International Relations (IR) is the study of the interactions of state and non-state actors in the international system as they seek to address issues emerging from behavior that occurs across state boundaries. While globalization has boosted the prosperity of many states and communities, it has left others behind, thus accentuating already existing cleavages among, as well as within, societies. While the Cold War has ended, many other conflicts have begun or continued to fester, and terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction have worsened. Other major challenges, including poverty, infectious disease, human rights violations, and environmental degradation, cry out for solutions. The IR field is dedicated to understanding when, why, and how state and non-state actors cooperate and compete in their efforts to address these challenges and advance or thwart solutions to issues of common concern.
The IR faculty at the Graduate Center represent a diverse array of interests and expertise. Particular strengths include international organizations, law, and security, as well as human rights and humanitarian affairs, areas where the research interests of several of our faculty intersect. The study of international organizations is also reinforced by the Graduate Center's Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, which is currently engaged in a variety of research endeavors (including the past and future United Nations, as well as the responsibility to protect). The IR faculty have particular regional expertise in the Middle East, Latin America, the international relations of the global south, and U.S. foreign policy. The field is also enriched by the IR expertise and research interests of several faculty in other subfields, as well as by the Graduate Center's Human Rights Seminar Series, European Union Studies Center, Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies, and Middle East and Middle East American Center.
This subfield features studies in these areas:
International relations theory and foreign policy
International political economy
International organization and law
International human rights and humanitarian affairs