SemesterFall Semester, 2019
DepartmentDoctoral Program in Japan Studies, First Year Doctoral Program in Japan Studies, Second Year
Course NameInternational Relations Theory
Course TypeRequired
Course Objective
Course Description
Course Schedule

All assignments and exams use English.

Response paper:

Each student will select one week to be a discussion leader. The discussion leader is required to write a response paper, which is due one night before the class. The discussion leader will send the response paper to all students. Each paper should be at least 3-pages long (Times New Roman font size of 12, double space), including SUMMARIES and CRITIQUE. At the end of the paper, students will propose two questions for class discussion. The discussion leaders will take 20-30 minutes to present and discuss his/her paper at the beginning of the class. No slides for presentation. NO COPY&PASTE from the text.

Summary paper:

In addition to being a discussion leader, students will select two weeks according to their own interests. Students will submit the summary papers before the end of the semester. The paper should be at least 1 pages long.  (Times New Roman font size of 12, double space)

NO COPY&PASTE from the text.

Final exam:

Two hours open book exam.


Attendance and Class Activities

Students are required to attend class regularly unless excused in advance or you have proof of emergency. I will accept notes from the student attesting to the date of the illness as an excused absence. A student may also use the university’s online system to register an excused absence. A student who experiences a prolonged absence or an illness preventing attendance is required to provide written documentation of the illness from the relevant healthcare provider, verifying the dates of the treatment and the period during which the student was unable to meet academic responsibilities.



Week 1 (9/12): Introduction to the course

Desch, Michael C. 2019. “How Political Science Became Irrelevant.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 27, 2019.

Week 2 (9/19): the use of theory: where we are?

Kristensen, Peter Marcus. n.d. “International Relations at the End: A Sociological Autopsy.” International Studies Quarterly. Accessed May 14, 2018.

Lake, David A. 2011. “Why ‘Isms’ Are Evil: Theory, Epistemology, and Academic Sects as Impediments to Understanding and Progress1.” International Studies Quarterly 55 (2): 465–80.


Tickner, J. Ann. 1997. “You Just Don’t Understand: Troubled Engagements between Feminists and IR Theorists.” International Studies Quarterly 41 (4): 611–32.

Geddes, Barbara. 2003. Paradigms and Sand Castles: Theory Building and Research Design in Comparative Politics. University of Michigan Press, especially 131-173.

Reiter, Dan. 2015. “Should We Leave Behind the Subfield of International Relations?” Annual Review of Political Science 18 (1): 481–99.

Sil, Rudra, and Peter Joachim Katzenstein. 2010. Beyond Paradigms: Analytic Eclecticism in the Study of World Politics. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire?; New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Week 3 (9/26): Concepts in IR

Powell, Robert. 1991. “Absolute and Relative Gains in International Relations Theory.” The American Political Science Review 85 (4): 1303–20.

Fazal, Tanisha M. 2004. “State Death in the International System.” International Organization 58 (2): 311–44.

Goemans, Hein. 2006. “Bounded Communities: Territoriality, Territorial Attachment, and Conflict.” Territoriality and Conflict in an Era of Globalization, 25–61.


Mattern, Janice Bially, “The Concept of Power and the (Un)discipline of International Relations”, in The Oxford Handbook of International Relations. OUP Oxford.

Baldwin, David. “Power and International Relations”. In Carlsnaes, Walter, Thomas Risse, and Beth A. Simmons, eds. 2012. Handbook of International Relations. 2 edition. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Lee, Melissa M. 2018. “The International Politics of Incomplete Sovereignty: How Hostile Neighbors Weaken the State.” International Organization 72 (2): 283–315.

Robert O. Keohane,” Institutional Theory and the Realist Challenge After the Cold War,” in Neorealism and Neoliberalism.

Grieco, “Understanding the Problem of International Cooperation,” in Baldwin, David A. 1993. Neorealism and Neoliberalism?: The Contemporary Debate. New Directions in World Politics. New York: Columbia University Press.

Snidal, Duncan. 1991. “International Cooperation among Relative Gains Maximizers.” International Studies Quarterly 35 (4): 387–402.

