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International Relations


International Relations

Updated January 30, 2007

International Relations (IR) is the study of foreign policymaking and international cooperation and conflict. Globalization has boosted the prosperity of many states, while leaving others behind and leaving all more vulnerable to economic shocks. While the Cold War and its tense superpower rivalry has ended, many other conflicts continue to fester, and terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction have worsened. Human rights violations, other forms of human suffering, and environmental degradation, no matter how distant, cry out for solutions. The IR field is dedicated to understanding when, why, and how states try to cope with these challenges and attempt to advance their individual and common interests.

The IR faculty at The CUNY Graduate Center represent a diverse array of interests and expertise. Particular strengths include international organization, international law, and human rights, areas where the research interests of three of our faculty intersect. The study of international organization 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 a multi-year United Nations Intellectual History Project, and is the New York office of the journal Global Governance. The IR faculty also have particular regional expertise in Africa, the Caribbean, and U.S. foreign policy. The field is also enriched by the IR expertise and research interests of several faculty in other subfields at The Graduate Center, 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 security
  • International political economy
  • International organization and law
  • Human rights and humanitarian affairs

Faculty include: