this course will consist of student participation in all parts of local and/or national Model United Nations conferences, amounting to at least 12 hours of this lab/activity outside the classroom. Permission of instructor required. Cross-listed with POSC 349.
IR 350 - United Nations II - 1 credit. Examines the processes and policies of the United Nations through classroom lecture and experiential (lab) activities. A strong focus will be placed on reinforcing professional skills such as research, negotiation, and public speaking. The required lab portion of this course will consist of student participation in all parts of local and/or national Model United Nations conferences, amounting to at least 12 hours of this lab/activity outside the classroom. Permission of instructor required. Cross-listed with POSC 350.
IR 351 - US Foreign Relations to WWI - 3 credits. An examination of the history of American foreign relations from the American Revolution to WWI. This is a study of the nation's exercise of sovereignty in foreign affairs, its rise to world power, and the internal and external conflicts that resulted. Cross-listed with HIST 351.
IR 352 - US Foreign Relations Since 1917 - 3 credits. The United States emerged as a major player on the world stage during and after World War I. This course will discuss the role that the country has played in international relations during the course of the 20th century and will also examine the domestic implications of the United States' rise to world dominance. Cross-listed with HIST 352.
IR 353 - United Nations III - 2 credits. Examines the processes and policies of the United Nations through classroom lecture and experiential (lab) activities. A strong focus will be placed on reinforcing professional skills such as research, negotiation, and public speaking. The required lab portion of this course will consist of student participation in all parts of local and/or national Model United Nations conferences, amounting to at least 12 hours of this lab/activity outside the classroom. Permission of instructor required. Cross-listed with POSC 353.
IR 354 - United Nations IV - 2 credits. Examines the processes and policies of the United Nations through classroom lecture and experiential (lab) activities. A strong focus will be placed on reinforcing professional skills such as research, negotiation, and public speaking. The required lab portion of this course will consist of student participation in all parts of local and/or national Model United Nations conferences, amounting to at least 12 hours of this lab/activity outside the classroom. Permission of instructor required. Cross-listed with POSC 354.
IR 360 - Crisis Management in Complex Emergencies - 3 credits. This course considers crisis management in theory and practice, drawing from the periods since World War II. Theories of crisis prevention, escalation, management, de-escalation, termination, and post-crisis management will be covered. In addition, alternative decision-making theories, structures, and processes, the nature of crisis bargaining and negotiation and the role of third parties will be addressed. Special attention will be paid to the role of military force in post-Cold War crisis scenarios. The course will include case studies and a simulation designed to provide context to the study of crisis management. Cross-listed with POSC 360.
IR 391 - Advanced International Political Economy - 3 credits. This course surveys the basic positions in IPE as well as hegemonic stability theories, more complex trade case studies, foreign economic policies and international economic organizational behaviors - such as Basel III, Sovereign Wealth Funds or GATT/WTO rounds - which influence global trade behavior. The interplay between governmental interests and global finance and trade will be emphasized.
IR 393 - Political and Economic Geography - 3 credits. This course is intent upon providing an in-depth understanding of world geography and its corresponding relationship to the rise and decline, existence and maintenance of nation-states. Of necessity, students will be engaged in political and economic realities that may contribute to the future of the world, in war or in peace.
IR 394 - Historical Geography - 3 credits. A survey of the physical world which is the basis for a human civilization, past present, and future. What are the possibilities and limitations of different places for human development? How successful or unsuccessful were human settlements? Emphasis also on geography as an intellectual discipline and cultural phenomenon. Cross-listed with HIST 394.
IR 404 - Introduction to Information Security - 3 credits. This course will cover fundamentals of the Internet, a survey of foundational cyber-security concepts, and managerial and policy topics. The course is geared to help students have sufficient technical awareness and managerial competence that will enable them to pursue advanced study in cyber security. There is no prerequisite for this course but successful students will have fundamental knowledge of information and computer systems as well as a general awareness of security issues in these systems.
IR 406 - Homeland Security - 3 credits. This course aims to enhance the students' ability to see through to the crux of contemporary policy issues efficiently, quickly, and logically. The course explores techniques of policy analysis in depth, as well as the practical constraints imposed by the policy-making environment in several policy areas, in order to hone those critical analytic skills.
