Contemporary International Relations

6 ECTS / Semester / English

Learning Outcomes

This course will examine important historical and contemporary themes in international relations that set the stage for analyzing the current international system. Particular attention will be payed to the interaction between International Relations as a field of knowledge and its application and/or relevance to International Politics and to the development and state of the art of International Law.

Taking into consideration perspectives from both theory and practice in IR, the course is designed to provide students with a familiarity for understanding the fundamental concepts, theories, and debates in international relations. Throughout the course, students will be exposed to material related to history, economy, society, and the environment, all related to the international political context.

At the end of this course students should have a consistent grasp of various theories of state behavior and how they apply to current and past political events.


  1.  Internationalization and Globalization;
  2. The ICC: from euphoria to reality;
  3. The Right of Self-Determination of Peoples, today;
  4. 4. A 'right' to democracy (from Venezuela to Iraq, passing through North Korea);
  5. Responsibility to Protect; Cyberdefence and hybrid conflicts;
  6. Aggression, international crime?;
  7. National Defence as na instrument of foreign policy;
  8. The EU in crisis;
  9. China and the Eurasia that is talked about;
  10. Legal Pluralism, fragmentation and global constituctionalism;
  11. The privatization of State functions;
  12. The growth of radical or antisystem political movements; their institutionalization. What democratic reaction?;
  13. What future for international law? Crisis or Cycle?;
  14. Migrations and Refugees;
  15. Main current threats. The Report of the United States; global perceptions; the United Nations;
  16. Politics, its relations with intenational law and relations.


Professor(a) Associado(a)
Licenciado em Direito pela Escola de Direito do Porto da Universidade Católica Portuguesa, em 1984. Diplôme de l'Institut Européen des Hautes Etudes…