Week 4 (10/3): Classical Realism, balance of power

Thucydides, ‘The Melian Dialogue’

Hans J. Morgenthau & Kenneth Thompson. Politics among Nations: the Struggle for Power and Peace, sixth edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1985, Ch1 “A Realist Theory of International Politics”, Ch11 “the Balance of Power”.

Leeds, B.A. 2003. “Do Alliances Deter Aggression? The Influence of Military Alliances on the Initiation of Militarized Interstate Disputes.” American Journal of Political Science 47 (3): 427–439.


Carr, Edward Hallett. 1964. The Twenty Years’ Crisis, 1919-1939: An Introduction to the Study of International Relations. 450th ed. edition. New York, N.Y.: Harper Perennial. Ch5-6

Dahl, Robert A. “The Concept of Power.” Behavioral Science 2, no. 3 (January 1, 1957): 201–15.

Lobell, Steven E. “A Granular Theory of Balancing.” International Studies Quarterly 62, no. 3 (September 1, 2018): 593–605.

Week 5 (10/10) holiday, no class

Week 6 (10/17): Neorealism (I), hierarchy in IR

Waltz, Kenneth Neal. 1979. Theory of International Politics. Edited by Anonymous. Addison-Wesley Series in Political Science. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co. Skim chapters 1-2, and read chapters 3-8.

Lake, D.A. 2009. Hierarchy in International Relations. Cornell Univ Pr, Ch2


Keohane, Robert O., and N. Waltz Kenneth. 2000. “The Neorealist and His Critic.” International Security 25 (3): 204–5.

Krauthammer, C. 1990. “The Unipolar Moment.” Foreign Affairs 70 (1): 23–33.

Wæver, Ole. 2009. “Waltz’s Theory of Theory.” International Relations 23 (2): 201–22.

Legro, Jeffrey W., and Andrew Moravcsik. 1999. “Is Anybody Still a Realist?” International Security 24 (2): 5–55.

Feaver, Peter D., Gunther Hellmann, Randall L. Schweller, Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, William C. Wohlforth, Jeffrey W. Legro, and Andrew Moravcsik. 2000. “Brother, Can You Spare a Paradigm?(Or Was Anybody Ever a Realist?).” International Security 25 (1): 165–193.

Singer, J. David. “The Level-of-Analysis Problem in International Relations.” World Politics 14, no. 1 (October 1961): 77–92.

Art, Robert J., and Kenneth Neal Waltz. The Use of Force: Military Power and International Politics. Rowman & Littlefield, 2009.

Week 7 (10/24) [conference, moving to 10/23]: Neorealism (II) defensive realism

Jervis, Robert. 1978. “Cooperation Under the Security Dilemma.” World Politics 30 (2): 167–214.

Christensen, Thomas J., and Jack Snyder. 1990. “Chain Gangs and Passed Bucks: Predicting Alliance Patterns in Multipolarity.” International Organization 44 (2): 137–68.

Waltz, Kenneth N. 2000. “Structural Realism after the Cold War.” International Security 25 (1): 5–41.


Baldwin, David A. 1993. Neorealism and Neoliberalism?: The Contemporary Debate. New Directions in World Politics. New York: Columbia University Press. Ch2

Jervis, Robert. 1978. “Cooperation Under the Security Dilemma.” World Politics 30 (2): 167–214.

Organski, A. F. K., and Jacek Kugler. 1980. The War Ledger. Edited by Anonymous. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Vasquez, John A. “The Realist Paradigm and Degenerative versus Progressive Research Programs: An Appraisal of Neotraditional Research on Waltz’s Balancing Proposition.” The American Political Science Review 91, no. 4 (1997): 899–912.

Smith, Alastair. “Alliance Formation and War.” International Studies Quarterly 39, no. 4 (December 1, 1995): 405–25.

Glaser, Charles L. “Realists as Optimists: Cooperation as Self-Help.” International Security 19, no. 3 (1994): 50–90.

