Research Seminar in International Relations - 1st semester


The main aim of the course is to provide an opportunity for
PhD students to make informed judgments about how and in what ways research in International
Relations has impacted (or not) on societies' perceptions of key issues in world politics. Additional
aims include assessment of how the practice of international relations has triggered the emergence of the discipline and how dramatic changes in the contemporary world and the
evolution of the discipline have been mutually constitutive. More generally, the seminar aims to
foster the ability of the PhD students to connect theoretical reasoning about International
Relations to the substantive issues that research in this discipline tries to address while processes
are still unfolding and with unpredictable outcomes. The seminar aims to advance reflexion on the
Ethics of Research in International Relations and on the implications for all the participants
involved either in individual or Team Projects.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Alexandra Magnólia Dias


Weekly - 2

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





1. Acharya, Amitav &, Buzan, Barry. The Making of Global International Relations : Origins and



Evolution of IR at Its Centenary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019.
2. 2. Teixeira, N. Severiano, & Neves, Maria do Céu Patrão, ed. Ética Aplicada: Relações Internacionais.
Lisboa: Edições 70, 2018.
3. 3. Buzan, Barry &, Schouenborg, Laust, ed. Global International Society: A New Framework for
Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.
4. 4. Jackson, Patrick T. The Conduct of Inquiry in International Relations. Abingdon / New York:
Routledge, 2011.
5. 5. Reus-Smit, Chris; Snidal, Duncan, ed. The Oxford Handbook of International Relations. Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 2008.

Teaching method

The course consists of 10 seminars. Each Seminar has a
Lecture component which provides an overview of a particular topic; the second componet of the
seminars probe more deeply into these topics based on the required readings for each session. The
course comprises texts that are either essential or recommended readings each week, as well as
background readings that will be useful for presentations and for the final essay. In general, these
texts are intended to provide a basis for seminar discussion, to introduce key concepts and issues
about Theory/Praxis (Practice)/Research, and to act as a starting point for more advanced,
independent enquiry into particular topics of relevance in the first year of a PhD Programme of
Studies with a specific focus on challenges for International Relations' scholars & apprentices.

Evaluation method

Long essay (70%): the main way that the course is
assessed is through a single 8,000 word essay. The PhD students are expected to use both the Final
Essay Proposal, as well as the Oral Presentation as a way of developing ideas and receiveing
feedback from their peers for the summative essay

Subject matter

Research is often considered to be a ‘side order’, or a natural given to the ‘main course’ of
International Relations. But as this seminar explores, the lack of attention paid to a number of issues
such as: Theory, Praxis and Research, the distinction between scholars/practictioners and
sometimes their interchangeable roles, the need to raise funding and keep scholarly independence
while at the same time aiming to achieve societal impact, the distinction between scholarly research
and policy-oriented research- is a mistake. These issues have played a major part in the making of
both the trajectories of the scholars, think tank researchers and practioners within International
Relations. From the founding of the discipline to the early 21st century, Theory/ Praxis and Research
have been central to the discipline's trajectory and to individual trajectories. The research and
practice of International Relations have also been tightly bound up with unpredictable and volatile
dynamics of contemporary world politics which in turn condition the issues that are most likely to be
awarded funding. This course explores both the theory and practice of international relations,
teasing out their effects and examining the prospects for research in International Relations in the
context of the PhD, Research Projects and with a view in a Post-PhD research career horizon.


Programs where the course is taught: