PSIR Postgraduate Course Outlines

Economics and Administrative Sciences Undergraduate Programs

Course Outlines

PSIR 501 Social and Political Theory

This course is an advance seminar in social and political theory. The purpose of this course is to explore the widely dispersed scenery of theory and the major themes that have been recurrently questioned in the modern age. Those themes will include the individual and society; formation of the modern state; domination and inequality; power and resistance. In other words, we will question the fundamental bases and concepts of modernity.

The course will follow the historical development of the modern thought and therefore will begin with the key Enlightenment thinkers. The first half of the course will follow the early modern thinkers who set the stage for questioning the composition of modern politics and society. In the second half of the course we will focus the contemporary thinkers and investigate how the early modern social and political theory has been influenced by worldwide crises, namely the World War II and its aftermath.Â

Early Moderns I: The Origins of the Liberal State
Early Moderns II: Critiques of the Liberal State
Modernity and Capitalism I: Radical Critique
Modernity and Capitalism II: Rationalism
Modernity and Capitalism III: Anomie
Crisis of Modernity I: Action and Freedom
Crisis of Modernity II: Victim and Obedience
Modernity and Ethics II: Democracy and Communication
Modernity and Ethics III: Power and Politics
Key Terms of 21st Century I: Violence
Key Terms of 21st Century II: Exception
Required Readings:
Agamben, G.State of Exception  (Chicago University Press)
Arendt, H.The Portable Hanna Arendt (Penguin Books)
Bauman, Z.Modernity and the Holocaust (Polity)
Butler, J.Precarious Life: Power of Mourning and Violence (Verso)
Durkheim, E.Rules of Sociological Method (Free Press)
Division of Labor in Society (Free Press)
Foucault, M Essential Works of Michel Foucault (Penguin Books)
Habermas J.Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action (Polity)
Inclusion of the Other (MIT Press)
Between Facts and Norms (Polity)
Hobbes, TÂ Leviathan (Cambridge)
Hume, D. Political Essays (Cambridge)
Locke, J. Second Treatise (Hackett)
Marx, K. The Marx-Engels Reader (Norton)
Rawls J. A Theory of Justice (Belknap Press)
Rousseau, J. J. Social Contract (Hackett)
Weber M. Selections in Translation (Cambridge)


PSIR 502 Comparative Political Development

This is not a straightforward comparative politics course. The main aim of the course is to analyse the changing nature of politics in the developing world in the twenty-first century. In doing so the course emphasizes the interconnectedness of political, economic and social development in an increasingly globalized world. A central goal of the course is to familiarize students with the main concepts and theories of political development and enable them to use them in the analysis of contemporary societies of the developing world. The state and society relations occupy a central position in trying to explore the nature of politics in the developing countries of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. The course considers the relationship between political systems, democracy, poverty and development.

Required Readings:
Callinicos, A. (2009) Imperialism and Global Political Economy. Polity, Cambridge. 

Cammack, P., Pool, D & Tordoff, W.  (1993) Third World Politics: A Comparative Introduction.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Caramani,  D. (2011) Comparative politics. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Chilcote, R.H. (1998) Theories of Comparative Politics: The Search for a Paradigm. Westview, Boulder.

Clapham, C. (1985) Third World Politics. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WI

Evans, P. (1992) ‘The State as Problem and Solution: Predation, Embedded Autonomy, and Structural Change.’ In Haggard and Kaufman, eds., The Politics of Economic Adjustment. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Gereffi, G. (1994) ‘Rethinking Development Theory: Insights from East Asia and Latin America.’ In Kincaid, D. and Portes, A. (eds), Comparative National Development: Society and Economy in the New Global Order. UNC Press, pp. 26-56

Hagopian, F. 2000, ‘Political Development Revisited’ Comparative Political Studies, 33 (6-7): 880-911.
Harvey, D. (2005) The New Imperialism, pp.137-182. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Kamrava, M. (2008), Understanding Comparative Politics: A Framework for Analysis. Routledge, London.

