The Department of International Studies prepares you for the increasingly complex and interconnected world of the 21st century. Whether you are passionate about human rights, media, education, the environment, or public health, when you pursue an International Studies degree at IU you will learn how to analyze these global issues through a multidisciplinary context and acquire the skills required of tomorrow’s global leaders. Additionally, you will develop deep knowledge of at least one region outside the US, and fluency in another language. An integral part of the School of Global and International Studies, the department offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees as well as graduate degrees. Our students go on to meaningful careers in government, NGOs, corporations, foundations, media outlets, and policy institutes; but most importantly, emerge from our department as ethical citizens of the world.
Eashan Kumar, who graduates May 5 with a dual degree in International Studies and Neuroscience, will be the 2018 student speaker for spring commencement.
Recent Publications by International Studies Faculty
Andrew Bell published “Syria, Chemical Weapons, and a Qualitative Threshold for Humanitarian Intervention” in Just Security and “Syria, chemical weapons and the limits of international law” in The Conversation.
On Islam: Muslims and the Media is edited by Hilary Kahn and Rosemary Pennington. Publisher’s Weekly writes, “Though slim, this book goes a long way in combating Islamophobia and exposing how media representations often exacerbate the ignorant fear of Islam and Muslims.”
David Bosco's article, "John Bolton talks tough on the U.N. What’s his record really like?" has been posted on the Monkey Cage, a blog hosted by the Washington Post.
In Paying for Climate Change, Stephen Macekura argues counter intuitively that the Trump Administration’s climate policy is not that different from his predecessors' in one crucial respect: an ongoing refusal to provide financial aid to help poorer countries contend with climate change. His article appears on Bunk, a new history website featuring insight into contemporary issues.
In November, Professor Padraic Kenney published Dance in Chains:Political Imprisonment in the Modern World, "the first book to trace the history of modern political imprisonment from its origins in the mid-nineteenth century."
Numeric Literacy for Global Citizenship
In this course students will learn how to analyze data and interpret results. Commonly used descriptive and inferential statistics will be covered, including measures of centrality and variation, hypothesis testing, and ordinary least squares regression. In the lab, students will learn how to use Stata, a statistical software, to explore and analyze data. The approach will emphasize matching quantitative analyses appropriately to research and policy questions. Class examples and activities will also introduce students to widely used international measures, such as the infant mortality rate, human development index, and gross domestic product. No previous coursework in statistics is required.
Law and Authoritarianism: China
We are witnessing a global turn towards populist and illiberal governance. Authoritarian leaders often embrace international legal norms symbolically and rhetorically while subverting them in practice through various means of local political control and interference. This course uses the case of China to explore the functions and behavior of legal systems in authoritarian political contexts because China overwhelmingly dominates scholarship on the topic. In this interdisciplinary course we will not only explore and debate these questions, but will also (re)consider conventional scholarly notions about authoritarianism and popular political participation, single-party rule and judicial governance, democracy and political legitimacy, and legal professionals and their fights for legal and political freedoms.
Intervention and Sovereignty
As civilian casualties mount in Yemen, Syria, Myanmar, and other places in the world, many often wonder, "Where's the United Nations? Why doesn't it do something about this?" The UN Charter, along with the Four Geneva Conventions ratified shortly afterwards, does create the basis for the regulation of war and minimizing its devastating effects. Yet political considerations have almost always dominated over the more idealistic principles enunciated in the Charter. This course will explore and analyze the theoretical and practical considerations of the attempt to regulate the use of armed conflict through the United Nations Charter and other international instruments. Readings will examine how successful such attempts have been, including attention to such issues as the responsibility to protect, collective security, and the role of the Security Council and the great powers in armed conflict.
Ethics and Decision-making in International Politics
This course explores the role of ethics and moral considerations in how and why states and politicians act internationally. Although some portray international politics as a realm of clashing national interest bereft of moral consideration, at the level of the individual, political leaders from antiquity to the present have sought to justify their actions in moral terms. This class explores normative reasoning--what should I do?--in all its aspects as applied to questions of international politics, including: whether to go to war and how to fight; what if any obligations the developed world owes to the developing world; whether and how to promote human rights and democratic government; moral justifications for authoritarian government; and national borders and who can cross them. Readings range from classics including Thucydides, Machiavelli, and Kant to modern works by Michael Walzer and Kwame Anthony Appiah.