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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Understanding International Relations Theory by HSE University

521 ratings
165 reviews

About the Course

The course is for: • Those who are interested in international relations • For students in International Relations, Political science, Regional studies • Those who work in the international organizations • Those who like to study online and gain knowledge from another field of science. • For international journalists The problem of war and peace has been of interest to humanity since ancient times, when the first states began to pursue their foreign policy and build relations with neighboring states. In the 21st century, the use of military force and the violation of peace is still an important problem in the system of international relations. As part of this distance course, students will study the history of the formation of the modern system of international relations and will be able to explain the features of various theories interpreting the foreign policy of the state. The online course will be useful and interesting not only for students studying political science, but also for everyone who is interested in the foreign policy of the countries of the world and the system of international relations. The remote learning format allows you to join the course from anywhere in the world. The course "Understanding International Relations Theory" of the Higher School of Economics provides you with useful knowledge of international relations. Having a PC or a laptop connected to the Internet, you can join the course of our university from any country. The first question to which students will find the answer will be "What is IR science"? The main goal of this online course is to understand the origins and features of the modern international relations system and be able to analyze the foreign policy of states through the prism of the theory of international relations. After completing the course, students will be able to analyze the special features of different theories of international relations, ranging from realism, liberalism and Marxism to Constructivism, Postmodernism, Feminism etc. Moreover, students will find an answer to one of the key questions in IR science: who is actor of international politics? Passing the tests and writing essays will allow students to consolidate their knowledge in the field of international relations. The course consists of short video lectures from 3 to 17 minutes, in which invaluable questions are included. Test of 8 questions will take place every week except the last week. In the first, fourth and seventh weeks, along with tests students also submit an essay (the essay must be at least 200-300 words long). In the end of the online course there is a final exam in the form of essay. The final essay must be at least 400 words long. The course allows you to interpret important international events and foreign policy of states through the prism of different theories of international relations. By the end of online course students will get the knowledge of: • The history of the formation of IR science. • Theories of international relations and their features. • Actors of international relations and their features. • Analysis of Russian foreign policy through the prism of realism. • Critical analysis of the foreign policy of states through the prism of theories of international relations. • Types of power in international relations and their features...

Top reviews

Aug 12, 2021

Easily this is one of the most productive courses I have taken. If one is seriously aiming to gain in-depth knowledge of the International relations holistically, this is the best course to go to.

Oct 8, 2020

The course provides understanding about basic concepts of IR Theory, with quizzes and assignments and useful readings. The professors are enthusiastic and able to explain the concepts in details.

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1 - 25 of 167 Reviews for Understanding International Relations Theory

By ferdinand a

Mar 14, 2021

This course has helped me understood the fundamentals of IR Theory. The lecturers are very adept with what they teach. Awesome to complete such a long week of course 😊

By Jonathan S

Nov 20, 2018

An amazing course. Very well presented, thought through and great overview of the topic. I will most definitely recommend this to anyone interested in the area.

By Thomas T

Feb 25, 2019

Excellent course!! Professor Dmitry Suslov explains perfectly well. He became my inspiration to following career in the International Relations.

By Miriam E

Aug 3, 2020

I am giving this course 2 stars because I found it to be quite Euro-US-centric and actually quite racist and sexist. I know this is not wholly the university's fault: IR as a field has been quite Eurocentric and male dominated in general. However, that is changing, and Coursera should be invested in ensuring the courses on its platform are growing with the fields they represent. Meaning, let's think a little harder about how race and gender play into IR and how IR theory has been portrayed and shaped from a more critical lens that acknowledges the field's racist past and present--instead of rambling off the same old Eurocentric story just because that's what we've always done.

All of the influential IR thinkers cited were American men, and some were European men. This course is your typical Westphalia and onwards vision of IR, dominated by male thinkers. African countries were only mentioned once or twice when the professors needed examples of poor countries. That is racist. This is really unacceptable. Also, how can IR theory really be INTERNATIONAL if it is only based on and shaped by events and (male) thinkers in the US and Europe? Intellectual racism and sexism are fitting descriptors.

