Contemporary Challenges in International Relations

UAB Barcelona Summer School

26-Contemporary Challenges in International Relations  - Juan Pablo Soriano

Number of credits: 6 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS)
Course Fee: 850 €
Course Fee for UAB students: 200 €
Teaching Language: English
Place: UAB Campus Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès)
Teaching Period: 21 June to 09 July
 

Enrolment guidelines

Enrol now

Contact: summer@uab.cat

 

PROFESSOR BIO INFORMATION

Rachid Aarab is an international relations researcher and a Ph.D. Scholar on Politics, Policies and International Relations. He is an Associate Professor in International Relations whose research is within the framework of International Relations and studies on Energy, with special focus on global energy policy, the National Oil Companies and the International Oil Companies, the energy sources in the Middle East and North Africa, the Arab Gulf states policies, and Islam and International Relations. He has been a visiting researcher at Princeton University during the 2015-2016 academic year and at London School of Economics and Political Science and at Qatar University during 2012.

Pablo Aguiar holds a Master on Cooperation for Development at Cidob. Currently he works as a Researcher at ICIP (International Catalan Institute for Peace) and as Associate Professor of International Relations at the Faculty of Political Sciences, UAB. His main research areas are: Peace Studies; Cooperation for Development; EU Foreign Policy.

Alessandro Demurtas holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and European Integration from UAB. He currently works as Associate Professor of International Relations at the Faculty of Political Sciences and Sociology, UAB. His main research areas are European Integration, jihadism, international terrorism, security studies, nuclear weapons.

Juan Pablo Soriano holds a PhD in Political Science, by the UAB, a Master in Political Science (UAB) and a Master in International Security, University of Hull, UK. He is an Associated Lecturer in International Relations, at the Faculty of Political Sciences and Sociology of the UAB and an affiliated lecturer at the Barcelona Center for International Affairs (CIDOB). His research interests are the following: international relations of Latin America, international security (traditional and non-traditional security matters), foreign policy analysis, trans-Atlantic relations, Euro-Latin American relations.

  • Department of Public Law and Historico-Legal Sciences, Department of International Public Law and International Relations Area
  • E-mail: rachid.aarab@uab.cat; paguiar.icip@gencat.cat; alessandro.demurtas@uab.cat; juanpablo.soriano@uab.cat

 

ACADEMIC GUIDE

Contents overview

Contemporary Challenges in International Relations is composed of four complementary subjects:

1. “Europe and the challenge of international terrorism”. It analyzes the evolution of Islamic terrorism in the European Continent, starting with Al Qaeda in 2001 and finishing with the cells and lone wolves inspired by ISIS in 2020. Students will familiarize with theoretical concepts and with the concrete dynamics and dimensions of this complex phenomenon. The subject will also analyze the role of Social Media and Internet, especially its role in radicalization of young people. (Professor Alessandro Demurtas)

2. “Latin America: regional and international challenges in an emerging international order”. Students will identify and analyze contemporary regional and international challenges for Latin America and the Caribbean. This will be done from a multidimensional perspective, but special attention will be given to: political and economic regional integration; regional security and transnational crime; Latin America’s relations with the United States, the European Union, and China; and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the region. (Professor Juan Pablo Soriano)

3. “The Sustainable Development Goals: development, peace and security challenges”. In 2015 the General Assembly of the United Nations approved the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, including 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Its implications are not only focused on the international dimension. It is a call for a substantial change on public policies at all levels. The subject will analyze the origins of the 2030 Agenda and then will make an overview of how SDG’s are being implemented. Furthermore, a process of building indicators of concepts such as Development, Peace or Security has been done, and will also be reviewed. (Professor Pablo Aguiar)

4. "Energy and International Relations: Conflict and Cooperation in the Mediterranean and Middle East" Analyzes the role of energy in the evolution and transformation of international relations, and the processes of cooperation and conflict in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Students are introduced to the concept of energy and its transdisciplinary nature. The sessions will address the key events of the 20th century related to energy in the Mediterranean and Middle East region. Also, the factors will be identified that influenced the conflict processes and cooperation as: “the Seven Sisters” oligopoly, the 1973 oil embargo, OPEC’s Control Policy, and the Cooperation between the energy companies and states. (Professor Rachid Aarab)

 

Week programme

Contemporary Challenges in International Relations
 Week   Contents Teaching / learning activities
1

1.1. Introduction (by 4 professors)

 

1.2. Europe and the challenge of international terrorism (3 days)

Presentation and main concepts of each subject

 

Teaching: Basic concepts of the Academic of International Relations; the evolution of the terrorist threat for the International System and for the European System of International Relations: from Al Qaeda to ISIS.

Learning activities: Each class will be divided into three parts. The first part will consist of lectures or teaching activities by the professor on the main elements of the subject, organized in consecutive sections. The second part is for exercises, presentations, debates, class participation and Q&A supervised by the professor. The third part is reserved for individual questions.
2

2.1 Latin America: regional and international challenges in an emerging international order (3 days)

2.2 The Sustainable Development Goals: development, peace and security challenges (1 day)

Teaching: Students will identify and analyze contemporary regional and international challenges for Latin America and the Caribbean. This will be done from a multidimensional perspective, but special attention will be given to: political and economic regional integration; regional security and transnational crime; Latin America’s relations with the United States, the European Union, and China; and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in the region.

Learning activities: Each class will be divided into three parts. The first part will consist of lectures or teaching activities by the professor on the main elements of the subject, organized in consecutive sections. The second part is for exercises, presentations, debates, class participation and Q&A supervised by the professor. The third part is reserved for individual questions.

