Major Overview

As you delve into the exciting new challenges presented by our rapidly changing world, we will help you achieve a more sophisticated understanding of the allocation of ideas and resources across nations and societies, with expanded exploration of the complex relationships between the national and international, the local and global, and the corporate and civil. At a time when the interactions among different political actors affect all our lives, we want to help you find your own path towards participation in a systematic study of political institutions, processes, and behaviors that can help you understand some of the biggest questions of our day.  


The educational goals for this major are as follows:

  • You will develop mastery of the disciplinary corpus covered by ICP studies (international relations theory, international political economy, international law, comparative politics, and political philosophy).
  • You will be equipped with the analytical tools and methods needed for rigorous thinking about and engaging in research over core issues of world politics.
  • You will communicate ideas (written and oral) clearly in rigorously argued fashion.

Learning Environment

Our interdisciplinary and interactive courses in political science, government, law, geopolitics, country and regional studies, and political economy will help you discover the best ways in which you can engage with and assume civic and political leadership. Additionally, our close ties with world-renowned universities, international institutions, UN agencies, the media, and non-governmental organizations, will provide you with numerous opportunities for intellectual exploration, internships, and special research and publication projects. Our strategic location in Paris also provides easy access to the resources of other prestigious academic institutions, including the Sorbonne, Sciences Po, and the Collège de France. 

Major Components
Build Your Degree

With every single one of our majors, you’ll find a carefully curated medley of core courses and electives, which will provide you with the tools you need to establish an unshakeable foundation in the principles and concepts fundamental to your growth within your disciplines of choice. Many majors also enable you to specialize further within the broader area of study.

Core Courses

Core Courses

We aim to help you develop a range of skills, capacities, and modes of inquiry that will be crucial for your future since employers and graduate schools are looking for the critical thinking and innovative problem-solving skills that are associated with a liberal arts education, including sophisticated writing abilities, willingness to pose difficult questions, and an understanding of the historical and cultural contexts surrounding a topic or decision. 

Scroll to Core Courses



The International Comparative Politics major offers courses in the following three specializations: 

  • World Politics 
  • European and US Politics 
  • Development and Human Rights

See all International & Comparative Politics Specialization Requirements

Core Courses

The International & Comparative Politics core courses, which you must take as part of the major requirements, will provide you with the tools you’ll need to ground your present and future studies. Your introduction to the fundamentals of International & Comparative Politics will help pave the way for your successful completion of other International & Comparative Politics courses.

PO1011 Foundations Of Modern Politics

What is politics - the quest for the common good or who gets what, when, and how? We study what defines politics in the modern age: states and nations in the international system, collective action and representation in mass societies, trajectories of democracy and dictatorship, politics and development in the context of capitalism. The course will introduce the student to the concerns, the language and the methods of Political Science.

PO1012 Challenges Of Global Politics

This course examines key analytical and normative challenges of the present: global rebalancing and the emergence or reemergence of postcolonial states, uneven development, the role of culture in world politics, the future of the nation state, the global environmental imperative, mass forced and free migrations, the new landscape of armed conflict, the sources and implications of sharpening social divides, and the challenges to liberal-democratic theory and practice.

PO2050 Political Analysis

This course examines the nature of knowledge claims in political science: how we know what we know and how certain we are. Research schools, the nature of description and explanation in political science, and basis issues of quantitative analysis will form the core elements of this course, while substantive themes may vary each year.

PO3051 Global Political Economy

Introduces the basic theories and practices of political economy through the lens of globalization. Discusses the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the OECD and the former GATT as well as the WTO. Explores the complex trade relations between Asia, Europe, and the US, and the impact of financial crisis on world markets.

PO3061 International Law

Covers the formal structure of the international legal order; sources, uses and dynamics of law in international relations; use of force, war crimes; the status and functions of states, governments, international organizations, companies, and individuals; law of the sea, environment, jurisdiction, aliens, human rights, the diplomatic process and its protection, and treaties. Discusses theory and future directions of international law. This course is crosslisted with International Law.

PO3100 Advanced Ir Theory

Students investigate contending views of the world system and consider the relative validity of competing theories to see how theory relates to practice. They do so by re-examining classic definitions of "realism" along with concepts of neo-realism (structural realism) and geopolitics, liberalism/international ethics, neo-liberalism, pluralism, the English school, Marxism, social constructivism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, neo-conservatism, feminism, green theory, among others.

PO4050 Politics Workshop

This Politics Workshop fulfills the senior seminar capstone requirement for the International and Comparative Politics Major. This course is designed to be as individualized as possible, organized around the student's particular research interests with regular one-on-one sessions with the professor. This is also a course in the international and global politics in which students learn about the discipline and subdisciplines of political science.