Week 8 (10/31): Neoclassical realism and problem of prestige/reputation

Schweller, Randall L. 2006. Unanswered Threats?: Political Constraints on the Balance of Power. Princeton Studies in International History and Politics. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University. Intro p1-10, Ch2

Narizny, Kevin. 2017. “On Systemic Paradigms and Domestic Politics: A Critique of the Newest Realism.” International Security 42 (2): 155–90.

Mercer, Jonathan. 2017. “The Illusion of International Prestige.” International Security 41 (4): 133–68.


Rose, Gideon. 1998. “Neoclassical Realism and Theories of Foreign Policy.” World Politics 51 (1): 144–72.

Kupchan, Charles. 1994. The Vulnerability of Empire. Cornell Studies in Security Affairs. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Ch 1-2.

Ripsman, Norrin M., Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, and Steven E. Lobell. 2016. Neoclassical Realist Theory of Inte  rnational Politics. 1 edition. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Brawley, Mark R. 2013. Political Economy and Grand Strategy: A Neoclassical Realist View. 1 edition. London: Routledge.

Lobell, Steven E., Norrin M. Ripsman, and Jeffrey W. Taliaferro, eds. 2009. Neoclassical Realism, the State, and Foreign Policy. 1 edition. Cambridge, UK?; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Copeland, Dale C. The Origins of Major War. Cornell University Press, 2001.

Week 9 (11/7): Offensive Realism and hedging

Mearsheimer, John J. 2001. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics.  New York: Norton.

Kuik, Cheng-Chwee. 2016. “How Do Weaker States Hedge? Unpacking ASEAN States’ Alignment Behavior towards China.” Journal of Contemporary China 25 (100): 500–514.


Mearsheimer, John J. 1990. “Why We Will Soon Miss the Cold War.” Atlantic (0276-9077) 266 (2): 35.

Snyder, H. Glenn. 2002. “Mearsheimer’s World-Offensive Realism and the Struggle for Security: A Review Essay.” International Security 27 (1): 149–73.

Zakaria, Fareed. 1999. From Wealth to Power?: The Unusual Origins of America’s World Role. . Princeton Studies in International History and Politics. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. Ch2

Gartzke, Erik. 1999. “War Is in the Error Term.” International Organization 53 (3): 567–87.


Week 10 (11/14): bargaining, coercive diplomacy, foreign policy making,

Sechser, Todd S. 2018. “Reputations and Signaling in Coercive Bargaining.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 62 (2): 318–45.

Fearon, James. 1995. “Rationalist Explanations for War.” International Organization 49 (3): 379–414.

Levy, Jack S. “Prospect Theory, Rational Choice, and International Relations.” International Studies Quarterly 41, no. 1 (March 1, 1997): 87–112.


Kydd, Andrew H. 2015. International Relations Theory: The Game-Theoretic Approach. Cambridge?; New York: Cambridge University Press. Ch2

Wagner, R. Harrison. “The Theory of Games and the Balance of Power.” World Politics 38, no. 4 (July 1986): 546–76.

Niou, Emerson M. S., Peter C. Ordeshook, and Gregory F. Rose. 1989. The Balance of Power?: Stability in International Systems, Cambridge University Press.

Kahler, Miles. “Rationality in International Relations.” International Organization 52, no. 04 (1998): 919–41.

McDermott, Rose. 2004. “Prospect Theory in Political Science: Gains and Losses From the First Decade.” Political Psychology 25 (2): 289–312.

Yarhi-Milo, Keren. 2013. “In the Eye of the Beholder: How Leaders and Intelligence Communities Assess the Intentions of Adversaries.” International Security 38 (1): 7–51.

Horowitz, Michael C., and Allan C. Stam. 2014. “How Prior Military Experience Influences the Future Militarized Behavior of Leaders.” International Organization 68 (3): 527–59.

Week 11 (11/21): Liberalism, democratic peace, and cooperation in international organization

Rosato, Sebastian. 2003. “The Flawed Logic of Democratic Peace Theory.” American Political Science Review 97 (4): 585–602.

Weiss, Jessica Chen. 2013. “Authoritarian Signaling, Mass Audiences, and Nationalist Protest in China.” International Organization 67 (1): 1–35.

