International Relations Theory: Realism
4.7 (12 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
82 students enrolled

International Relations Theory: Realism

Learn realism: Dominant IR theory, from ancient Greece to today, power, anarchy, human nature, security, world examples!
Bestseller
4.7 (12 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
82 students enrolled
Last updated 6/2020
English
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Current price: $125.99 Original price: $179.99 Discount: 30% off
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This course includes
  • 4 hours on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • 11 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Think and speak about world problems through the lens of the oldest, most powerful and influential theory of International Relations
  • Identify and understand the ideas of key realist thinkers, including Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Morgenthau, Waltz and Mearsheimer
  • Recognise the value of Ancient Greek Peloponnesian War to understand the principles of world politics
  • Understand why Machiavelli is realism's 'dark character' and why his perspective on government is so demoralised
  • Understand what Hobbes meant by 'state of nature' in his groundbreaking masterpiece Leviathan and how it's relevant to realism
  • Identify the key components of classical realism, particularly the notion of the flawed human nature and interest defined as power, as advanced by Morgenthau
  • Understand the original features of Waltz's neorealism, including his emphasis on the international system and anarchy
  • Identify the distinguishing features of Mearsheimer's offensive realism and his focus on the pursuit of power
  • Understand the realist perspective on coronavirus
  • Understand the realist perspective on US foreign policy, including war in Iraq, NATO expansion, Persian Gulf policy, Afghanistan, Iran & Israel
  • Understand the realist perspective on the rise of China
  • Recognise the original contribution of neoclassical realism, including key works
  • Learn 6 practical tips for incorporating realism into your academic essays and dissertations
Requirements
  • The course is designed for all study levels and therefore does not require prior education in Politics or International Relations.
  • No upfront reading is necessary. In the course, students will learn about some of the most influential books on each topic.
  • For convenience, handouts for each lecture are provided and can be downloaded.
Description

In this course, you will get in-depth knowledge and understanding of key realist thinkers, theories and concepts, including real world examples and even tips for writing essays and dissertations.

The course will give you confidence to think and speak about world problems through the lens of the oldest, most powerful and influential theory of International Relations.

If you are interested in world politics, chances are you are reading and watching quite a bit of news about what's going on. That's OK, but there is nothing more rewarding that actually educating yourself to improve the depth and breadth of your knowledge and understanding of how the world works.

My courses are designed to help you with that objective and this course offers you complete knowledge and understanding of the most exciting theory of International Relations.

Consider some of these timeless quotes from the most influential classical thinkers:

  • “the right, as the world goes, is only in question between equal power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must” - Thucydides

  • “But since it is difficult for a ruler to be both feared and loved, it is much safer to be feared than loved (...)." - Machiavelli

  • "Because men are wretched creatures who would not keep their word to you, you need not keep your word to them" - Machiavelli

  • “In such condition [state of nature], the life of man [is] solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short” - Hobbes

  • "Political realism believes that politics, like society in general, is governed by objective laws that have their roots in human nature." - Morgenthau

This is just a sample of quotes we explore in the course in depth to understand their meaning, context and impact on the realist theory.

How You Will Learn

It is my philosophy in this course to allow those brilliant thinkers speak for themselves. I want to give them the voice. At the same time, I offer you my full explanation and interpretation of every quote we analyse in the course. I don't just leave you there wondering what this all means.

In addition to classical realism, neorealism and offensive realism, my bonus lectures also gives you insights into neoclassical realism. This is an interesting and exciting development in the realist theory and I want you to understand what it is all about.

Another one of my bonus lectures offers you practical tips for incorporating realism into writing your academic essays and dissertations.

As much as talking about theories is interesting in itself, I also believe in the value of practical examples. So in this course, we discuss three case studies of how realism can be applied to analyse real world problems. These include: the realist perspective on coronavirus, US foreign policy and the rise of China.