The lecture on feminism was particularly terrible. The professor mischaracterized what feminism is by saying it is based on the assumption that men and women behave differently (that's not what feminism is). And then he proceeded to use a quote by a MAN to disprove feminism, saying that feminists have too many "unverified assumptions" and that Hilary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice are both women and are in politics, so therefore feminists are not needed in IR theory. It just made zero sense and is a huge injustice to portray feminism in this way. If you don't know what feminism is and you don't care about it, at least get someone who DOES to give the lecture on it.

This course has 2 professors. One is much more engaging than the other, who basically reads long sentences off of the powerpoint slides.

All said, I took this course because I care about IR theory and know that I need to learn about IR as it has been taught in the past to understand today's conversations in the field. However, if Coursera cares about racism and white supremacy, it should invest in courses that are not actively continuing white supremacy's legacies and ways of viewing and defining the world in the courses it offers. IR will continue to be racist as long as platforms like Coursera continue to invest in courses like this one.

By jayashankar w

Mar 25, 2019

A brilliant analysis of the evolution of International Relations. Would highly recommend the course for anyone interested in getting a strong base in the subject.

By Muhammed S

Mar 21, 2021

It was really excellent taking this course. The course content was well delivered and the presenters were amazingly amazing in explaining the different concepts and views.

By Malcolm R

May 4, 2020

I thought that this was an excellent course, well taught and on a fascinating subject. I would be happy to do further course from this provider again, in the future.

By jose e

Jul 16, 2019

Hi, it has been really useful, first week and it already has create some personal interest in develop an international relations bachelor degree

By Carlos A W P

Jun 29, 2018

Amazingly clear, fun and nice course.The course instructor does a super job in transmitting the main ideas of International Relations Theory.I highly recommend this course to everyone interested in the IR ideas to understand our current World.

By David G B

Mar 5, 2019

The course need some revision on the tests - some of them have the right answers marked before the start - and on the subtitles. Other than that, it's great.

By Jaime R C C

Jan 16, 2020

It was very insightful, comprehensive, useful and gives all the clues to understand the external politics of every country in its outlines and scopes

By Md P A K

May 31, 2019

I have learnt a lot of things in this course related to the subject. The teacher and the class were very helpful.

By Jonathan G

Mar 16, 2018

although this course was very interesting and did mention current events, it failed to mention how most world leaders or the politics in general is run by the corporate world or the rich. You very rarely see anyone starting from humble beginnings or working-class to lead a country. Politics is plutocratic by far.

By Sahrish R

Oct 25, 2019

I cannot continue with the course because I could not understand the Professor's accent. Lecture appearing in English text is incorrect grammatically in most places.

By Bhanu S

Apr 17, 2018

A very to the point course. The concepts are explained along the chronology of events from World History, this is very helpful to be able to understand the "Why" of ideas. On the second day, already half way to the 5th week. Thank you very much Professors for making this course.

By Abhishek K

Aug 13, 2021

Easily this is one of the most productive courses I have taken. If one is seriously aiming to gain in-depth knowledge of the International relations holistically, this is the best course to go to.

By Linh N

Oct 8, 2020

The course provides understanding about basic concepts of IR Theory, with quizzes and assignments and useful readings. The professors are enthusiastic and able to explain the concepts in details.

By Miceal O

Jul 5, 2020

Exceptionally good course, comprehensive, video presentations were outstanding and informative. Exams were challenging but rewarding. I highly recommend this course.

By Philippe A

Nov 9, 2019

I learnt a lot from this course, with a lot of theories and examples. I am positively surprised and very satisfied.

By Kainat K

Nov 16, 2019

Informative and precise...... helped me understand the basics of International Relations really well.

By Oscar G M

Nov 5, 2018

It is a great course about international relations! I like how themes are seen!

By Zia u i

May 7, 2019

i is my first experience to do online course but i find it really amazing.

By Hadassah N

Oct 29, 2018

Very informative and helpful in creating an understanding of this subject

By Mohammad M

Oct 21, 2019

A great course to stimulate further study on International Relations

By Ivan Z

Nov 12, 2019

Great course for understanding the basics of the IR Theory.