O.P. Jindal Global University
Power and Foreign Policy in International Relations
O.P. Jindal Global University

Power and Foreign Policy in International Relations

Taught in English

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9,428 already enrolled


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals


(85 reviews)

Beginner level

Recommended experience

16 hours to complete
3 weeks at 5 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace
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What you'll learn

  • Infer why any given nation-state behaves in a certain way in the world.

  • Explain how relative strength and weakness create opportunities and constraints in foreign policymaking.

  • Analyze the causes for power shifts and changes in the international order over time.

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There are 7 modules in this course

Welcome to the Power and Foreign Policy in International Relations course! This course acquaints you with how power matters in the conduct of international relations and how it affects the strategies and tactics of a nation-state in dealing with other nation-states. It demonstrates the link between a country’s ranking in the international system and the means and methods it adopts to deal with the rest of the world. The course begins with introducing a few concepts about what constitutes power in world affairs, how it is calculated, and how the international power configuration changes over time. You will also learn what foreign policy means and what its constituent elements, strategies, or activities are.  Then,  the course delves deeper into case studies of contemporary great powers, middle powers, and small powers. These empirical case studies will raise the general knowledge of students about current developments and trends in foreign relations from different regions of the world. The examples of foreign policy approaches and decisions of nation-states, based on world news events of recent times, will help students to figure out the essence of world politics as it is being practiced in present times and prepare students to anticipate the future international orders to come.   

What's included

2 videos1 reading

In this module, you will learn about what power means in international relations and how it is measured in terms of specific attributes of a nation-state. You will also learn about core concepts such as international power configuration and international order and the role of units (nation-states and non-state actors) in these structures. The module also analyzes what foreign policy means, how it is formulated on the basis of national interests, why a nation-state adopts a particular type of foreign policy, and how all this is inextricably linked to its power position in the international system. By the end of this module, you will gain an insight into why a great power behaves in a manner that is different from the behavior of a middle power or a small power.

What's included

10 videos4 readings1 quiz1 discussion prompt

In this module, you will build upon the earlier awareness of power and foreign policy behavior. You will closely examine the conduct of the USA, which has been a key great power since the end of World War II, and how it shaped the post-World War II international system through a variety of strategies and means. You will also gain an insight into how there was a shift in the policies of the USA in tandem with the changes in the international power configuration from the Cold War era of bipolarity to the post-1991 unipolar period and then again from bipolarity to the present emergent multipolar world order. By the end of this module, you can appreciate how the USA has dealt with fellow great powers and weaker powers and what kind of grand strategy has motivated the USA since 1945.

What's included

10 videos3 readings1 quiz1 discussion prompt

In this module, you will learn about concepts like power and foreign policy in the context of an emerging middle power, India, which is estimated to have the potential of becoming a great power. You will also learn how India’s rise in the past two decades is closely associated with its high economic growth, its international multilateral alignments and strategic partnerships, and the vision of its political leadership to attain the status of a leading power in the world. The module will take you along India’s journey from being a sub-regional power in South Asia to an Asian regional power and an important balancing power in present times in the broader Indo-Pacific. Finally, you will gain an insight into the factors pushing India up in the international power configurations and the domestic political obstacles to its rise.

What's included

10 videos3 readings1 quiz1 discussion prompt

In this module, you will learn about the tiny Persian Gulf monarchy of Qatar, which has adopted a foreign policy mix of alliance with the USA while simultaneously pursuing an independent and ambitious form of assertiveness vis-à-vis its regional competitors. The module discusses the rise of Qatar as a fossil fuel colossus and how it parlayed its natural resource abundance to punch above its weight in the Middle East and global energy institutions. You will also learn why Qatar moved to a policy of supporting Islamist political groups in the region and beyond and how it capitalized on being a small power to become a moderator and mediator in multiple armed conflict zones. Finally, the module also explains how regime survival is a critical driver of foreign policy in this authoritarian country.

What's included

10 videos3 readings1 quiz1 discussion prompt

This module describes the learning objectives, project brief, review criteria, and submission instructions for the Peer Review Individual Assignment for the course.

What's included

1 peer review

What's included

1 video


Instructor ratings
4.9 (33 ratings)
Sreeram Sundar Chaulia
O.P. Jindal Global University
2 Courses9,644 learners

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Taking this course by O.P. Jindal Global University may provide you with a preview of the topics, materials and instructors in a related degree program which can help you decide if the topic or university is right for you.

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