Obligatory

 

Introduction to International Studies (7,5 ECTS)
This course provides students with an introduction to conducting research in ‘international studies’ as an academic field. It opens with an introduction to research in International Relations at Stockholm University, as well as SU’s Graduate School of International Studies (SIS). It outlines and discusses the contours of international studies, reviews major theoretical and methodological debates in the field, and gives students practical skills in terms of navigating the process of research design and earning a PhD: support systems, writing the PM, thesis-writing milestones, conference presentations, and getting published. It serves as obligatory credit for the PhD Program in International Relations and elective credit in the SIS.

Theorising International Relations I (7,5 ECTS)
This course offers an overview of theories and conceptual tools traditionally used to study International Relations. The main aims are to (a) familiarize participants with the theories and conceptual tools used to analyze events in global affairs, and (b) explore how theories and tools can be applied to understand historical and contemporary global developments more precisely. The target group is doctoral candidates new to the field of International Relations and/or those wishing to write a thesis on an International Relations topic for an International Relations scholarly audience. A follow-up course, going deeper into alternative approaches to International Relations theory, can be offered as an optional course once this course is completed.

Global Political Economy (7,5 ECTS)
This course provides an overview of key theories and issues within the field of Global Political Economy for doctoral candidates working broadly in the orbit of International Relations. It is offered alongside, and aims to link to, other modules for PhD students in IR, such as Theorising International Relations I, and optional courses such as Critical Security Studies or Gender in IR Studies. Students taking this course will  explore the economic foundations of the contemporary international system, from the post WW-II evolution of finance, trade and production, to the most recent global recession, global migration flows, global inequality and poverty, and questions related to war and global security in the twenty-first century. 

Qualitative Methods (7,5 ECTS)
This course covers research-level qualitative methods in the social sciences with a contextual focus on International Relations. The course includes some of the major methodological issues that the doctoral student is likely to grapple with in his or her own work, including segments on the philosophy of science, research design, and, importantly, research ethics. The aim of the course is three-fold. First, the course covers terrain that is supposed directly to help the student in his or her dissertation work. Second, the course is intended to familiarize the student with methodological issues and methods that enables him or her to better evaluate a variety of scholarship in the field. Third, the course covers research ethics questions. The course consists of nine seminars and includes seminar assignments and a final paper.

Quantitative Methods (7,5 ECTS)
This course covers cutting edge quantitative methods in the social sciences with a contextual focus on International Relations. The course covers data management, descriptively mapping quantitative data, data visualization, regression analysis, and time-series regression analysis. The aim of the course is three-fold. First, the course covers methods that can be used and built on in the student's dissertation work. Second, the course is intended to familiarize the student with quantitative methods that enables him or her to rigorously test theoretical hypotheses using empirical data. Third, the course covers several advanced methods such as assumptions of linear regression, panel regression, and time series analysis. The course consists of several lectures, accompanied by computer lab sessions, and includes seminar assignments and a final paper.

 

Electives

 

Advanced Quantitative Methods (7,5 or 15 ECTS)
This course can be given as a 7.5 or 15 ECTS point course. It builds on the basic quantitative methods course in the mandatory IR PhD program and deals with a series of advanced quantitative methods in the social sciences. The main aim is that the student becomes proficient in understanding, critically evaluating, and applying times-series cross-section analysis, which is needed increasingly to analyze economic, historical, and political phenomena. This course will cover, among others, hypothesis testing, structural breaks, ARMA, ARIMA, ARCH, GARCH, VAR, unit root tests, instrumental regression.

Chinese Foreign Policy Making: Evaluating the Debate on ‘Top-down’ and ‘Bottom-up’ Processes (7,5 ECTS)
In recent years the traditional view of how foreign policy is made in China has been increasingly challenged. Rather than the conception of China’s foreign policy being dictated from the top, by one or a small number of leaders at the highest levels of the government or Chinese Communist Party (CCP), some researchers have argued that a wider number of actors, including non-governmental actors, play a role in foreign policy making. This has led to considerable debate about the extent to which ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’ processes work to produce China’s foreign policies. A sub-strand of this debate has been regarding the formation of public opinion and national identity in China, with some arguing that these are formed ‘top down’ by an all controlling government which engages in extensive opinion shaping and others arguing that public opinions or identities emerge in a bottom up fashion. This course will primarily engage with the main debate about foreign policy, whilst also covering elements of this secondary debate.

Critical Qualitative Methods (7.5 ECTS)
The aim of this reading course is to introduce the PhD candidate to specific literatures that provide both an overview and an in-depth insight into an array of prevalent qualitative methods within the social sciences that are also of relevance to the candidate’s doctoral thesis. These methods include discourse analysis (on a broader philosophical level, as well as an in-depth poststructuralist take), as well as readings touching upon the importance of self-reflexivity and the art of narrative writing. The literature assigned features scholars whose research is commonly situated within critical sub-disciplines of International Relations, including Critical Security Studies (CSS) and feminist studies. This literature questions the way that traditional methods are reproduced. Instead, it often puts the subjectivities of language, the researchers, and those “being researched” at the forefront, investigating how knowledge is constructed, reproduced, and embedded with power, as well as its implications.

