The POIR Program has faculty in International Relations distributed across the subfields of International Security and Foreign Policy (ISFP) and International Political Economy (IPE). Students will be examined in both ISFP and IPE.
Faculty in ISFP collectively research a wide variety of issues pertaining to security broadly defined and focus on various security actors including both state and non-state actors. Our faculty’s interests reflect the growing interaction between security studies and foreign policy analysis as well as the broader intersection between international relations and comparative politics more generally.
We define security broadly, as economic and environmental as well as political/military, and as threats to individuals as well as to states. Our faculty employ a range of theoretical approaches for explaining these various security issues, including realism, liberalism and critical security studies. In addition to materialist, power-based explanations, some faculty explore the role of psychology, culture, gender, ethnicity and religion as forces contributing to security and insecurity. To this end our faculty use a variety of methodologies including archival and field research, quantitative analysis, case studies, foreign policy analysis, and diplomacy studies. Faculty publications appear in leading peer-reviewed journals.
Given the multi-disciplinary nature of their research, the ISFP faculty stands ready to work with a wide range of students. Our faculty are aware of the changing nature of the International Relations discipline in light of globalization, the role of non-state actors, the importance of international law and norms, regional integration and transnational interactions. These factors impact foreign policy choices and national and international security policies in new and challenging ways.
Faculty in IPE analyze the interaction between politics and economics within a global context. Together, the POIR course offerings for this field provide an overview of those conceptual approaches, critical turning points, and key issues that have characterized the international political economy since the first wave of globalization in the 19th century. Candidates master the most influential bodies of theory in international relations and in IPE. Other key points of analysis include, but are not limited to, major IPE issue areas such as finance or trade, international institutions such as the World Bank or World Trade Organization (WTO), and the manner in which a given issue or institution has affected specific countries or sub-regions of the global economy.
The IPE field requires students to take two core courses. One course is POIR 660, which is the common core course for two IR fields. The other core course is the IPE gateway course (POIR 670) that includes: a comparison of the two waves of globalization in the 19th and 20th centuries; study of the inter-war years and the effect of this period in shaping the design and content of the Bretton Woods order; a detailed analysis of the post-World War II Bretton Woods era and beyond, including the design of formal rules and institutions to oversee heightened flows of international trade and finance; and, a review of those main themes and burning issues that have dominated late 20th and early 21st century academic and policy debates. The latter covers, for example, the proliferation of regional integration agreements, the eruption of numerous financial crises, the changing profile of multinational corporations and foreign direct investment, those political economic challenges related to the rise of China, India and other emerging market countries within the IPE, and the most pressing collective action dilemmas that have slowed recent efforts to deepen the globalization process.
IPE faculty are engaged in research on a number of these topics. Apart from the gateway course, POIR faculty offer seminars in special topics like Economic Bargaining in Theory and Practice, IPE of the Pacific Rim, IPE and Development, and Foreign Economic Policies of Advanced Industrial States. Students who wish to combine IPE with a regional or specific country focus have access to a rich array of courses offered in the field of Comparative Politics. Candidates can deepen their expertise in Economics and their competitiveness in the job market by presenting a special third field in Economics.

Core Faculty

Joshua Aizenman
Jonathan Aronson
Erin Baggott Carter
Robert English
Benjamin Graham
Jacques Hymans
David Kang
Saori N. Katada
Jonathan Markowitz
Brian Rathbun (Field Director)
Wayne Sandholtz
Carol Wise
Audrye Wong

  • Four courses are required for the IR field, of which three must be completed prior to taking the qualifying examination. The first is the graduate seminar in IR Theory (POIR 660). Students are also required to take either the seminar in International Political Economy (POIR 670) or the seminar in International Security and Foreign Policy (POIR 680). The third and fourth courses may be either the other of the two preceding seminars (i.e., POIR 680, if the student took POIR 670, or vice versa) and another seminar from the approved list. It is strongly recommended that students take both 670 and 680 as preparation for the qualifying exams.

  • Two Core Courses:

    POIR 660: International Relations Theory
    POIR 670: International Political Economy or POIR 680: International Security and Foreign Policy

    *Both core courses must be completed prior to qualifying exams.

    Two Electives:

    Any two IR seminars

    *One elective must be completed prior to qualifying exams.
    *In the case POIR 670 is taken as a required course, POIR 680
    can be taken as an elective (and vice versa).

  • The list of courses that have been considered as IR courses are:

    POIR 509: Culture, Gender & Global Society
    POIR 521: Foreign Policy Analysis
    POIR 525: State and Society in International Relations
    POIR 526: Migration and Diaspora in International Politics
    POIR 531: Strategy and Arms Control
    POIR 534: East Asian Security Issues (Offered Regularly)
    POIR 539: Seminar in International Politics – Conflict Processes
    POIR 541: Politics of the World Economy
    POIR 542: Foreign Economic Policies of Industrial Capitalist States
    POIR 543: Politics of International Money and Trade Relations (Offered Regularly)
    POIR 544: Seminar in International Politics – Religion and Conflict
    POIR 547: The Political Economy of Global Space and Environment
    POIR 548: International Political Economy of Development (Offered Regularly)
    POIR 550: Economic Bargaining Theory and Practice
    POIR 551: International Political Economy of the Pacific Rim (Offered Regularly)
    POIR 556: Latin America and American Foreign Policy
    POIR 557: Africa and US Foreign Policy
    POIR 561: Japanese Foreign Policy and International Relations of East Asia (Offered Regularly)
    POIR 563: Chinese Foreign Policy (Offered Regularly)
    POIR 581: International Relations of the Middle East (Offered Regularly)
    POIR 660: Introduction to International Relations Theory (Required)
    POIR 642: Institutions in Comparative and International Politics (Offered Regularly)
    POIR 648: International Human Rights Law & Policy (Offered Regularly)
    POIR 661: International Relations Theory: Advanced
    POIR 662: Governance in International Relations (Offered Regularly)
    POIR 670: International Political Economy (Quasi-Required)
    POIR 671: Political Psychology (Offered Regularly)
    POIR 680: International Security and Foreign Policy (Quasi-Required)

  • A recommended reading list for the field exam is being developed and when ready will be maintained by the field representative. Each year the IR coordinator will consult with the other IR faculty in updating the reading list, adding new items and deleting others.

  • The field representative will prepare the examination questions in consultation with the relevant faculty in the field. Students will be examined based on readings from seminars in the field. The exam will test students on the international relations field as a whole, including both international political economy and international security as well as other topics.

  • Students selecting International Relations as their third non-examined field will take three courses in the field, including POIR 660 and POIR 670 or 680.

  • IR students must satisfy the language requirement as defined in these guidelines. The student may petition to waive this language requirement on the grounds that they do not plan to write a dissertation in this field.