Course Description

This course provides an introduction to international relations, focusing on the dynamics of global politics, diplomacy, and international cooperation. Students will explore key concepts such as sovereignty, nationalism, globalization, and international law. The course examines the roles of international organizations, treaties, and alliances, along with contemporary issues like climate change, human rights, and global security.

Through case studies, class discussions, and research projects, students will gain a deeper understanding of the factors that influence relationships between nations. They will also analyze current events to understand how international relations shape world affairs. This course is ideal for students interested in politics, history, or global studies, offering a comprehensive look at the complexities of the international system.

Course Details


Eleventh Grade Twelfth Grade

Course Objectives

  • Understand the fundamental concepts of international relations.
  • Explore the roles of international organizations, treaties, and alliances.
  • Examine contemporary issues impacting global politics.
  • Analyze case studies and current events to understand global dynamics.
  • Develop critical thinking and research skills in the context of international relations.

Course Outline

Unit 1: Introduction to International Relations

  • What is International Relations?
    • Overview of international relations as a field of study.
    • Basic concepts such as state sovereignty and nationalism.
  • Theories of International Relations
    • Introduction to key theories like realism, liberalism, and constructivism.
    • Understanding how these theories influence global politics.

Unit 2: International Organizations and Treaties

  • International Organizations
    • Examination of major international organizations (e.g., United Nations, World Bank, WHO).
    • Roles and functions of these organizations in global politics.
  • International Treaties and Agreements
    • Overview of significant treaties and agreements in history.
    • Understanding the impact of international law on nations.

Unit 3: Diplomacy and Foreign Policy

  • The Art of Diplomacy
    • Basic principles of diplomacy and negotiation.
    • Exploring the role of diplomats and diplomatic protocols.
  • Foreign Policy and National Interests
    • Understanding how nations develop and implement foreign policy.
    • Examining different approaches to foreign policy.

Unit 4: Global Issues and Challenges

  • Human Rights and Social Justice
    • Exploring international human rights frameworks.
    • Case studies on human rights violations and international responses.
  • Climate Change and Environmental Challenges
    • Understanding the global impact of climate change.
    • Examining international agreements on environmental protection.

Unit 5: Conflict and Global Security

  • Global Conflicts and Wars
    • Analysis of historical and current global conflicts.
    • Understanding the causes and consequences of wars in the modern era.
  • International Security and Terrorism
    • Overview of global security threats, including terrorism.
    • Examining international efforts to combat terrorism and promote security.

Unit 6: Case Studies and Contemporary Issues

  • Case Studies in International Relations
    • In-depth case studies of specific international events or conflicts.
    • Group projects and presentations on selected case studies.
  • Contemporary International Issues
    • Analysis of current events and their impact on international relations.
    • Discussion of emerging trends in global politics.

Expected Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will have a comprehensive understanding of international relations concepts and the dynamics of global politics. They will have developed skills in critical thinking, research, and analysis, allowing them to understand the complexities of international issues and their impact on the modern world. This course aims to prepare students for further studies in international relations, political science, or related fields.

Coming soon.

Coming soon.

Dr. Michael Murdock

Michael Murdock holds  a PhD in Modern Chinese history from the University of Michigan. For 30 years he taught history, international relations, and political science courses at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Bowling Green State, Brigham Young University-Provo, and Brigham Young University-Hawaii. His primary expertise lies in the history and contemporary developments of Asia, but he also enjoys European and North American history and politics. Raised by educator parents, Michael saw examples of exceptional teaching from his youth. He believes that good teaching is an act of Christ-like love. He loves using models and examples from history to explain conditions today.