Teaching‎ > ‎



Prof. Choi, Jong Kun

Yonhee Hall 113-1 / 2123-5946   E-mail: Jongchoi@yonsei.ac.kr, Twitter ID: @jongchoiysu


Background Motive

This course provides an introduction to major theoretical and policy issues in international relations. Theoretically, we will focus on

two enduring questions in IR - (1) why do nations go to war ? and (2) why do they cooperate ? These puzzles will 

recur throughout the semester. We will also review major actors and structures in IR : states, markets, NGOs, anarchy,

international laws and organizations, and domestic politics. Part I introduces general concepts and theories of IR, which will be the

first half of the semester. And Part II will blend IR theories with the current issues of IR and see how theories can help understand

the world of IR. This course is carefully designed to provide introduction to IR without a set textbook so that students 

can be exposed to various views on IR rather than be fixated on a particular worldview. So be ready for a good amount of

readings and be not afraid of the materials that you may find difficult to digest. I will help.


Course Evaluation

Attendance : 10 % (TRUST ME THIS IS CRITICAL!) In-class attendance : 10% Midterm Exam:40% Final Exam : 40%

Course Schedule

Students MUST READ and BE PREPARED FOR discussions and questions in class.


Week 1. 09.05.

No Class.


Week 2. 09.12. Concepts in International Relations.

 Stephen M. Walt, "International Relations: One World, Many Theories", Foreign Policy (Spring, 1998)

Jack Snyder, “One World, Rival Theories,” Foreign Policy (November/December 2004), pp. 53-62.


Week 3. 09.19.

No Class due to Chuseok


Week 4. 09.26. Anarchy and IR 

Kenneth Waltz, “The Anarchic Structure of World Politics,” Art and Jervis, pp. 29-49. 


Week 5. 10.03

No Class due to the National Foundation Day


Week 6. 10. 10 Realism : War

Kenneth N. Waltz, "The Origins of War in Neorealist Theory." Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 18, 4 (Spring 1988): 615-28.


Week 7. 10.17 Realism II : Alliances 

 Stephen M. Walt, "Alliances : Balancing and Bandwagoning" Art and Jervis, pp.96-103. 


Week 8. 10.24

No Class But EXAM


Week 9. 10.31 Liberalism : Liberal Principles

 Michael Doyle,"Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs", Philosophy and Public Affairs  Vol.12 No. 3. (Fall, 1983), pp.205-235. 


Week 10. 11.07 Liberalism II : International Organization and Interdependence 

 Robert O. Keohane, "International Institutions: Can Interdependence Work?" Foreign Policy (Spring, 1998).


Week 11. 11.14 Constructivism:Anarchy Revisited 

 Alexander Wendt, "Anarchy is what states make of it" in Art and Jervis, pp. 61-68. 


Week 12. 11.21 Constructivism II : Norm 

Jeffrey T. Checkel, "Norms, Institutions, and National Identity in Contemporary Europe",International Studies Quarterly , Vol. 43, No. 1 (Mar., 1999), pp. 83-114 


Week 13. 11.28 IR in Action I : Future of American Power. - American Primacy - American Decline 

William Wohlforth and Stephen Brooks, “American Primacy in Perspective,” Foreign Affairs 81, (July/August 2002)

Niall Ferguson, “Hegemony or Empire?” Foreign Affairs (September/October 2003).



Week 14. 12.5 IR in Action II : Rise of China -Power Transition -Northeast Asia 

John Mearsheimer and Zbigniew Brzezinski, "Clash of the Titans," Foreign Policy,

(Jan/Feb. 2005).



Week 15. 12.12 IR in Action III: North Korea 

Victor Cha and David Kang, “Think Again: the Korea crisis,” Foreign Policy (May/June 2003), pp. 20-28.



Week 16. 12.19 Final examinations