• IR-DS 101
    Theories of International Relations

    Online Syllabus

    Hiroaki ATAKA

    Associate Professor
    from Japan

    Hiroaki ATAKA

    update:2017-08-29 12:30:00

    What are the aims of the course?

    The aim of the course is to lesrn the distinct theoretical perspectives and how it highlights differnt aspects of international relations, while locating them in historical and spatial contexts. You may think that learning about theory is a detour from the real substance of international relations, but no view of “reality” can be reached without some form of simplification. By introducing students to diverse ways of looking at the world, I hope the courses will help you start building up your own perspectives about the world.

    What is the most important thing students will learn through the course?

    As I see it, the most important ability that a student can learn though the course is to be able to think and present about international relations in a logical manner. The ability of communicate does not necessarily mean only language skills. Being able to articulate your thoughts clearly, and to discuss your ideas in a multicultural setting, is an essential skill for both Japanese and non-Japanese students. I believe that discussion oriented classes is the best way to both deepen your understanding about the subject, and also to enjoy studying about international relations.

    What advice do you have for students about how to get the most out of the course?

    My advice for students to get the most out of the course is, first and foremost, to be interested in what is going on in the world. Being interested in contemporary international affairs or historical events will make you dive into the academic texts, and discussing them with your fellow classmates in class discussions will further your interest in the subject. Getting a clear idea of where your true interest lies early on in University life is the best way to enjoy the courses, and this will also help you prepare for your successful life beyond Ritsumeikan as well.

    Why should a student study Global Studies at Ritsumeikan University?

    Building on the pacifism and internationalism of its founder, Ritsumeikan has a rich heritage of thinking about international relations. This is also reflected in the fact that the College currently hosts 234 students from 27 countries and regions as of 2017 AY. The multicultural and welcoming atmosphere, together with its location in Kyoto, the heart of authentic Japanese culture, makes it a fascinating place of study. If you are interested about how international relations operate, but also have an eye for new changes and dynamics, then Global Studies at Ritsumeikan University is a good choice for you.