What You Will Get in This Course

Here is a summary of what you will learn in this course:

  • Think and speak about world problems through the lens of the oldest, most powerful and influential theory of International Relations

  • Identify and understand the idea of key realist thinkers, including Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Morgenthau, Waltz and Mearsheimer

  • Recognise the value of Ancient Greek Peloponnesian War to understand the principles of world politics

  • Understand why Machiavelli is realism's 'dark character' and why his perspective on government is so demoralised

  • Understand what Hobbes meant by 'state of nature' in his groundbreaking masterpiece Leviathan and how it's relevant to realism

  • Identify the key components of classical realism, particularly the notion of the flawed human nature and interest defined as power, as advanced by Morgenthau

  • Understand the original features of Waltz's neorealism, including his emphasis on the international system and anarchy

  • Identify the distinguishing features of Mearsheimer's offensive realism and his focus on the pursuit of power

  • Understand the realist perspective on coronavirus

  • Understand the realist perspective on US foreign policy, including war in Iraq, NATO expansion, Persian Gulf policy, Afghanistan, Iran & Israel

  • Understand the realist perspective on the rise of China

  • Recognise the original contribution of neoclassical realism, including key works

  • Learn 6 practical tips for incorporating realism into your academic essays and dissertations

Student Comments:

  • "As a new student to the subject of International Relations Theories it is important for me to find teachers of quality from whom I can learn. I am offered this opportunity by signing up for Kamil's courses."

  • "Great course! It's not the professor's Kamil first course I do, and I never regret. He goes straight to the point in a clear, direct and comprehensive way. Everyone should start learning with his courses - they help us to develop a deeper view on old, new (and surely relevant) topics. Highly recomended!"

  • "This is a detailed course on Realism. I'm a masters degree graduate of International Relations and Political and International Relations Theory was my favourite lesson. With this 3 hour course i learned even more than what i was taught in one hours lesson focused on Realism at the University. Recommended both for people with existing knowledge on the topic as well as people with no knowledge. But be careful, the world as seen through the realism lens is a dark place!"

  • "I really like that you're drilling down on Thucydides. I don't think enough people examine his teachings past that of the Melian Dialogue, and you have an entire section dedicated to this!"

My Promise to You

I promise that the tuition in this course is of the highest quality, based on genuine university-level teaching and research. It is presented in a highly-accessible and engaging way, designed specifically for those who do not have prior university degree in Politics or International Relations.

I invite you to send me a message if you have any questions about the content of this course.

With the 30-day 100% money back guarantee, there is no reason why you should not try the course out right now.


Who this course is for:
  • Individuals interested in International Relations and the problems of international politics.
  • Students of Politics and International Relations who want to consolidate their knowledge and improve their grades.
  • Commentators, bloggers and journalists covering international politics.
  • Policy practitioners who want to improve their analytical skills and better understand the context of their policy activities.
Course content
Expand all 53 lectures 04:13:44
+ Thucydides: Lessons from the Peloponnesian War
6 lectures 23:44

Learn about who Thucydides was and the context for his History of the Peloponnesian War.

Thucydides: Introduction
04:20

Learn about the most famous part of Thucydides from the realist International Relations theory perspective.

Melian Dialogue
06:28

Learn about links between Thucydides and realist International Relations theory.

Thucydides and Realism
02:22

Learn about Thucydides' perspective on international security.

Thucydides and International Security
04:10

Learn about Thucydides' perspective on human nature and morality.

Thucydides and Human Nature and Morality
04:08

Learn about this famous concept of Thucydides' Trap.

Thucydides' Trap
02:16

This quiz will allow you to practice your knowledge and understanding of Thucydides.

Practice Your Knowledge of Thucydides
5 questions
+ Machiavelli: The Amorality of The Prince
7 lectures 27:58

Learn about Machiavelli's life background and why it is important.

Machiavelli: Life Background
07:49
Machiavelli and Speaking Truth to Power
03:34
Machiavelli on Keeping Word and Lying
01:45
Machiavelli on Being Feared vs Being Loved
02:52
Machiavelli and Power
02:35
Machiavelli and State
04:04
How does Machiavelli Stay Relevant?
05:19

This quiz will allow you to practice your knowledge and understanding of Machiavelli.

Practice Your Knowledge of Machiavelli
5 questions
+ Hobbes: Leviathan and State of Nature
5 lectures 23:20

Learn about Hobbes and the context for his book Leviathan, esp. the cover.

Hobbes and Leviathan
03:17

Learn about Hobbes' famous concept of the state of nature.

Leviathan on State of Nature
02:43

Learn how the state of nature can be overcome with the laws of nature.

Leviathan on Laws of Nature
04:01

Learn how a powerful sovereign is required to enforce laws of nature.

Leviathan on Role of Sovereign
04:02

Learn about links between Hobbes and the realist theory of International Relations.

Hobbes and Realism
09:17

This quiz will allow you to practice your knowledge and understanding of Hobbes.

