Contemporary Issues of International Politics

Faculty Instructor: 
ECTS: 
4
Code: 
ΚΕ0Χ31
Cycle / Level: 
Undergraduate
Compulsory / Optional: 
Optional
Teaching Period: 
Winter
Course Content: 

The course examines the current international political situation in the light of certain major geopolitical and economic developments. It is shaped in the form of a thematic seminar, and aims to enable students to deepen their knowledge and to analyze the main parameters of international relations today. The course emphasizes the analysis of political, economic and political situation of key players on the international scene and the links formed between them as well as the impact of such links at regional and global level. During the year 2015-16, the course will include three distinct sections: A. As every year the course examines certain regions of particular importance for the Greek scholar • Middle East • The Russian world • China B. During this year, lectures will focus on the African continent. They will in particular examine the major issues linked to the development of Africa and will discuss, in particular, the following major international issues (and not only for Africa): • The major scourges of the developing world (AIDS, the re-emergence of old and new diseases - tuberculosis, hepatitis, tetanus, malaria) famine and their effects on development • Desertification and its impact effects on development. The concept of environmental refugees • Failed states • Population movements. Refugees and immigrants - basic concepts and political, economic and social impact. C. During this year, there will also be three thematic lectures on the following issues: • Developments in the Paris world climate conference (CoP 21) • Basic concepts about the international instruments protecting human rights • Basic concepts on the Law of the Seas Topics for the academic year 2015-16 Lecture 1. Introduction. International politics in the 21st century • From the end of history and the US predominance to the 'anarchic' world • Nations, states, religions, international political economy • The war - an outdated tool or peace in another way? • The right to humanitarian intervention • The role of regional organizations in shaping international relations Lecture 2. The Middle East • The Israeli-Arab conflict • Islam and its divisions (Sunni-Shia) • Democracy, Secularism and Islam Lecture 3. Russia and Eurasia • Russia and the Russian people • Ukraine and Russia • Democracy, authoritarianism and dictatorship in the former Soviet Union • The role of energy raw materials in international politics Lecture 4: The Chinese Century? • China's rise on the international scene • Capitalism and one-party rule • The Chinese hinderland: the geopolitical dimension of the Chinese hegemony Lecture 5. Africa: A historical context • Africa as a special case study. The legacy of colonialism and the inability to create national states • Multiparty democracy and tribalism. The dominance of one-party systems • The “failed states” and their consequences in international relations Lecture 6: Africa’s “un-development” • The political and economic consequences of colonialism • Globalization and its impact on African rural production • Energy – a development tool for Africa? Lecture 7: Developmental scourges of Africa • AIDS • Diseases of the developing world • The famine in Africa • The political and economic consequences in international relations of such problems Lecture 8: Climate change and desertification in Africa • Man-made and natural changes to the climate (examples of the expansion of Saharan desert and the depletion of the rainforests) • Environmental refugees • The international impact of population movement • Typology of international population movements o Refugees and Immigrants o The international protection of refugees - the Geneva Convention Lectures 9-10: Climate change globally • The human intervention on climate - the impact of climate change on international politics • International efforts to address the phenomenon o The Kyoto conference o The Montreal Protocol o CoP21. The last chance? Lectures 11-12: The International Protection of Human Rights • Human rights. A typology • The birth of the international protection of human rights • The basic texts. o The Universal Declaration of Human Rights o The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights o The International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights o The European Convention on Human Rights • The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights • Judicial protection of human rights: the international courts and their role • International criminal law - war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity Lecture 13: Introduction to the Law of the Seas • Basic concepts • The law of the Seas and GreeceThe course examines the current international political situation in the light of certain major geopolitical and economic developments.

It is shaped in the form of a thematic seminar, and aims to enable students to deepen their knowledge and to analyze the main parameters of international relations today.

The course emphasizes the analysis of political, economic and political situation of key players on the international scene and the links formed between them as well as the impact of such links at regional and global level.

During the year 2015-16, the course will include three distinct sections:
A. As every year the course examines certain regions of particular importance for the Greek scholar
• Middle East
• The Russian world
• China

B. During this year, lectures will focus on the African continent. They will in particular examine the major issues linked to the development of Africa and will discuss, in particular, the following major international issues (and not only for Africa):
• The major scourges of the developing world (AIDS, the re-emergence of old and new diseases - tuberculosis, hepatitis, tetanus, malaria) famine and their effects on development
• Desertification and its impact effects on development. The concept of environmental refugees
• Failed states
• Population movements. Refugees and immigrants - basic concepts and political, economic and social impact.

C. During this year, there will also be three thematic lectures on the following issues:
• Developments in the Paris world climate conference (CoP 21)
• Basic concepts about the international instruments protecting human rights
• Basic concepts on the Law of the Seas

Topics for the academic year 2018-19

Lecture 1. Introduction. International politics in the 21st century
• From the end of history and the US predominance to the 'anarchic' world
• Nations, states, religions, international political economy
• The war - an outdated tool or peace in another way? • The right to humanitarian intervention
• The role of regional organizations in shaping international relations

Lecture 2. The Middle East
• The Israeli-Arab conflict
• Islam and its divisions (Sunni-Shia)
• Democracy, Secularism and Islam

Lecture 3. Russia and Eurasia
• Russia and the Russian people
• Ukraine and Russia
• Democracy, authoritarianism and dictatorship in the former Soviet Union
• The role of energy raw materials in international politics

Lecture 4: The Chinese Century?
• China's rise on the international scene • Capitalism and one-party rule
• The Chinese hinderland: the geopolitical dimension of the Chinese hegemony

Lecture 5. Africa: A historical context
• Africa as a special case study. The legacy of colonialism and the inability to create national states
• Multiparty democracy and tribalism. The dominance of one-party systems
• The “failed states” and their consequences in international relations

Lecture 6: Africa’s “un-development”
• The political and economic consequences of colonialism
• Globalization and its impact on African rural production
• Energy – a development tool for Africa?