Critical Security Studies (7,5 ECTS)
This course offers an advanced survey of some of the core issues in CSS. The main aim of the course is to familiarize the participants with some of the classical as well as more recent debates within the field. Going beyond the characterization of CSS in terms of different “Schools” (Copenhagen, Welsh and Paris to name the most frequently invoked), the course instead focuses on some core themes. The course explores the relation between security and identity via Campbell; security and risk via Amoore; securitization theory via Huysmans; security and gender via Wibben; security and emancipation via Nunes; and security and biopolitics via Vaughan-Williams.

European Integration Theory (7,5 ECTS)
The European Union is the world’s most advanced experiment in governance beyond the traditional nation-state. Over the course of six decades it has evolved into a political, economic, and social community that directly affects the daily lives of its citizens and with considerable global influence. Perhaps because of this, the EU has been increasingly publicly debated in recent decades. This course surveys the development of European integration theories over time. Special emphasis will be placed on the theories traditionally used to explain the EU’s development, new analytical approaches coming to the fore, and the theoretical structure of the discipline.

Key Concepts in International Studies (7,5 ECTS)
This course, offered as part of SU’s inter-departmental Graduate School of International Studies, surveyed five key concepts related to international studies across disciplines. The course, which included full professors offering customized teaching, focused on the following concepts: territory, security, nationalism/citizenship, the commons, and the media. Seminar based teaching was combined with tailored reading lists to drive discussion, and resulted in assignments and a final exam.

Legitimacy and Procedural Justice in Global Governance (7,5 ECTS)
International organizations (IOs), such as the African Union, United Nations, and World Health Organization, have seen increasing public contestation in recent decades. One of the key insights of scholarship on global governance over the past decade is that IOs have become increasingly salient and debated among citizens and elites. This course assesses to what extent and on what grounds citizens, elites, NGOs, and states perceive IOs to be legitimate, i.e., whether they perceive an IO’s exercise of authority to be appropriate. It also engages in explaining why IOs are perceived to be varyingly legitimate, foregrounding procedural fairness theory that posits that the way in which authoritative decisions are made strongly impacts people’s willingness to accept them.

Power and Identity in International Relations (7,5 ECTS)
The aim of this reading course is to provide students with an overview of the literature on power and identity in the field of International Relations. In particular, the course focuses on different definitions and conceptualizations of power; covers origins and conceptualizations of (state) identity; ontological security and how discourses & narratives relate to questions of identity and power. Special attention is paid to Japan, China and East Asia in general. 

Producing National and Global Security: Organizational and Institutional Change (7,5 ECTS)
This course will examine various security threats and explore the ways in which they can be identified, understood, responded to and mobilized around on a discursive and material basis. The emphasis is on discursive and material interventions attached to a security outcome and how these operate jointly. In contrast to Critical Security Studies, the goal is not to deconstruct or analyze existing regimes of security (or what security means), but rather to understand how discursive and material mobilizations operate as part of a coordinated system which manifests itself in material outcomes. The course examines both openings and closures related to both discursive and material mobilizations.

The craft of writing peer reviewed journal articles (7.5 ECTS) – runs in May 2021
The course provides PhD students with skills that are useful when writing and publishing peer reviewed journal articles. It covers aspects of the article writing and publishing process, including how to identify suitable journals, how to develop and clarify the argument and contribution of a paper, how to engage with reviewers and editors, and how to co-author articles. The course presents concrete techniques for using short texts or abstracts to develop papers and offers participants the opportunity to develop and receive feedback on their own article drafts. It also introduces participants to academic literature on how writing groups can assist PhD students in the writing and publishing process. 

Qualitative Textual Analysis (7.5 ECTS)
The purpose of the course is to introduce the PhD candidate to the craft of qualitative textual analysis. The PhD candidate is expected to be able to identify suitable methods in relation to specific research questions, illustrate skills in relation to the application of the textual analysis (including coding, where relevant) on a small sample of empirical material and to assess strengths and weaknesses associated with particular forms of qualitative textual analysis in relation to these questions. Issues of coherence and relevance of different methods in relation to the research questions should be addressed. Particular attention is devoted to qualitative content analysis, thematic analysis and visual analysis. The course is a reading course where the student independently reads the literature, chooses empirical material and writes a paper for examination.

Theorizing International Relations II (7, 5 ECTS)
This course is typically offered in the form of a ‘reading course’, by which students focus in on a particular theoretical school of thought in international relations. Such a course would be tailored to the students’ intellectual needs, for instance in relation to her thesis work. In the past we have held courses on ‘Constructivism in International Relations’, ‘Identity Construction in the State System’, ‘Nuclear Non-Proliferation: theories and concepts’, ‘Norms in the International System’, and ‘Securitization Theory’.