Practice Your Knowledge of Hobbes
5 questions
+ Morgenthau: The Father of Classical Realism
8 lectures 27:14

Learn about Hans Morgenthau, the father of classical realism.

Morgenthau: Introduction
01:21

Learn about Morgenthau's perspective on human nature as a shaping force of international relations.

Morgenthau on Human Nature
03:25

Learn about Morgenthau's perspective on the role of power in foreign policy and how the meaning of power is not fixed.

Morgenthau on the Nature of Power
03:36

Learn about Morgenthau's perspective on the role of moral principles in foreign policy and international politics.

Morgenthau on Moral Principles in International Politics
02:34

Learn Morgenthau's perspective on why moral principles should not be invoked by states in their justifications of foreign policy.

Morgenthau on Moral Claims in Foreign Policy
02:51

Learn Morgenthau's perspective on why we should treat politics, including international politics, as an autonomous sphere of study, which cannot be subsumed under international law or economy.

Morgenthau on the Autonomy of Political Sphere
04:48

Learn about Morgenthau's perspective on the differences between idealism and realism in international relations.

Morgenthau on Realism and Idealism
04:22

Learn Morgenthau's perspective on the links between sovereignty, war and peace.

Morgenthau on Sovereignty, War and Peace
04:17

This quiz will allow you to practice your knowledge and understanding of Morgenthau.

Practice Your Knowledge of Morgenthau
5 questions
+ Waltz: Neorealism and Anarchy
6 lectures 31:27

Learn about Kenneth Waltz, the father of neorealism.

Waltz: Introduction
01:49

Learn about Waltz's perspective on the causes of war through so-called three images of international relations.

Three Images of International Relations
03:45

Learn about the individual level and what Waltz means by the systemic perspective on international relations.

The Individual Level and Systemic Perspective
09:59

Learn about Waltz's perspective on anarchy as a defining concept of international relations.

Waltz and Anarchy
08:23

Learn about the relationship between anarchy and international conflicts.

Anarchy and Conflict
03:28

Learn on Waltz's perspective on the balance of power as the only hope for international peace, however fragile.

Peace through Balance of Power
04:03

This quiz will allow you to practice your knowledge and understanding of Waltz.

Practice Your Knowledge of Waltz
5 questions
+ Mearsheimer: Offensive Realism and Power
5 lectures 20:18

Learn Mearsheimer's perspective on Kenneth Waltz's neo-realism.

Mearsheimer on Waltz's Realism
03:38

Learn about Mearsheimer's offensive realism.

Mearsheimer and Offensive Realism
02:01

Learn about the assumptions underpinning offensive realism.

Assumptions of Offensive Realism
06:37

Learn about three contending perspectives of political realism.

Comparing Three Strands of Realism
03:55

Learn why international relations are tragic according to Mearsheimer.

Why are International Relations Tragic?
04:07

This quiz will allow you to practice your knowledge and understanding of Mearsheimer.

Practice Your Knowledge of Mearsheimer
5 questions
+ Consolidate Your Knowledge
6 lectures 18:02

Let's revise Thucydides.

Revising Thucydides
02:38

Let's revise Machiavelli.

Revising Machiavelli
03:04

Let's revise Hobbes.

Revising Hobbes
03:04

Let's revise Morgenthau.

Revising Morgenthau
04:12

Let's revise Waltz.

Revising Waltz
03:29

Let's revise Mearsheimer.

Revising Mearsheimer
01:35
+ Realism and Contemporary World Politics
3 lectures 38:03

Learn what realism can tell us about coronavirus - arguably the most important event in the world since World War 2.

Realism and COVID-19
07:06

Learn what realism can tell us about US foreign policy, including issues such as the war in Iraq, NATO expansion, Afghanistan, Iran, and more.

Realism and US Foreign Policy
20:57

Learn what realism can tell us about the rise of China into a major world power. Is it likely to be a peaceful process, or should we expect more wars and conflicts?

Realism and the Rise of China
10:00
+ Bonus Lectures
2 lectures 31:30

Learn about neoclassical realism - a relatively recent theoretical development offering interesting insights into how states may not always act according to neorealist predictions.

Neoclassical Realism: Between Foreign Policy and Neorealism
17:31

Learn 6 practical tips for incorporating realism into writing academic essays and dissertations.

6 Tips for Writing Essays and Dissertations
13:59