John Kerry and Ernest Moniz meet with the Iranian delegation on March 26, 2015 during negotiations on a nuclear deal (REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski).
John Kerry and Ernest Moniz meet with the Iranian delegation on March 26, 2015 during negotiations on a nuclear deal (REUTERS/Brendan Smialowski).

This introductory-level course will survey several core topics in the study of international relations and its discussion in policy circles. While our survey of topics will be broad, our approach will be targeted. Students will learn to think of core issues and topics in international relations as strategic dilemmas involving self-interested actors trying to maximize their expected utility. This approach may not be intuitive to entry-level students accustomed to receiving talking points on cable news or blogs, but it provides much more leverage over understanding foreign affairs, including the ongoing Iran nuclear deal. Students will then review several topics in international relations scholarship after they learn of strategic approaches and its associated methodological tools. These will include broad paradigms of war and peace, problems associated with terrorism and foreign aid, and an introduction to international organizations and international law. By the end of the semester, students should have a deeper understanding of international relations and, importantly, how to better understand its current events.