Kohli, K. (2004) State-Directed Development: Political Power and Industrialization in the Global Periphery.Cambridge: Cambridge University

Skocpol, T. (1979) States and Social Revolutions. Verso, London.

Wood, E.M. (2003), Democracy against Capitalism. Verso, London.

Wood, E.M. (2002) The Origin of Capitalism. Verso, London.

Wright, E.O. (2005) Approaches to Class Analysis. Cambridge University Press.


PSIR 503 International Relations in History and Theory: The Making of the Modern World

This course provides a foundation in the theoretical and historical analysis of core ideas in International Relations. It introduces and critically surveys the normative and analytic development of modern International Relations in its enquiry into the making of modern world orders.
Addressing primarily the five different historical problematical expressions of world order in the modern period – classical imperialism, liberal internationalism, totalitarian internationalism, Cold War, and globalisation – this course examines the development of different traditions of thinking and conceptualisations about the nature of the international. Thus the major schools of international theory-including various normative traditions, realism, neo-realism, systems theory, liberal institutionalism, cosmopolitanism, communitarianism, marxism and neo-Gramscian, constructivism and post-structuralism-will be examined for their theoretical merits and in relation to their historical emergence. In addition the relationship between international theory and broader social theory will be considered through reference to the debates in idealism and realism, traditionalism and behaviouralism, and positivism and post-positivism.
In so doing, these various theories of international relations will refer to the history of inter-state practices; account for the emergence, consolidation and dissipation of states, nations, and other social forces; identify and explain the notion of structures in international relations; debate the role of ideas and values in social scientific investigation; and examine the abiding international themes of war, conflict, cooperation and peace.              

      • Political theory, social theory, international theory : the problem of history
      • The International in classical political theory
      • International society and the state of nature
      • Republicanism and universalism
      • New imperialism and the rise of nationalism
      • World war and inter-imperial rivalry
      • Liberalism and the new internationalism : idealism in IR
      • The end of peace and the resurgence of Realism
      • Cold War and exterminism International Relations as a system and a science
      • Liberalism and the new internationalism : from neo-realism to neo-liberalism
      • Marxism and IR
      • Post-structuralism in a globalising world
      • The making of the modern world order

Required Readings:
Blaut, J. The coloniser’s model of the world : geographical diffusionism and eurocentrism. Guilford Press, New York. 1993.

Brown, W., Bromley, S., & Athreye, S. (eds) Ordering the international : history, change and transformation.Pluto, London. 2004.

Burchill, S. et. al., Theories of international relations. Palgrave Macmillan,
Basingstoke. 2005. [3rd ed]

Fieldhouse, D. K. The west and the third world. Blackwell, Oxford. 1999.

Halperin, S. War and social change in modern Europe : the Great Transformation revisited. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 2003.

Jahn, B. The cultural construction of international relations : the invention of the state of nature. Macmillan, Basingstoke. 2000.

Jahn, B. (ed) Classical theory in International Relations. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 2006.

Keohane, R. Neorealism and its critics. Columbia University Press, New York. 1988.

Kolko, G. A century of war : politics, conflicts and society since 1914. New Press, New York. 1995.

Rosenberg, J. The empire of civil society. : a critique of the realist theory of International Relations. Verso, London. 1994.

Teschke, B. The myth of 1648 : class, geopolitics and the making of modern international relations. Verso, London. 2003.


PSIR 504 Global Political Economy

This course is a graduate introduction to Global Political Economy (GPE). It strives to develop an understanding of interplay between economics and politics and interaction of states and markets from an international and global perspective. It is designed to provide you a graduate level survey of some of the main lines of debate in IPE; develop solid knowledge of important issues in IPE; and enhance understanding of key concepts, approaches, and methodologies. Also, the goal is for you to look at recent research in GPE and gain understanding of the dynamics of international and domestic politics of economy policymaking.
The course is divided into two parts. In Part I we will tackle definitional, conceptual, theoretical issues and study major contending approaches to the international political economy. In Part II we will analyze the main topics in GPE: international trade, international production and investment, international money and finance, and development. The course will also connect theory with application since current events on related topics will be discussed to facilitate debates of different ideas and policy options in GPE.

