International Relations Major

Master Global Trends and Policy

International Relations is a field of study dealing with how nations with varying power, interest, and identity interact with each other in the absence of a global government. The discipline originated in the tragic experience of World War I, when unprecedented devastation called for a systematic inquiry into the causes of war and conditions for peace. Since then, the range of issues covered in the discipline has expanded to include economic interdependence, international organizations, terrorism, poverty, human rights, and climate change, among others.

International Relations as a discipline is not just about what is happening around the world. We study why countries and national leaders behave the way they do, using different intellectual lenses, called theories. When discussing global issues such as nuclear proliferation, terrorism, refugees, hunger, and global warming, there is no such thing as the "correct answer" that satisfies everyone. The important thing is that you respect different viewpoints and work to find a common ground. Classroom discussions provide valuable opportunities for students with diverse cultural background to present their views and learn from each other. The skills learned are extremely useful not only in the way students approach their daily lives, but also in their future workplace, be it a multinational firm, government, or international organization. The International Relations major is for students who want to contribute to international societies as global citizens.

Words from International Relations Faculty

Akitoshi Miyashita | Dean of E-Track and Professor of International Relations

I became interested in the issue of war and peace when I was seventeen and lived in the United States for a year as a high school exchange student. The experience left me with a lot of fun and precious memories but also with a long-lasting puzzle: why did Japan fight a war with the United States during World War II? My personal relationship with my host family, classmates, teachers, and other members of the community was such that it was almost unimaginable for me that the two countries fought a bloody war in the not-so-distant past. How can close friends so suddenly turn out to be major enemies? These questions led me to choose International Relations as my major when I came back to Japan and went to college.

Juliette Schwak | Assistant Professor of International Political Economy

Teaching enables me to share my enthusiasm for the diversity of International Relations and its intersections with related disciplines. Teaching at TIU is exciting as it brings together students from diverse backgrounds who can share and confront ideas in and beyond the classroom. I want my students to acquire critical thinking skills to understand, challenge, and improve the world around them. I want them to be equipped with life-long skills, such as the ability to express their ideas clearly and convincingly. I rely on interactive lectures, active learning, and discussions as I feel higher education should provide students with opportunities for intellectual empowerment as well as to become curious, strong-minded, and tolerant global citizens. I also integrate cultural productions like films in my courses as gateways to understand the complexities of the global era.

Course Subfields

Global Governance
Learn the fundamental concepts regarding how societies function and what keeps them functioning in rational order.
International Security
If you are interested in how you can contribute to society to make the world a safer place, you will learn the core values that keep our world secure.
International Political Economy
This subfield focuses on the underlying political and economic rules, laws, and values that assists in the development and maintenance of society.
Culture and Society
For those of you who are interested in diversity and learning about how and why societies have developed different cultural backgrounds and identities, give this a look.

* A full list of courses in the International Relations major can be found here.