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Political Science & International Relations Summer Course in Oxford Ages 16-18

Oxford Summer School 2019
Also in Cambridge | London

Part of the BROADENING HORIZONS Programme


Study Political Science and International Relations with our Oxford Summer School 2019. This Politics summer course is designed to introduce students to the academic disciplines of Political Science and International Relations, exposing them to the methods of social scientific enquiry and contemporary issues dominating the discipline.

2 or 4 weeks | Available July - August 2019

  • Residential in historic buildings in Oxford
  • An inspiring Politics summer course taught by experts.
  • Combine this course with other options - tailor your programme
  • A truly international environment - over 135 nationalities in 2018

Course Summary

Over the course of two weeks, the classes build a progressive understanding from the foundations of Political Science to some of the most pressing issues faced in the field of International Relations.

Session Format

Week One

During the first week, students examine basic academic principles; the focus thereafter is on the development of international politics, with classes exploring issues such as the consequences of globalization and human rights.

Week Two

In their second week students on this politics summer course will examine the ethical dilemma of torture, and the evolution of modern warfare (with particular emphasis on counter-terrorism legislation). They will study the conceptual basis of global governance, present to their peers on a major international institution, and participate in a class debate on whether or not war can be just.

What will you get out of the Political Science & International Relations Summer Course?

Classes are structured so as to offer the greatest opportunity for thought provoking discussion, combining lectures, issue debates, written assignments, group challenges, and student presentations.

The Broadening Horizons Programme

This subject is part of the Broadening Horizons course at Oxford Royale Summer Schools’s Oxford summer school.

The Broadening Horizons course, for students aged 16 to 18, is suitable both for those who are trying to decide what to pursue in further education, and for those who simply want to learn about a variety of interesting subjects - 30+ study options are available!

Students choose two morning classes and one afternoon workshop to provide a diverse and stimulating curriculum that is tailored to their needs, allowing them to pursue areas of interest or try out something new. Students studying Broadening Horizons in Oxford get the chance to live and learn in a college of the University of Oxford or in our 17th-century manor house, Yarnton Manor.

Learn more about and apply for the Broadening Horizons Programme in Oxford

Expectations and Pre-requisites

Expectations/Pre-requisites No prior knowledge of politics or international relations is required for the course. Knowledge of Microsoft Word and PowerPoint would aid writing and the preparation of group presentations.

Suggested Reading

If students would like to explore the subject before they join the course, we recommend the following textbook, though it is not compulsory and you will not be at a disadvantage for not having read it:

  • Baylis and Smith, The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations

For students would would like to look into Politics and International Relations in even greater depth, the following is a selection of articles that they may wish to read, although again, they are not compulsory:

  • Stephen M. Walt, “International Relations: One World, Many Theories,” Foreign Policy, N. 110 (Spring 1998): 29-32 and 34-46
  • J. David Singer, “The Levels-of-Analysis Problem in International Relations,” World Politics, V. 14, N. 1. (October 1961): 77-92.
  • G. John Ikenberry, “The Liberal International Order and its Discontents,” Millennium – Journal of International Studies, V. 38, N. 3 (2010): 509-521.
  • John Horgan, “From Profiles to Pathways and Roots to Routes: Perspectives from Psychology on Radicalization into Terrorism,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political Science, 80 (2008): 80- 94.
  • Stathis N. Kalyvas, “New and Old Civil Wars: A Valid Distinction?” World Politics, V. 54, N. 1 (October 2001): 99-118.
  • Robert J. Art and Robert Jervis, International Politics: Enduring Concepts and Contemporary Issues, 2011.
  • Bruce Hoffman, What is Terrorism?
  • Robert I. Rotberg, The Causes of Failed States

Choose your options and apply for Broadening Horizons

The Broadening Horizons programme - our flagship Oxford summer course - allows you to combine different subject options to enable a flexible, tailored programme that best suits your academic needs

To view other options, select your choice of options and apply, please visit the main Broadening Horizons Programme page

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