    • What is IPE?
    • Realism and Its Variants
    • Liberalism and Its Variants
    • Marxism and Its Variants
    • International Trade: An Overview
    • International Trade: Interest-based Perspectives
    • International Production and investment: An Overview
    • International Production and Investment: Multinational Corporations 
    • Money and Finance: Background
    • Money and Finance: Capital Controls and Financial Crises
    • Development


PSIR 505 Research Methods for Social and Political Sciences

The course offers a detailed examination for social and political science research methods by focusing on theoretical and practical aspects of social inquiry. It suggests that the significance of the research methods is profound for social science students on several levels. Awareness about the research methods helps us to develop a greater sense of existing scholarly works in the literature and to produce well-developed scholarly works, such as research papers and dissertations. In addition, an understanding of the research methods may help us to make a better sense of our everyday experience in the society given that the research methods begins with one simple statement which we face at any moment in our everyday relations: To get the right answer, one has to ask the right question.

The first part of the course deals with several theories about conducting researches on social phenomena and their implications on research methods. It aims to explore various answers to several research-related questions: To what extent do social phenomena resemble to natural phenomena? Can we examine social relations by utilizing methods from natural sciences? To what extent a researcher can be objective in examining the social phenomena? What is the position of the researcher in the society and the scientific community? The second part of the course deals with social research design. It examines issues such as developing a research question or a problem, identifying the themes and determining the methods to answer the research questions. The last part of the course focuses on the specific research methods. It examines quantitative methods such as structured interviews, questionnaires, surveys, and qualitative methods such as semi-structured interviews, focus group interviews, and participant observation as well as archival research and literature review.

      • Introduction to central debates and basic concepts in research
      • Philosophy of social science
      • Theory and research I: Positivism and the growth of knowledge perspective
      • Theory and Research II: Criticism of positivism: Constructivism and critical theory
      • Facts and values
      • Research question and theory
      • Research design and proposal design
      • Forms of research
      • Measurement : Validity, reliability and credibility of research
      • Structured interviews, Surveys, questionnaires and sampling
      • Semi-structured interviews, participant observation, focus group discussions
      • Conversation analysis, discourse analysis, content analysisÂ
      • Data analysis and writing up 


PSIR 506 International Human Rights and Conflict

The course will consider human rights and the inherent problems that arise in times of conflict. We will examine the variety of actors to conflict, the impact of political systems, the importance of how conflicts are defined, capacities for derogating from human rights, the integration of humanitarian norms and human rights, and the possibility for considering redress of human rights violations deriving from conflict situations.

    • Introduction
    • Human rights – summarized
    • Human rights and conflict resolution – overview of issues
    • Peacekeeping and human rights
    • The role of NGOs – Human rights and conflict
    • Political systems – democracy, conflict and rights
    • Re-defining conflict and (human) security via rights
    • Human rights and public emergency
    • Rights of individuals in context of conflict
    • International humanitarian law and human rights I
    • International humanitarian law and human rights II
    • International humanitarian law and human rights III
    • Punishment as an inroad to resolving conflicts
    •  Conclusion : international human rights and conflict


PSIR 508 Ethnic Conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean

This course introduces students to key theories and concepts in the study of ethnicity, nationalism, and ethno-national conflict. Students will be asked to use these concepts in a comparative study of three cases of intractable conflict in the eastern Mediterranean: Israel/Palestine, Cyprus, and Turkey’s Kurdish question. We will focus on how ethnic identities have been created and maintained; the immediate causes and consequences of conflict; and the ways in which ethnic conflicts may be comparatively examined. We will especially concentrate on recent literature on developments in the conflicts of focus, as well as on how conflicts are affected by international actors, by globalization, and by conflict resolution initiatives.

