Teaching plan for the course unit


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General information


Course unit name: Topics in International Policy

Course unit code: 570427

Academic year: 2017-2018

Coordinator: Pedro Vilanova Trias

Department: Department of Political Science, Constitutional Law and Philosophy of Law

Credits: 5

Single program: S



Estimated learning time

Total number of hours 125


Face-to-face learning activities



-  Lecture with practical component



Supervised project


Independent learning






Any student can enrol and complete the subject, although it is useful to be familiar with knowledge of related social sciences such as political science and sociology.



Competences to be gained during study


— Skills in techniques, procedures and analysis tools for international politics.

— Ability to develop an analytical mind and research drive with an international perspective. 

— Ability to present research in different formats.

— Understanding of the different schools and epistemological and methodological approaches in political science and international relations.

— Skills in critical analysis of current political and social problems.

— Ability to distinguish the normative and empirical levels of political science reflections, and learn to adapt them to a specific problem. 

— Ability to think strategically. 





Learning objectives


Referring to knowledge

— To analyse the contemporary international system in a process of globalization.
— To analyse the players involved in this system, their typologies and processes of relation.
— To analyse the structural trends of change and continuity in the system.
— To analyse case studies with the relevant criteria.
— To pay special attention to the Europeist process, its nature and functions in the global system.



Teaching blocks


1. Basic methods and concepts of political science in contemporary analysis: Political system and political theory

2. Applications of current analytical and methodological tools to the international system

3. Main theoretical trends and schools of thought applied to the global system

4. Players in the international system and possible typologies: State, international organizations and transnational players

5. Relation processes between players: Conflict, cooperation, use of force, integration, interdependence

6. Foreign policy as public State policy in its relation with the global environment

7. Expansion of so-called multilevel government structures and their adaptation to the global system

8. The problem of comprehensive security at a global scale and implementation difficulties; Is global governance possible?

9. Empirical case studies, with special attention to the Europeist process and its different variables



Teaching methods and general organization


The methodology for this subject is develop through the following activities:

— Face-to-face sessions led by the lecturer with participation in groups that are assessed for the final grade.
— Thematic sessions on topics of current or academic relevance.
— Written assignments on specific topics that are discussed in class during the semester.
— Final assignment (paper) with academic structure, to be discussed at the beginning of the course. The topic must be agreed upon with the lecturer.

Attention: This subject is taught in Spanish (60%) and in English (40%) depending on the characteristics of the group.



Official assessment of learning outcomes


Students are assessed on the following aspects:

— 40% of the final grade is based on the assessment of mid-semester assignments and active class participation, as explained in the teaching methodology section.

— 60% of the final grade is based on the final assignment as explained in the methodology section.



Reading and study resources

Consulteu la disponibilitat a CERCABIB


BARBÉ, E. Relaciones internacionales. 3ª ed. Madrid: Tecnos, 2007.

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

BAYLIS, J. SMITH. S. The globalization of World politics. 7th ed. Oxford [etc.] : Oxford University Press, cop. 2017.

Catāleg UB  Enllaç
Catāleg UB (6a ed., 2014)  Enllaç
Catāleg UB (4a ed., 2008)  Enllaç
Catāleg UB (3a ed., 2005)  Enllaç

BERRIDGE, G.R. International politics: states, power and conflicts since 1945. 3rd ed. New York [etc.] : Harvester-Wheatsheaf, 1997.

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

BRZEZINSKI, Z. El Gran tablero mundial. Barcelona: Paidós, 1998.

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

HALLIDAY, Fred. The World at 2000: perils and promises. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001 .

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

HUNTINGTON, S. P. El choque de civilizaciones y la reconfiguración del orden mundial. Barcelona [etc.]: Paidós, 2005.

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

NYE, J.S. & DONAHUE J.D. Governance in a Globalizing World. Cambridge (Mass.): Visions of Governance for the 21st Century ; Washington (Wash.): Brookings Institution Press, cop. 2000.

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

VILANOVA, P. Orden y desorden a escala global. Madrid: Síntesis, DL 2006.

Catāleg UB  Enllaç

ZORGBIBE, Ch. Historia de las relaciones internacionales. Madrid: Alianza, cop. 1997. 2 vols.

Catāleg UB  Enllaç


VILANOVA, P. "El Estado y el sistema internacional". A:  Manual de Ciencia Política. 3a ed. Madrid : Tecnos, 2006.

Catāleg UB  Enllaç
Catāleg UB (4a ed., 2015)  Enllaç