Kucik, J., and E. Reinhardt. 2008. “Does Flexibility Promote Cooperation? An Application to the Global Trade Regime.” International Organization 62 (03): 477–505.


Mesquita, Bruce Bueno de, James D. Morrow, Randolph M. Siverson, and Alastair Smith. 1999. “An Institutional Explanation of the Democratic Peace.” American Political Science Review 93 (4): 791–807.

Doyle, Michael W. 2005. “Three Pillars of the Liberal Peace.” American Political Science Review null (03): 463–466.

Moravcsik, Andrew. 1997. “Taking Preferences Seriously: A Liberal Theory of International Politics.” International Organization 51 (4): 513–53.

Dafoe, A. 2010. “Statistical Critiques of the Democratic Peace: Caveat Emptor.” American Journal of Political Science.

Oneal, John R, and Bruce M Russet. 1997. “The Classical Liberals Were Right: Democracy, Interdependence, and Conflict, 1950–1985.” International Studies Quarterly 41 (2): 267–94.

Gartzke, Erik. 2007. “The Capitalist Peace.” American Journal of Political Science 51 (1): 166–91

Kindleberger, Charles P. 1986. The World in Depression, 1929-1939: Revised and Enlarged Edition. Revised. University of California Press.

Ikenberry, G. John. 2018. “The End of Liberal International Order?” International Affairs 94 (1):7–23.

Jeffry A. Frieden, “Actors and Preferences in International Relations,” in David A. Lake and Robert Powell, eds., Strategic Choice and International Relations (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1999), pp. 39–76.

Christian Reus-Smit, “The Strange Death of Liberal IR Theory,” European Journal of

International Law, 12, 3 (2001): 573-93

Week 12 (11/28): AMUN. Library resource & endnote workshop at 大勇樓傳院基礎數位實驗室210315[in Chinese]

Week 13 (12/5): Neoliberal institutionalism and interdependence

Keohane, Robert O. 1984. After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in the World Political Economy. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. Ch3&9.

Krasner, Stephen D. 1983. International Regimes. Cornell Studies in Political Economy. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Ch1

Farrell, Henry, and Abraham L. Newman. 2019. “Weaponized Interdependence: How Global Economic Networks Shape State Coercion.” International Security 44 (1): 42–79.


Cha, Taesuh. 2019. “Is Anybody Still a Globalist? Rereading the Trajectory of US Grand Strategy and the End of the Transnational Moment.” Globalizations, May.

Reus-Smit, Christian. 1997. “The Constitutional Structure of International Society and the Nature of Fundamental Institutions.” International Organization 51 (4): 555–89.

Keohane, O. Robert. 1998. “International Institutions: Can Interdependence Work?” Foreign Policy, no. 110: 82–96+194.

Gilpin, Robert. 1981. War and Change in World Politics. Cambridge?; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Keohane, Robert O. 1989. Power and Interdependence. Edited by Anonymous. Scott, Foresman/Little, Brown Series in Political Science. Glenview, Ill.: Scott, Foresman.

Koremenos, Barbara, Charles Lipson, and Duncan Snidal. 2001. “The Rational Design of International Institutions.” International Organization 55 (04): 761–799.

Week 14 (12/12): Constructivism (I)

Wendt, Alexander. 1992. “Anarchy Is What States Make of It: The Social Construction of Power Politics.” International Organization 46 (02): 391–425.

Hopf, Ted. 2017. “Change in International Practices.” European Journal of International Relations, August, 1354066117718041.


Johnston, Iain. 2007. Social States: China in International Institutions, 1980-2000. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, Ch1

Hopf, Ted. 1998. “The Promise of Constructivism in International Relations Theory.” International Security 23 (1): 171–200.

Wendt, Alexander. 1999. Social Theory of International Politics. Cambridge University Press.

Mercer, Jonathan. “Anarchy and Identity.” International Organization 49, no. 02 (1995): 229–52.

