Comparative International Systems

Bachelor course. Political Science. Autumn term and Spring term.

STVC69 - Comparative International Systems (7,5 credits)

International relations is usually discussed as the history of the so called ”Westphalian” system. This is the international system established in Europe in the wake of the Treaty of Westphalia, 1648. The Westphalian system is based on state sovereignty, on anarchical relations between states, and on constant threats of war. From this perspective the history of international relations is the story of how the Westphalian system gradually expanded to take over the world.

And yet, historically speaking, there have been several other international systems that were not based in Europe, and which are not best characterized by sovereignty, anarchy and war. This course focuses on the most prominent of these alternatives: the Sinocentric international system, the Mongols and the Arabic international systems. The course also covers the international systems of South-east Asia, Japan, Africa, pre-Columbian America and the Pacific Ocean. By discussing the logic and nature of these alternatives, the course provides a history of international relations from a non-European point of view.


Helen Fogelin

International coordinator - incoming students

Room: 234
Telephone: +46 (0)46-2228951
E-mail: helen [dot] fogelin [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se