Document Type

Undergraduate Syllabus


Spring 2019



Course Number

DIPL 3104

Course Description

This course explores the nature and content of the law governing relations between states and relations between states and non-state actors. The first part of the course examines the building blocks of international law; the second part applies this knowledge to particular topics, such as the use of force, human rights and international humanitarian law. By the end of the course, students will possess an understanding of the operation of the international legal system and the role of international law in international affairs.

Students will also develop their critical thinking skills and gain an introduction to legal reasoning and to legal concepts. The course requires students to read closely, to think logically and rigorously, and to become skilled in developing and critiquing arguments. The course will explore methods of legal reasoning, emphasizing principles of logic that apply to legal analysis. Students will apply and learn these legal reasoning skills throughout the course in assignments and class discussion and in a class specifically devoted to legal reasoning. The ability to think critically and analytically, and to communicate an analysis clearly, are crucial skills not only for lawyers, but for practitioners of diplomacy and for all professionals.

In terms of the learning goals and student outcomes the School’s Faculty have identified as key for students, students will:

• increase their knowledge and understanding of

o key concepts, models, theories, and debates in international relations

o the institutional backdrop underpinning international politics, including international organizations and international law

o the normative aspect of international relations as reflected in international law, including human rights

o an in-depth knowledge of a particular functional area and/or region of the world

• develop skills to

o collect, sort, and evaluate information

o analyze complex situations and synthesize information

o communicate effectively in oral and written form

• develop a sense of global citizenship and to employ a global perspective to:

o recognize and understand differences among a diversity of cultures and viewpoints

o employ a global perspective and self-awareness regarding their own culture and responsibility as world citizens

o demonstrate leadership qualities and other essential skills of diplomacy.