This week the academic term starts in Copenhagen following up the introduction and orientation days last week. The campus is back to full swing and fully open. This term I am teaching a core course in International Relations at master level. Together with 100 students we will explore the rich universe of international relations concepts, how these structure our thoughts but also are the key building blocks of how practitioners make sense of their worlds.
The course starts out from a discussion of why concepts matter and why they are the more interesting entity than paradigms or theories. We then explore different understandings of concepts and the forms of analysis that follow from that. Broadly we explore epistemological, historical and sociological accounts. We then critically review a range of foundational concepts and their semiotic fields, starting out from the concept of theory, moving to concepts of order, agency, culture, practice and discourse. Next we explore a range of concepts that are particularly important in contemporary debates, including spatiality, materiality, anthropocene and queer.