Minor The Evolution of International Order: How to Understand the Global Crisis of the 21st Century

Category
Broadening minor
Minor code
MINESHCC-6
Duration
10 weeks

Content 

The 21st century is mired in crisis and conflict that beg further exploration of the theory and history of international relations. For example, why does Trump’s America impose tariffs on allies whilst spending $32 million per hour on the global War on Terror? How is the global financial crisis related to the rise of nativist movements in the West? Why don’t one million Uyghurs in Chinese internment camps cause as much public outrage as 245 inmates of Guantanamo Bay? And why can’t the global community come together to resolve the climate crisis?
This minor draws on history and political science to offer students a historical perspective and conceptual and theoretical frameworks through which they may start to explore, examine and grasp the complex global challenges that societies face today. Modules focus on the origins and evolution of international society; on the development of capitalism and globalization as we know it today; and on the history and theory of peace and international conflict.
A novel aspect of this minor is that the courses will start not by discussing the past and work their way forward, but by focusing on present-day affairs, using theoretical and conceptual frameworks from political science, before pursuing the deeper roots of today’s realities from a historical perspective.

Learning objectives

After completing the minor, students:

  1. will be able to survey the evolution of international relations 1500-present.
  2. be able to evaluate the conceptual and theoretical frameworks to explore, examine and understand international society, the global economy and peace and conflict.
  3. will be able to appraise the historical roots and political foundations of diplomacy within contemporary international relations.
  4. will be able to analyse the development of capitalism as a historical process that emerged from political choices, geopolitical competition, business cultures and technological transformation.
  5. will be able to assess cases of violent conflict and peace-making, 1500-present, and locate them in their appropriate historical and political contexts.

Special aspects

• The education level for the minor is BA-3.
• The maximum number of students is 60.
• Proficiency in spoken and written English is essential. We advise a VWO-final examination grade of 7 or higher, a TOEFL-test minimum score of 100 or an IELTS-test minimum score of 7.

Overview modules

Module 1: The International System

  • Code: n/a
  • ECTS: 5
  • Content: This module provides an introduction to the development of the international political system from 1500 to the present. The focus is on the highest, systemic level: the practice of international politics, its main actors, the rules, assumptions, understandings and norms that underpinned said practice, and how all of these changed over time. Particular attention will be paid to key moments in international history, such as peace conferences, global encounters, major wars and international institution-building, from the encounters of separate civilisations in the 1500s to today’s global governance.
  • Teaching method: Seminars/Lectures
  • Teaching materials: Readings to be made available
  • Contact hours: 8 weeks, 3 hours per week
  • Self study: 12.8 hours per week (116 hours in total)

Module 2: International Political Economy

  • Code: n/a
  • ECTS: 5
  • Content: Capitalism often seems the inevitable backdrop to modern history. This course examines capitalism as historically contingent and shape-shifting in response to geopolitical and historical change. Taking the present and the future of capitalism in the 21st century as the starting point, this course will meander through history in search of the diverse origins of capitalism by employing contemporary theories of capitalism. Topics include: the neoliberal turn, capitalist “world systems”, decolonisation and archipelago capitalism, capitalism and imperialism, capitalism and state power, the transatlantic slave trade and colonisation, capitalism and capital markets, the material origins of capitalism in 15th century Italy.
  • Teaching method: Seminars/Lectures
  • Teaching materials: Readings to be made available
  • Contact hours: 8 weeks, 3 hours per week
  • Self study: 12.8 hours per week (116 hours in total)

Module 3: War & Peace

  • Code: n/a
  • ECTS: 5
  • Content: War and peace-making are two major features of international interaction. On the one hand this course examines conflict and war over the past 500 years from the perspective of a variety of historical actors, from dynasties to states and from politicians to terrorists. The examination includes reflections on what, if anything, makes war just, as well as the evolution of the conduct of war. On the other hand this course explores the processes of peace making and peace keeping by global, regional, national and local actors, 1500-present. This module provides students with an understanding of the main theories of conflict and peace and enables them to apply theory to historical and contemporary case studies of violent conflict and of peace processes.
  • Teaching method: Seminars
  • Teaching materials: Articles via the University Library and online resources
  • Contact hours: 8 weeks, 3 hours per week
  • Self study: 12.8 hours per week (116 hours in total)

Examination

Method of examination

Module 1 – The International System:
Assignments and essay.


Module 2 - Capitalism in the 21st Century:
Assignments and final unseen written examination.


Module 3 – War & Peace:
Assignments and essay.

The assignments in three courses consist of research questions and/or critical comments to the weekly mandatory readings that students are obliged to upload every week.

Composition final grade

Module 1 - The International System:
Assignments (35%) and essay (65%).


Module 2 - Capitalism in the 21st Century:
Assignments (35%) and final unseen written examination (65%).


Module 3 - War & Peace:
Assignments (35%) and essay (65%).


Students should obtain a pass mark for each of the three modules.

Feedback

The research questions and/or critical comments that students submit weekly will be employed by the convener as the basis for the seminar. Formative feedback will be offered throughout.

Summative feedback will be provided after the final assessment in an examination or essay review.

Contact information

Mark Edward Hay
Hay@eshcc.eur.nl
+31104082509
room: M6-40

Faculty website
https://www.eur.nl/people/mark-hay
 

Category
Broadening minor
Minor code
MINESHCC-6
Duration
10 weeks
Organisation
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication
Study points (EC)
15
Instruction language
English
Location
Campus Woudestein, Rotterdam