1.Introduction: Key concepts in the study of ethnic conflict
2:The comparative study of ethnicity and nationalism
I.Israel/Palestine and the making of ethnicity
3.A historical view of the conflict
4.The role of displacement
5.The internationalization of the Palestinian problem
6.Palestinians within Israel
II.  Cyprus between two “homelands”
7.A historical view of the conflict
8.The role of Greece and Turkey
9.The remaking of place through partition
10.Current initiatives and stumbling-blocks
III.  The Kurdish question
11.A historical view of the conflict
12.The role of the diaspora
13.The PKK in the 1990’s
14.The “Kurdish opening”


PSIR 510 International Relations of Global Environmental Change

The course is intended to address such matters as a brief history of international environmental regulation; varieties of international environmental agreements (IEAs); the concept of the ‘international’ in IEAs; international environmental regulatory institutions; why is there no World Environmental Organisations; the concept of the global in global environmental change; the concept of crisis in ‘global environmental crisis’; varieties of global environmentalism; discourses of the earth; global environmental movements; linking the local and the global; sustainability and development on a global scale, and the politics that arise thereof.
The course moves from a formal analysis of international environmental agreements to a consideration of the political economy of environmental change. Through this movement, the form and content of international environmental agreements will be examined by students; the place of IEAs within global regulation will be considered by students, and they will be expected to pay particular reference to questions of environmental effectiveness; the status, significance and action of a range of non-state agents will be analysed and assessed; whilst all aspects will be considered by students in the context of structured global patterns of production and consumption. In addition to familiarity with the principal historical developments in the IR of GEC, considerable attention will be paid to the politics of representation of ‘crisis’ and the ideological transformation in ‘environmental’ actions.

    • International environmental agreements : a history (I) and outlining their variety (II)
    • International environmental agreements : outlining their variety (II)
    • International environmental agreements : specifying the instruments (III)
    • International environmental agreements : equity, effectiveness and the problem of the free-rider (IV)
    • Global environmental change : some definitions (I)
    • Global environmental change and the characterisation of crisis. (II)
    • Global environmental change and the place of the local (III)
    • Global environmental change and the experience of risk society (IV)
    • Ideologies of environmentalism : the neo-Malthusian orthodoxy (I)
    • Ideologies of environmentalism : ecological economics and ‘small is beautiful’ (II)
    • Ideologies of environmentalism : sustainable development (III)
    • Ideologies of environmentalism : ecological modernisation (IV)
    • Greening international organisations : the United Nations system (I)
    • Greening international organisations : private and non-governmental organisations (II)


PSIR 512 International Environmental Law and Law of the Sea

This course examines the evolution and application, through an International Relations perspective, of two major bodies of public international law, namely international environmental law and law of the sea. Following an introduction to the history, character and application of public international law, the course is divided into two parts. The first part examines the evolution, principles and application of law of the sea, with particular reference to the semi-enclosed seas of the Mediterranean basin. The second part examines the evolution, principles and application of international environmental law, including EU environmental law, again with particular reference to the ecology and economies of the eastern Mediterranean.
The course objectives are for students to become familiar with the key principles of public international law; to become knowledgeable about the key principles of international environmental law; to become knowledgeable about the key principles of law of the sea; to become knowledgeable of the international history of environmental and marine resource exploitation, both as sources and as sinks; to become knowledgeable of the relationship of environmental and marine resource exploitation and global ideology of sustainability; to become knowledgeable in the geo-political and geo-strategic implications of environmental law and law of the sea.

      • Introduction to International Environmental Law and Law of the Sea
      • Legal Subjects and Sources in International Law
      • Jurisdiction, Disputes and Peaceful Settlement in International Law
      • The Evolution of International Law, with special emphasis on law of the sea
      • The UNCLOS process : history and consequences
      • Boundary and Jurisdictional Disputes in the Law of the Sea
      • The Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea in the Law of the Sea
      • Laws of Marine Environment and Seabed Resource Exploitation
      • International Environmental Law and the Collapse of Global Fisheries
      • Marine and Atmospheric Pollution Law
      • Principles of International & EU Environmental Law
      • Legislation, Monitoring and Enforcement
      • Disputes settlement in international environmental law
      • Conclusion : international environmental law and law of the sea on the path to a sustainable world


PSIR 514 Introduction to post-Soviet studies

The principal aim of this course is to provide the students of the Eurasian Master’s Program with the necessary tools and methods (main theoretical models and debates in area studies) when studying the region which will be helpful also in the context of the other courses offered by the same Program. It also aims to offer to the students of the region not only a comprehensive conceptualization of the concept of Eurasia but also some essential and basic knowledge about each country both in a historical context and in the light of current developments and transformations.