IR 407 - Terrorism - 3 credits. The phenomenon of transnational violence perpetrated by non state actors against civilians has become the single most pressing security issue in the modern era. This sort of violence - terrorism - is studied here in all its facets: motivations, organization, funding, tactics and goals. Furthermore, kinetic as well as soft-power counter-terror strategies are also reviewed from the policy, legal and moral perspectives, among others.
IR 408 - Democracy, Conflict and World Politics - 3 credits. Examines power, conflict and democratization primarily in countries outside the U.S. Cross-listed with POSC 408.
IR 409W - Ethnic Conflict: Politics and Policy - 3 credits. Ethnic conflict threatens political stability in countries around the world. From Iraq to Bolivia, from Spain to Indonesia, conflicts have erupted over a wide variety of "ethnic" issues in recent years. Yet, despite its ubiquity, ethnic politics remains poorly understood: Why do people identify with ethnic groups? Why does ethnic identity sometimes lead to private ritual, sometimes to peaceful mobilization through mass movements or political parties, and sometimes to violent conflict, pogroms, and genocide? Most pressingly, are there solutions to ethnic conflict, particularly in deeply-divided, violence-ridden countries? Cross-listed with POSC 419W.
IR 413(W) - Human Rights: Politics and Policy - 3 credits. Explores the international human rights regime including philosophical sources, legal instruments, governmental and non-state actors, and impacts on the international system. Cross-listed with POSC 413(W).
IR 419W - European Union - 3 credits. The course traces the development of European integration over the last decades. It analyses the role of major actors in shaping the European Union, the main institutions and the key political processes that drive EU politics and governance, and discusses main EU policies. Current challenges facing the European Union at home and abroad, such as the consequences of the recent enlargements for the Union, the Euro-crisis, and contestation and co-operation between the EU and European governments on the European economy and EU-US relations will be studied. Case studies of political events unfolding during the semester will be used to supplement the course. We will complement our analysis with more in-depth readings on the politics and policies of specific countries. The course includes various simulation games, in which students "representing" the EU member states negotiate current issues following the actual negotiation format of the EU institutions.
IR 422W - American Defense Policy - 3 credits. This course studies the institutions, policies, and decision making of the American defense establishment. Lecture. University Core Writing Intens. Cross-listed with POSC 422W.
IR 423W - Comparative Intelligence Agencies - 3 credits. An examination of the development, structure and usage of intelligence agencies with particular emphasis on how such functions impact upon national policy makers and the policy making process. The primary focus of the course centers on a study of the CIA, British M16 and Russian KGB/FSB. W=Writing Intensive Course. Cross-listed with POSC 429W..
IR 437- Intelligence Research - 3 credits. This seminar topic will focus on the tenure of Stansfield Turner as Director of Central Intelligence, 1977-1981. Turner's directorship was his first position in the U.S. Intelligence Community; he had previously served as an Admiral in the Navy. The course will use Turner's book Secrecy and Democracy as a guide and will explore the dilemmas of reforming an intelligence institution as well as contrast Turner's effort with the (considerably later) 2004 Intelligence Reform Act.
IR 491- Internship - 1-3 credits. With special permission.
IR 493W - Directed Readings - 1-6 credits. With special permission.
IR 496 - Special Topics - 3 credits. With special permission.
IR 499 - Advanced International Relations Theory - 3 credits. The central substantive aim of the course is to develop a deep and nuanced understanding of how different theories explain international politics and which ones are most persuasive under what conditions. Theories are important because they affect both how we intepret our environment and how we respond to it. Theories, in short, drive action. Theories representing all of the major approaches to the study of world politics (material, institutional, and ideational) and levels of analysis (international, domestic, and individual) will be examined. A central objective of the class is for students to develop their critical reading abilities, i.e., what are the authors read in the class arguing? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each piece? What are the authors' (often hidden) assumptions? Correctly answering these questions is important not only in the context of this class, but in terms of how you - curent citizens and future leaders - see the world. Cross-listed with POSC 497.