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Parcours "Politiques et relations internationales" : programme des enseignements (1ère année)

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Cours de première année

Semestre 1 : Comprendre le monde contemporain

Histoire du long XXe siècle (36h)

  • Le long XXe siècle : Allemagne (18h)

Ce cours traite l’histoire de l’Allemagne de sa première unité nationale en 1871 jusqu’à l’unification des deux Etats allemands en 1990. Il met l’aspect surtout sur l’Allemagne dans les relations internationales, tout en considérant les facteurs idéologiques, politiques, et économiques de cette politique.

Ce cours commence donc avec la politique de stabilisation du nouveau Reich par Bismarck, avant de regarder la politique mondiale «(« Weltpolitik ») sous Guillaume II, puis les causes de la première Guerre Mondiale. La révision du Traité de Versailles et les rapports avec la France définissent en grande partie la politique extérieure de la République de Weimar, avant que l’Allemagne hitlérienne ne commence sa politique criminelle d’expansionnisme et de recherche d’un espace vital, provoquant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, la mort de dizaines de millions de personnes et la destruction de l’Allemagne.

La politique extérieure des deux Etats allemands, après un regard sur la division de l’Allemagne après 1945, précédera une interrogation sur les causes de la chute du mur et de la nouvelle unité allemande de 1990.

  • The Long XXth Century: The United Kingdom (18h)

In the 1870s Britain was the leading world power. But by 1997, when the territory of Hong Kong was formally returned to the People’s Republic of China, Britain had become, in some ways, a rather modest regional power. How did this transformation come about? The aim of this course is to attempt to give students both a narrative of this “long 20th century”, and to suggest some possible explanations for what many see as the relative decline of Great Britain.

It may be, however, that “decline” is not the most appropriate term to use. Did Britain not find a new international role? From Empire and Commonwealth, through the difficulties of decolonization and the even greater challenge of becoming a part of “Europe”, Britain maintained a national self-image and a national presence in the world which enabled it to preserve a disproportionate degree of international influence.

Clarke, Peter, Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2000, London, Penguin, 2004, 2nd ed [1996].

Pugh, Martin, State and Society: a Social and Political History of Britain since 1870, London, Hodder Education, 2008, 3rd ed [1994].

Reynolds, David, Britannia Overruled: British Policy and World Power in the Twentieth Century, Harlow, 1991.

Introduction to International Relations (12h)

  • Introduction to International Relations (12h)

The course intends to introduce students to the main theoretical approaches of international relations (realism, liberalism, transnationalism, marxism, constructivism, and so on) in the objective to make them familiar with the main notions and concepts of the discipline (interest, value, norms, dependency, identity and so on). The course also considers the main actors and issues in international relations (state, intergovernmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations, war, peace, international justice, terrorism and so on).

Institutions politiques et droit institutionnel français (24h)

  • Introduction to French Political Institutions and Constitutional Law (1789-1958) (24h)

The need for a written constitution – originally set up to fight arbitrary power and protect citizens’rights - emerged very early on in France and led to an “unbroken tradition of written constitutions”. Some of them were to be “constitutive” such as the 1791 Constitution whereas others were to be mainly “declaratory” such as the 1958 Constitution. In any case, knowledge of French Constitutional History is essential for understanding French current constitutional arrangements. Thus, the purpose of the current lecture is to provide a brief overview of the various constitutions and regimes France has experienced - unlike the United States that has only known one Constitution, the 1787 text, which is still valid today - before setting up what some constitutional lawyers describe as a “balanced constitution”: the 1958 Constitution, or at least the one most suitable constitution for the country.

The current lecture will focus more specifically on the birth of the republican tradition with the 1789 Revolution that produced the Declaration of the Rights of Man as its touchstone, partly inspired by the declaration of rights of the state of Virginia of 1777, and the Constitution of 1791, based broadly upon the English model and the ideas of John Locke, that was to be the first of a series of written constitutions against which all the others compared for the better or the worse. The Revolution of 1789 and the 1791 revised monarchical Constitution where the Declaration of the Rights of Man figured as a preamble set up principles of political sovereignty and representation. Even if they did not set up a republic – the First Republic was only to be officially proclaimed in 1792 – the French revolutionaries introduced the republican notion of the sovereignty of the people.

This lecture also aims at showing that constitutions are not isolated texts based on eternal principles, but were conceived at a particular time in history and in a specific legal and political context – that was significantly to influence their drafting.

Selective bibliography:

John Bell. French Constitutional Law. Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1992

Jacques Godechot. Les Constitutions de la France depuis 1789. Paris : Garnier-Flammarion, éd. Corrigée et remise à jour par Herve Faupin, 2006.