The course will first cover the state of Soviet Studies –Sovietology-, transition (transitology) and post-Soviet studies (Post-Sovietology). The main aim here is to provide knowledge on the main theoretical and methodological debates and main paradigms on how to study Soviet and post-Soviet states. Secondly, main research strategies and techniques for the study of post-Soviet transition will be identified. Thirdly, this course will focus on each Eurasian country including Russia and Ukraine, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, the Baltic states, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzhstan, and Turkmenistan covering the diverse ethnic, geographical/strategic, demographic, political, cultural and societal similarities and/or differences of each Eurasian country with a comparative dimension.

    • Introduction
    • The state of Soviet studies
    • ‘Transitology’, post-Sovietology and Eurasian studies
    • Research techniques used in the study of post- Soviet transition
    • The Caucasus as a region of study 1: The case of Azerbaijan
    • The Caucasus as a region of study 2: The case of Armenia
    • The Caucasus as a region of study 3: The case of Georgia
    • The Baltic states
    • Russia
    • Ukraine and Belarussia
    • Central Asia as a region of Study 1: the Case of Kazakhstan
    • Central Asia as a region of Study 2: the Case of Kyrgyzstan
    • Central Asia as a region of study 3: the Case of Turkmenistan
    • Conclusion : post-Soviet studies


PSIR 591 Globalisation and its Discontents

This course conducts a historically grounded social analysis of what is loosely called but often strongly assumed process of globalisation. It will analyse the history of globalisation/s in order to show to what extent this phenomenon is pre-modern, modern or post-modern. It will critically examine theories of globalisation from key social thinkers. After scrutinizing the concept and the historical phenomenon associated with it, the course will focus on the recent social, political and economic effects of globalisation that manifest themselves in various forms and intensity if different parts of the world.

      • Introduction: course aims, plans and details
      • Fundamental concepts: capitalism, globalisation and capitalist globalisation
      • History of capitalism: transition from feudalism to capitalism, a Western Story?
      • History of globalisation I: Conquest, plunder and Iberian and British imperial globalisation(s)
      • History of globalisation II: Pax Americana, new imperialism and globalisation
      • Economy: global production and finance
      • Economy and Inequality: trade and global inequality
      • Inequality: gender and globalization
      • Migration: patterns and effects of migration
      • Culture: technological change, media and cultural globalization
      • Politics and globalisation I: the changing roles and functions of nation-states
      • Politics and globalisation II: Changes in global politics
      • Sociological views on globalisation
      • Global social movements and anti-globalisation

Although it is possible in principle to complete the Masters program in three semesters, in practice the expected minimum is four semesters with most students expecting to complete and submit their thesis for defence just prior to the fifth semester. Thus students should expect a typical registration on the Master’s program of two full academic years.
Nevertheless students have up to four semesters (after finishing their taught courses) in order to complete their thesis.

The elective courses offered are tailored wherever possible to the broad interests of the particular cohort of students. In addition to selecting from the list of graduate electives (500 codes), Masters students may take a maximum of one elective from the final year undergraduate elective options (400 codes). Dedicated graduate electives offered hitherto in the program include the following,

    • PSIR 506 International Human Rights and Conflict
    • PSIR 508 Ethnic Conflict in the Middle East
    • PSIR 510 International Relations of Global Environmental Change
    • PSIR 512 International Environmental Law and Law of the Sea
    • PSIR 514 Introduction to post-Soviet Studies
    • PSIR 591 Special Topics in International Relations : Globalisation and its Discontents