This course has been put forward by the co-teachers as an occasion to seriously and critically reflect on these recent developments. “Democracy in dark times” may come with a question mark for some, and as an established fact for others. Regardless how you view it, the invitation here is to collectively engage in some readings and discussions of some “what, how and why” of democracy’s challenges. The course emphasizes active, participatory learning principle – unlike conventional courses, here we deal with a new and evolving theme, and the course intentionally deals with events and processes that are just unfolding and still feature in daily news reports. The idea here is to take such troubling and significant current affairs and put them to critical analysis based on our conceptual and theoretical understanding of democracy. The schedule of the course is designed so as to facilitate such a progression of discussion and analysis.

International Relations (IR) is often described as the systematic study of 3Cs – cooperationconflict, and competition, among different actors at the international stage. As an academic discipline, IR focuses on the study of the interaction of the actors, including states and non-state actors. It involves the study of such things as diplomacy, foreign policy, conflict and negotiation, war, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, international trade and economics, and international development, among other subjects. IR, therefore, is an interdisciplinary as well as a multidisciplinary field of study, whereas it addresses the core research themes of international security, international political economy, international law, foreign policy and diplomacy, human rights, and many more. 

In this context, the main aim of this course is to introduce the actors, issues, and processes of international relations. The course is designed to provide students with an introduction to international relations and establish a foundation of knowledge that will aid in further inquiries into international relations. Through an in-depth analysis of case studies, academic debates, and role-play simulations, students will be able to gain real-world experience. The course consequently helps students to understand better where and how policies, strategies, conflicts, and laws have an impact around the world.