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International Relations Program: Course Contents (1st year)

First Year

Semester 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 United Kingdom (18h)

This lecture will be dedicated to 20th century Britain: society, the economy and politics. We'll start off with imperial expansion and European isolation, the first World War and the inter-war period, and Ireland until 1937. We'll then concentrate on the post-WW2 period and reforms, consensus politics and its breakdown, Thatcherism, the move from Empire to Europe and the situation in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Finally, we'll explore the advent of New Labour, and etnic minorities.

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.

Semester 2 : Comprendre le monde contemporain

History of the Long XXth Century (36h)

  • The Long XXth Century: France (18h)
  • The objective of this class is to give students the tools necessary to understand the history of France during the 20th century, a history on which today’s society and political organisation is based. For this, a simple political history is insufficient; as such this class will reserve a significant role for the evolution and the weight of economic structures, and the study of society and social evolutions such as racial diversity, gender equality and laicité. These elements will refer back to the international sphere, reflecting on the economic, political, and social French History in an international context and the changing role France has occupied through this period. Through 2 World Wars, decolonisation, the Algerian War, May 1968, without mentioning different regimes, constitutions and economic crises, this is a volatile and fascinating period in our nation’s history. We will discuss the essence of the modernisation of France during this century including the great figures of the period such as De Gaulle and Jaurès.

  • The Long XXth Century: The United States (18h)
Why the American century?
When Time publisher Henry Luce urged Americans to help create what he called “the first great American Century” in February 1941, the United States had already started to play a major role on the international scene but had chosen to remain neutral in the conflict that was raging in Europe.

Through the study of major essays, articles and political speeches, this course aims at discussing the economic, political and cultural changes which occurred during the first half of the twentieth century and led the United States to a dominant position in the world, and then at assessing the transformations which took place in the second part of the century and induced a number of American intellectuals to prophesize “the decline of the American Empire”.

Introduction à l’étude des relations internationales

  • Introduction to international relations (12h)
In this course you will explore and analyze one of the most important sets of issues in international relations today security and terrorism. Though an analysis and exploration of the diverse manifestations of conflict and security we will strive to understand the deeper issues behind terrorism and the multiple security threats states and non state actors, including citizens face today.

We will study and familiarize ourselves with the complexities both on a theoretical and pratical level the security issues we face as both citizens. We will acquire knowledge on how terrorism and conflicts (ethnic, etc.) are fought, and why. And what tools (spying, counterrorism, diplomacy) can and are used to combat these threats.

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