Jeremy Jennings. Revolution and the Republic: A History of Political Thought in France since the XVIIIth century. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011

Semestre 2 : Comprendre le monde contemporain

History of the Long XXth Century (36h)

  • The Long XXth Century: France (18h)

From the construction of the Eiffel Tower in 1889 to the Congress of Tours in 1920, France experienced the turmoils of an Industrial Society, the Paris Commune and a Colonial Empire. What was the extent of France's involvement in world history ? Was France a leading power competing with British supremacy, Imperial Germany and the increasingly influential United States ?

This course is a series of lectures reflecting on the economic, political, and social French History on a global scale. Will be studied not only French competitiveness and expansion into Africa, Indo-China but also the importance of figureheads  such as Jules Guesde and Jean Jaurès voicing their opinion on contemporary debates.

Jean-Marie Mayeur and Madeleine Rebirioux, The Third Republic from its Origins to the Great War 1871-1914, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1988.

Gino Raymond, Historical Dictionary of France, Maryland, Scarecrow Press, 2008.


  • The Long XXth Century: The United States (18h)

Why “the American Century”? The term coined in 1941 by Time publisher Henry Luce to describe U.S. de facto hegemony will be used as an implicit guideline for this course. It is intended to give the students an overview of American History since the end of the nineteen century, with a focus on the country's rise to global world power.

After identifying the distinctive, enduring legacies that defined the United States at the dawn of the century, we will examine the key features and turning points in the construction of the U.S. dominance of the World, in political, economic, and cultural terms. Among other themes, we will explore America’s industrial, commercial, and financial ascendancy; the building of its diplomatic influence and military might; the impact of wars and crises; the making of an “American model” and its influence; the dividing lines in American society; the role of the federal government; etc.

John M. Murrin (et alii), Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People, Belmont, Thomson Wadsworth, 2006.

Alan Brinkley, The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People, New York, McGraw-Hill, 1997.

Eric Foner, Give Me Liberty! An American History, Volume 2, New York, W. W. Norton, 2005.

James T. Patterson, Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974, New York, Oxford University Press, 1996.

James T. Patterson, Restless Giant: The United States from Watergate to Bush v. Gore, New York, Oxford University Press, 2005.

Introduction à l’étude des relations internationales

  • Introduction to international relations (12h)

What is the study of international relations and global politics about? Is it the study of the relations among states, individuals, organizations or corporations? Is it about politics, economics or culture? The possibility of peace or the inevitability of war? This course focuses on the study of international relations and the dynamics within global order with an emphasis on key concepts, theories and analytic frameworks, as well as an analysis of contemporary issues and their impact on globalization and inter-state relations. In doing so it considers: the evolution of IR in practice and theory during the twentieth century. The course will look at the the nature of globalisation and its influence on the discipline’s main theories and concepts; the similarities and differences between mainstream approaches to IR; the alternatives presented by
 some of the discipline’s newer theoretical schools; the changing nature of warfare; the evolution of the role of the state as one actor among many in the international system; our changing understanding of international power;; the difficulties of global governance in international society. In addition to providing a range of theoretical tools that will help you to examine the behaviour of international actors, the course will help define and discuss some of the main concepts within the discipline, including war, peace, the state and power and critically assess challenges facing contemporary international society.

Students are required to read assigned readings from Baylis, Smith and Owens The Globalization of World Politics (OUP).

Introduction aux institutions politiques et au droit constitutionnel français (24h)

  • La Ve République (24h)

Le cours d’Institutions politiques et droit constitutionnel français du second semestre aborde spécifiquement la Ve République, régime actuel de la France, à travers la naissance et les évolutions de la Constitution de 1958. Il vise à décrire le statut et les pouvoirs des principaux acteurs de la vie constitutionnelle et politique (le Président de la République, le chef du Gouvernement, les ministres, le Parlement, le Conseil constitutionnel) ainsi que les relations qui les unissent, notamment, à l’occasion du vote de la loi, du contrôle de l’action du gouvernement et du contrôle de la constitutionnalité de la loi.

 Cet enseignement repose sur l’étude du texte constitutionnel, plusieurs fois révisé, mais aussi sur la pratique institutionnelle du régime de la Ve République. Par ailleurs, il s’appuie sur l’actualité qui constitue une source inépuisable d’illustrations de la vie politique et constitutionnelle française.


Philippe Ardant et Mathieu Bertrand, Institutions politiques et droit constitutionnel , 23e éd., LGDJ, 2011

Philippe Blachèr, Droit constitutionnel, 2e éd., Hachette, 2012

Jean Gicquel et Jean-Eric Gicquel, Droit constitutionnel et institutions politiques, 25e éd., Monchrestien, 2011

Villiers Michel, Armel Le Divellec, Dictionnaire du droit constitutionnel, 8e éd., Sirey, 2011


Elizabeth Sheppard
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Chaque cours vaut 3 ECTS.