Spring 2017

International Political Theory

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-317


Pavel Machala (Section 01)


[PT] Understanding world affairs requires not only identification of and familiarity with central geo-political and geo-economic dynamics, but also an appreciation of the role of political and ethical norms and ideologies in legitimating, undermining and transforming these central dynamics. To better appreciate the political significance of normative arguments in world affairs, we will first explore a few basic discourses and theories concerning state and imperial sovereignty, just and unjust wars, humanitarianism, communitarianism and cosmopolitanism. We will also explore several key debates in contemporary international political theory, such as the character of international civil society, universal human rights, the rights of refugees and economic migrants, international distributive justice, and human security. Contemporary international political theory is often predicated on the principle that moral obligation extends beyond the borders of states. And yet, what exactly is the scope of this obligation? Is it adequate to meet the challenges of human misery in today’s world?  Or, is the discourse of this type of moral obligation primarily ideological: a legitimization of “the end of history”?

Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Machala.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to Political Science majors, and then divided equally between sophmores, juniors and seniors.


Attention to Speaking


2019-20: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2017