International Relations 101

Every inhabitable bit of land on this planet is owned by a state. The world looks like a single entity only if looked from space. On the ground, it is composed of some two hundred separate territorial units, each facing the same dilemma. How to ensure everyone’s right to mind their own business when what happens outside the state borders affects what happens within? In reality, of course, these seemingly separate units are not so independent from one another. In fact, they are entangled in an increasingly dense and complex web of interaction.This is the question, which drew me to King’s in the first place. I want to understand how units based on territorial sovereigntyand independence could better overcome cross-border challenges.

The study of International Relations has traditionally meant studying relationships between states. In modern times, a host of other actors need also to be considered. In my program, you can pursue the path that interests you most. Whether your focus is on the traditional foreign policy and diplomatic relations, the influence of the non-state actors in challenging the state authority, or the overlapping economic and social relations binding states together in international institutions, the decision is yours.One of the greatest advantages of the International Relations program is the chance to build it largely based on your own interests.

In my department, the studying experience encompasses much more than mere academic teaching. One can read the same books everywhere, but the kind of first-hand experience you get here is harder to master on your own. Lectures and seminars are frequently accompanied by a range of different events focusing on a particular aspect or situation in international politics. Blurring the line between academics and practitioners, between theory and policy, is encouraged both in and outside the classroom.

In addition to the university-run events, the wide spectrum of different student-run societies, and the co-operation with other institutions such as think thanks and policy-centres, ensure that every week is packed full of non-academic opportunities. Moreover, with its highly international student body, there is sense of learning international relations in practise. With each passing week, I face new opportunities to experience communication and teamwork in an international environment.

London, International Relations and King’s vast professional and academic networks are an excellent match. Applying to King’s was one of the best decisions of my life.

View from the War Studies Department

View from the War Studies Department