Week 15 (12/19): Constructivism (II)

Keck, Margaret E., and Kathryn Sikkink. 1998. Activists beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics. Cornell University Press, Ch1&6.

Finnemore, Martha, and Kathryn Sikkink. 1998. “International Norm Dynamics and Political Change.” International Organization 52 (04): 887–917.


Moravcsik, Andrew. 2000. “The Origins of Human Rights Regimes: Democratic Delegation in Postwar Europe.” International Organization 54 (2): 217–52.

Hall, Rodney Bruce and Thomas J. Biersteker. “The Emergence of Private Authority in the International System.” In The Emergence of Private Authority in Global Governance, ed. Rodney Bruce Hall and Thomas J. Biersteker, 3-22. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Haufler, Virginia. “Corporations in Zones of Conflict: Issues, Actors, and Institutions.” Chapter 4 in Avant, Finnemore, and Sell, Who Governs the Globe?, 2010, Cambridge University Press.

Finnemore, Martha, and Kathryn Sikkink. 2001. “Taking Stock: The Constructivist Research Program in International Relations and Comparative Politics.” Annual Review of Political Science 4 (1): 391–416.

Risse, Thomas. “Transnational Actors and World Politics”. Carlsnaes, Walter, Thomas Risse, and Beth A. Simmons, eds. 2012. Handbook of International Relations. 2 edition. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Klotz, Audie. “Norms Reconstituting Interests: Global Racial Equality and U.S. Sanctions against South Africa.” International Organization 49, no. 3 (ed 1995): 451–78.

Week 16 (12/26): Rational choice and its critics, Marxism, feminist theory

Fearon, J., and A. Wendt. 2002. “Rationalism v. Constructivism: A Skeptical View.” In Carlsnaes, Walter, Thomas Risse-Kappen, and Beth A. Simmons, eds. 2013. Handbook of International Relations. 2nd ed. London?; Thousand Oaks, Calif: SAGE.

Tickner, J. Ann, and Jacqui True. 2018. “A Century of International Relations Feminism: From World War I Women’s Peace Pragmatism to the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.” International Studies Quarterly. Accessed May 14, 2018.

Mahoney, James and Diana Rodriguez-Franco, “Dependency Theory”, in The Oxford Handbook of political development, chapter 2


Levy, Jack S. 1997. “Prospect Theory, Rational Choice, and International Relations.” International Studies Quarterly 41 (1): 87–112.

Green, Donald, and Ian Shapiro. 1996. Pathologies of Rational Choice Theory: A Critique of Applications in Political Science. Yale University Press, especially Ch3

Webster, Kaitlyn, Chong Chen, and Kyle Beardsley. 2019. “Conflict, Peace, and the Evolution of Women’s Empowerment.” International Organization 73 (2): 255–89.

Wight, Martin. “Western Values in International Relations.” In Diplomatic Investigations: Essays in the Theory of International Politics, 3:89–131, 1966.

Little, Richard. “The English School’s Contribution to the Study of International Relations.” European Journal of International Relations 6, no. 3 (September 1, 2000): 395–422.

秦?青。???系理?中??派生成的可能和必然,《世界??与政治》2006年 第3期。

Week 17 (1/2): English School, Rethinking theories: where will we go

Buzan, Barry, and Richard Little. 2000. International Systems in World History: Remaking the Study of International Relations. Oxford University Press, USA, Ch2, 3, & part II.

Katzenstein, Peter J. 2018 “The Second Coming? Reflections on a Global Theory of International Relations.” The Chinese Journal of International Politics. Accessed September 6, 2018.

Week 18 (1/9) Final exam TBA

Teaching Methods
Teaching Assistant



Class participation: 25%

Discussion leader and presentation: 16%

Response paper: 10%

Summary paper: 14%

Final exam: 35%


Grade Scale:

100-90  A+   89-85   A    84-80   A-    

79-77    B+   76-73   B    72-70   B-

70 and below F

Textbook & Reference

Please acquire books and articles for this class from the library. Please let me know if the library does not have the material. Please be aware of copyrights regulations and do not reprint these works. Students are encouraged to gather a course pack together.

Urls about Course