Korea University Department of Political Science and International Relations

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Course Description

Political Thought

Political thought has sought alternatives to key issues of each era based on a fundamental and philosophical understanding of politics and human beings. The field of political thought includes subfields such as political theory, political philosophy, and the history of political thought. First, the history of political thought, which traces the long contemplation and exploration of political scholars on politics, is divided by time into ancient, medieval, and modern political thought and by region into Western, Eastern, and Korean political thought. Political philosophy deals with reflections/considerations on the essence of politics, political norms and values based on epistemological discussions on nature, humanity, and the world. Finally, political theory includes not only concepts essential for understanding practical politics, such as justice and fairness, but also presents various methodological experiments for studying these concepts, including liberal democracy, conservatism, and ecological conservatism.

At the Department of Political Science & International Relations at Korea University, various courses are offered that explore practical alternatives based on a deep understanding of the historical and philosophical context of major issues in contemporary politics. These courses include classes in "Ancient and Medieval Political Thought" and "Modern Political Thought," as well as "Korean Political Thought" and "Asian Political Thought". In addition, courses such as "Contemporary Political Thought," "Human Rights," and "Law and Political Thought" are offered to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of current political issues.

Comparative Politics

Comparative politics is a field that deals with various domestic political issues and phenomena, primarily focusing on understanding the universality and particularity of a specific country's political experience or system by comparing it with that of others. The subfields of comparative politics are diverse, including political institutions, processes, economies, cultures, and more. It covers a broad range of important topics in political science, such as various actors including the state, politicians, bureaucrats, voters, interest groups, policies & political phenomena resulting from interactions between these actors, structures & institutions that constitute the political context, and more abstract areas such as ideologies and cultures.

Korea University's Department of Political Science and International Relations has a longstanding tradition of excellent comparative politics curriculum. While courses such as "Introduction to Comparative Politics," "Political Economy," "Political Process," and "Political Institutions"introduce major theories, there are also courses that focus on specific topics, such as "Political Parties,""Election and Voting Behavior,""Civil Wars," "Political Pychology," and more. Additionally, courses that deal with specific country or regional politics, such as "Korean Politics,""American Politics,""Chinese Politics,""Politics of North Korea," "East Asian Politics," and classes that compare various political systems, such as "Political Systems of the World," are also offered.

International Relations

International relations study how various actors in the international society, including states, interact and establish relationships with one another. Realism, which regards the international society as a state of anarchy and considers the balance of power among states to be crucial, and liberalism, which aims to solve international political issues through institutions and cooperation, form the two main sources from which numerous international relations theories are derived. Various alternative discussions are also currently in progess. Especially in the era of globalization and information technology, various transnational issues such as human rights, environment, infectious diseases, science & technology, and terrorism are emerging as major topics; the importance of non-state actors such as international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and multinational corporations is also constantly increasing.

The Department of Political Science & International Relations at Korea University has a curriculum that reflects these practical changes and academic developments. There are topic-based courses that deeply examine the main areas of international relations such as "International Political Economy,""International Security,""International Organizations,"""International Law and International Relations," in addition to courses that introduce international relations theory such as "Introduction to International Politics" and "Theories of International Relations". There are also courses that analyze the international relations and foreign policies of major countries and regions such as "Korean Foreign Policy,""American Foreign Policy,""Chinese Foreign Policy," and "International Politics in Northeast Asia".