Penn Summer COVID-19 Update
Penn Summer staff are not onsite, but we are still available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. by phone and online in case you need support: (215) 898-7326 or Visit, the University's dedicated coronavirus COVID-19 web page, for the latest updates.
close alert box button

Introduction to International Relations

Course Number
PSCI 150 920
Course Code
Course Key
Course Description
The discipline of international relations focuses on the actors (e.g. people, countries), structures (e.g. international organizations), and forces (e.g. power, norms) that shape interactions between countries. The goal of studying international relations is to build theories of these interactions that can explain events across time and space. For example, can the same factors explain the destructiveness of World War I and the relative peace of the Cold War? Why does the United States view countries half a world away (China, Russia) with suspicion, but fosters good relations with Canada, with whom it shares thousands of miles of border? IR scholars use the tools of scientific inquiry to answer these questions. This course is an introduction to both the theories that scholars developed to explain world politics and some of the methods that they use to build, test, and revise these theories. In this course, you will also produce a 4-6 minute podcast offering a policy recommendation on an international issue of your choice. You will receive instruction in podcast production techniques and the use of the free audio editing software Audacity. No textbook is required for this course.
Subject Area Vocab