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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.  

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. 

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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.

PO2003 Political Philosophy

Political philosophy forms that branch of philosophy that reflects on the specificity of the political. Why are humans, as Aristotle argued, political animals? How are they political? What are the means and ends of the political, and how best does one organize the political with such questions in mind? The course offers a topic-oriented approach to the fundamental problems underlying political theory and practice.

PO2015 Comparative Politics

This course introduces students to the comparative study of politics, focusing on political behavior and the structures and practices that political systems have in common and those that distinguish them. We study different forms of democratic and authoritarian rule, state-society relationships, and key issues of political economy like development and welfare states. While the emphasis is on domestic features, we also analyze the impacts of globalization on national politics.

PO2031 World Politics

This course analyses the basic setting, structure and dynamics of world politics with emphasis on current global problems, practices and processes. In doing so, it introduces the major theoretical approaches to international politics, and uses theory as a methodological tool for analyzing sources of change and causes of conflict and/or cooperation in the global arena.

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.

PO3054 20th Cent. Diplomatic History

Examines the creation of the Bismarckian state, the origins of World War I and World War II, and the creation of a united Europe in the post-war period. Investigates the efforts of the European state system to adapt to the challenges of nationalism and globalization.

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.

PO4090 Senior Seminar

The senior seminar is the culmination of the degree program and is designed to encourage students to combine their skilled analysis of the political in a challenging new context. While topics cover all three track concentrations, the goal of the seminar is to foster a sense of intellectual autonomy, to facilitate the ability to assess paradigms, and to provide a platform for a professional oral presentation of research results, as well as the incorporation of original research in a written thesis. Recent seminar topics include: Sovereignty, International Criminal Law, and Democracy.