 

Teaching: Introduction to the development agenda at the international fora, specially at UN. Origins of the Agenda 2030 and the SDG, analysis of the policy implications of such objectives; debates regarding SDGs, its relationship with peace and security agendas; main implementation problems regarding SDGs, and future challenges.
3

3.1 The Sustainable Development Goals: development, peace and security challenges (2 days)

3.2 Energy and International Relations: Conflict and Cooperation in the Mediterranean and Middle East (3 days)

3.3 Closing (by 4 professors)

Learning activities: Each class will be divided into three parts. The first part will consist of lectures or teaching activities by the professor on the main elements of the subject, organized into consecutive sections. The second part is for exercises, presentations, debates, class participation and Q&A supervised by the professor. The third part is reserved for individual questions.

 

Teaching: Students will analyze the role of energy in the evolution and transformation of international relations, and the processes of cooperation and conflict in the Mediterranean and Middle East.

Learning activities: Each class will be divided into three parts. The first part will consist of lectures or teaching activities by the professor on the main elements of the subject, organized into consecutive sections. The second part is for exercises, presentations, debates, class participation and Q&A supervised by the professor. The third part is reserved for individual questions.

 

For the closing lecture, students will do a wrap up of what they have seen in the four different subjects of the course. They will have to debate about how the topics are interlinked.

 

Evaluation

Each subject has different evaluation activities within the development of the corresponding section. At the end of the course, the final evaluation of this course will be the average of the four subjects or topics of this course.

IMPORTANT: all students need to do the mandatory readings of each lecture beforehand. That’s necessary for them to do the different scheduled activities during the lectures.

1. Europe and the challenge of international terrorism

  • 25% of the grade will be based on class attendance and participation in the debates.
  • 25% of the grade will be based on the 3 short exercises/presentations that students will do in classes (each one counts 25% of the grade).

2. Latin America: regional and international challenges in an emerging international order

  • 25% of the grade will be based on class attendance and participation in the debates.
  • 25% of the grade will be based on the 3 short exercises/presentations that students will do in classes (each one counts 25% of the grade).

3. The Sustainable Development Goals: development, peace and security challenges

  • 25% of the grade will be based on class attendance and participation in the debates.
  • 25% of the grade will be based on the 3 short exercises/presentations that students will do in classes (each one counts 25% of the grade).

4.  Energy and International Relations: Conflict and Cooperation in the Mediterranean and Middle East

  • 25% of the grade will be based on attendance at class and participation in the debates.
  • 25% of the grade will be based on the 3 short exercises/presentations that students will do in classes (each one counts 25% of the grade).

 

Links and references
 

1. Europe and the challenge of international terrorism

Elias J. and Sutch P. (2007), “The Nature of International Relations”, International Relations: The Basics, Routledge, 1-20

Elias J. and Sutch P. (2007), “Glossary of key terms”, International Relations: The Basics, Routledge, 179-191

UN Security Council (2004), “Resolution 1566” available at https://www.un.org/ruleoflaw/files/n0454282.pdf

European Parliament and the Council of the EU (2017), “Directive (EU) 2017/541 on combating terrorism”, available at https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=LEGISSUM%3A4322328

The Economist (2016), ”Terrorism. Learning to live with it", September 3rd, available at https://www.economist.com/international/2016/09/03/learning-to-live-with-it

 

2. Latin America: regional and international challenges in an emerging international order

Igarapé Institute. Integrating security, justice and development agendas. https://igarape.org.br/en/ 

In sight. Organized crime in the Americas: http://insightcrime.org/

Selected chapters from: Shifter, Michael and Binetti, Bruno (eds.) (2019). Unfulfilled Promises. Latin America Today. The Inter-American Dialogue. The book is open access and can be downloaded from: https://www.thedialogue.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/unfulfilled-promises-english-new.pdf

Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). Selected publications from the Citizen Security in Latin America Program: https://www.wola.org/program/citizen-security/

Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars. Selected publications from the Latin American Program: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/insight-analysis?_page=1&keywords=&_limit=10&programs=110

 

3. The Sustainable Development Goals: development, peace and security challenges

Laila El Baradei (2019) Politics of Evidence Based Policy Making: Reporting on SDG 16 in Egypt, International Journal of Public Administration

UN General Assembly (2015) “Resolution on Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” A/RES/70/1 available at https://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/70/1&Lang=E

UN Sustainable Development Goals: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/

Walter Leal Filho, Ulisses Azeiteiro, Fátima Alves, Paul Pace, Mark Mifsud, Luciana Brandli, Sandra S. Caeiro & Antje Disterheft (2018). Reinvigorating the sustainable development research agenda: the role of the sustainable development goals (SDG),International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 25:2, 131-142

 

4. Energy and International Relations: Conflict and Cooperation in the Mediterranean and Middle East

Mommer, B. (2002). Global oil and the nation state, Oxford: Oxford University Press for the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

Goldthau, A., & Sitter, N. (2018). Conceptualizing the energy nexus of global public policy and international political economy. In Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy and Natural Resources, Edward Elgar Publishing.

Claes, D. H. (2013). Cooperation and Conflict in Oil and Gas Markets. In The Handbook of Global Energy Policy, pp. 176–189.

Parra, F. (2013). Oil politics: a modern history of petroleum, London: I.B. Tauris.

Stevens, P. (2013). History of the International Oil Industry. In R. Dannreuther & W. Ostrowski, eds., Global Resources: Conflict and Cooperation, London: Palgrave Macmillan UK, pp. 13–32.

Daniel Yergin, D. (2011). The Prize. The Epic Quest for Oil, Money & Power.