Lecture 7: Developmental scourges of Africa
• AIDS
• Diseases of the developing world
• The famine in Africa
• The political and economic consequences in international relations of such problems

Lecture 8: Climate change and desertification in Africa
• Man-made and natural changes to the climate (examples of the expansion of Saharan desert and the depletion of the rainforests)
• Environmental refugees
• The international impact of population movement
• Typology of international population movements o Refugees and Immigrants o The international protection of refugees - the Geneva Convention

Lectures 9-10: Climate change globally
• The human intervention on climate - the impact of climate change on international politics
• International efforts to address the phenomenon
o The Kyoto conference o The Montreal Protocol
o CoP21. The last chance?

Lectures 11-12: The International Protection of Human Rights
• Human rights. A typology • The birth of the international protection of human rights
• The basic texts. o The Universal Declaration of Human Rights o The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
o The International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights
o The European Convention on Human Rights
• The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
• Judicial protection of human rights: the international courts and their role
• International criminal law - war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity

Lecture 13: Introduction to the Law of the Seas
• Basic concepts
• The law of the Seas and Greece

Learning Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of the course, students: will have a comprehensive picture of the main parameters governing international relations today; will know and be able to analyze the behavior of major actors in the international scene; will be able to compare policies and stances on the basis of state interests in international politics.

Student Assessment: 
Δεδομένου ότι το μάθημα είναι σεμιναριακού χαρακτήρα η τακτική παρουσία των φοιτητών κατά τη διάρκεια των σεμιναρίων είναι κρίσιμη. Ο κάθε φοιτητής αναμένεται να συντονίσει την συζήτηση στην τάξη σε τουλάχιστον μια περίπτωση. Το μάθημα περιλαμβάνει την προετοιμασία εργασίας (μέχρι 10 σελίδες) σε θέμα που συμφωνείται με τον διδάσκοντα και παραδίδεται μέσα στον Νοέμβριο. Η εργασία παρουσιάζεται από τον φοιτητή τον Δεκέμβριο. Ο φοιτητής εξετάζεται στην εργασία του αυτή σε προφορική εξέταση στο τέλος του εξαμήνου. Οι φοιτητές είναι υποχρεωμένοι να συμμετάσχουν σε ομαδική προετοιμασία αντιπαράθεσης θέσεων (debate). Κατά το τρέχον έτος θα διεξαχθούν οι ακόλουθες συζητήσεις: • Το δικαίωμα στην αυτοδιάθεση των λαών – όρια και προϋποθέσεις (Νοέμβριος 2018) • Πρέπει να επεμβαίνουμε σε τρίτα κράτη για να προλάβουμε ανθρωπιστικές κρίσεις/επιθέσεις (Δεκέμβριος 2018) • Πολυμερείς οργανισμοί ή διμερείς σχέσεις; Η περιφερειακή συνεργασία ως εργαλείο οικονομικής ανάπτυξης (Ιανουάριος 2019). Η βαθμολογία υπολογίζεται ως εξής: 20% συμμετοχή στο μάθημα, 20% συμμετοχή στην συζήτηση 30% εργασία και παρουσίαση και 30% τελική εξέταση.
Bibliography: 
Βιβλιογραφία μαθήματος (Εύδοξος)
Προτεινόμενη Βιβλιογραφία Σε κάθε μάθημα θα παρέχεται στους φοιτητές αρθρογραφία και άλλο διδακτικό υλικό για τη συγκεκριμένη θεματική. Πέραν αυτού τα παρεχόμενα βιβλία είναι: Σωτ. Νταλλής: Από τις διεθνείς σχέσεις στη διεθνή πολιτική. Εκδόσεις Παπαζήση, 2014. Heywood, Andrew: Διεθνείς σχέσεις και πολιτική στην παγκόσμια εποχή. 1η έκδοση, 2013, Εκδόσεις Κριτική. Άλλη συνιστώμενη βιβλιογραφία περιλαμβάνει: Braden, Kathleen E. – Shelley, Fred M: Παγκόσμια Γεωπολιτική. 2η έκδοση. 2009), PRINTA ΕΜΠΟΡΙΚΗ & ΕΚΔΟΤΙΚΗ - ΑΝΔΡΕΑΣ ΚΑΡΤΑΚΗΣ Art, Robert – Jervis, Robert: ‘International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues’ (11th Edition), Pearson eds. 2012. ISBN-10: 0205851649.
Επιπρόσθετη βιβλιογραφία για μελέτη
Art, Robert – Jervis, Robert: ‘International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues’ (11th Edition), Pearson eds. 2012. ISBN-10: 0205851649. Braden, Kathleen E. – Shelley, Fred M: ‘Engaging Geopolitics’. 1999. Taylor & Francis Ltd. ISDN 10 0582035651 Heywood, Andrew: Global Politics (Palgrave Foundations series). Palgrave Macmillan. 2011. ISBN10 1403989826.