Institut Supérieur des Sciences Politiques et Administratives

Bachelor in International Relations

96 crédits
For students entering the program at the Sophomore level
(holders of a recognized Baccalaureate or Freshman diploma - equivalent to 30 credits)


General Education
Arts and Humanities
3 credits
Civic Engagement
2 credits
French Communication
3 credits
History of Lebanon
3 credits
POL212Introduction to Geopolitics
3 credits    |    Pré-requis: LFR120
This course offers an introduction to geopolitics, its development through history and, its different schools of thought. An analytical approach to the geopolitics of Lebanon and the Middle East is a key aspect of the course.
POL211Introduction to Political Science
3 credits    |    Pré-requis: LFR120
This course defines the notion of policy. It questions the concepts of “Political Science” and the different “Political Sciences” with a focus on the field of policy. The concept of State is an important part in this introduction given the interdependence and complementarity between “political” and “State”.
Quantitative Reasoning
3 credits
Religious Sciences
3 credits
Science and Health
3 credits
1 credits
SOC218Statistics Applied to Human Sciences I
3 credits
Most of the analysis in human and social sciences and decision-making is founded on statistical data. Students will work individually on data collected either in their research or in their professional lives. This course provides students with the tools and knowledge required to present data in tables and graphs, how to analyze the characteristics of a statistical distribution, and how to study the correlations between two variables. Particular attention is devoted to the choice of statistical methods and interpretation of results.
Common Core
POL225Elements of Constitutional Law
3 credits
This course aims to introduce students to the constitutional rights through the perspective of a political science. It presents the main principles of constitutional law; such as, separation and balance of powers, the various political regimes, institutional bodies as well as those essential to political and social life ­ parties, unions, etc.
POL213Introduction to International Relations
3 credits    |    Pré-requis: LFR120
Beyond any theoretical perspective, this course presents the current state of international relations following the fall of communism; emphasizing the new world order, globalization, the role of the United States and its reappraisal.
POL321Modern and Contemporary Political History
3 credits
The course focuses on the political, economic and sociological landscape covering the major issues of the twentieth century: the world wars, colonization, the East­West confrontation, the Cold War, decolonization, the disintegration of the USSR, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the European integration, US hegemony, the new international order resulting from the Gulf War, etc.
POL322Modern and Contemporary Political History of the Middle East
3 credits
This course focuses on the major constituent events in the modern and contemporary political history of the Middle East. It highlights fundamental aspects of the emergence and evolution of this region: the fall of the Ottoman Empire and its impact, Franco­British colonization, independences and confrontation with the State of Israel, etc.
POL334Political Regimes of Arab Countries
3 credits
This course reveals the dominant features that constitute the characteristics of political regimes in the various Arab countries by comparing their respective constitutions.
POL224Political Science Method
3 credits
This course trains students on two levels: linguistic and reflexive. Its objective is to prepare students for the rigorous study in the Bachelor program. It aims to assist students in learning the working methods of political science. Several methodological tools will be taught for this purpose: linguistically, analysis and summaries of texts adapted to different areas of political science, lecture notes, presentations and oral argument, and on the reflexive level, mastery of techniques of dissertation writing, so students can learn to differentiate between personal thinking and personal opinion, engage in synthetic reflection, and present a mini­dissertation “research” applying the methods learned throughout the semester. This course is meant to be participative and students are advised to take this course at the beginning of their degree program.
SOC422Political Sociology
3 credits
This course focuses on the central theme of power. This topic is treated in two parts with sub­themes which are integral to the central issue of the course. In the first part of the course, students will be introduced to the notion of power and how it is undeniably linked to politics in its relation to the state and social actors. The second part of the course encourages reflection and questioning in relation to power, demonstrated through the study of different thinkers and sociologists of the twentieth century. Students learn not only to handle the theoretical concepts but also how to reflect on them in a methodical way, moving back and forth between sociological conceptualization and political reality.
RIN431Diplomatic and Consular Law
3 credits    |    Pré-requis: POL225
This course is about the organization of diplomatic and consular posts, and the immunities and privileges attached to it according to the Vienna Conventions.
POL331European Union: History, Organization and Political Challenges
3 credits
This course covers the history of the European Union and the political and economic context of its foundation. It deals with its organization, its institutions, its political issues, particularly those of its foreign policy, its economic power, etc. It addresses geographical, cultural, religious and linguistic features and their role in the formation of the European Union and in its enlargement. It focuses on the Euromed project that encompasses the countries of the European Union and the Mediterranean.
RIN441Existing and Emerging World Powers
3 credits    |    Pré-requis: POL321
This course covers the political and economic issues of world powers: the United States, France, Britain, Germany, and Russia. It also addresses the emerging world powers: China, India, Brazil, and South Africa. 
RIN433Geopolitics of World Energy
3 credits
The course introduces students to the different types of energies: oil, gas, uranium, and the producing countries (MENA, Iran, and Russia, countries of the Caspian Sea, OPEC members, and African countries).
It examines the growth of energy needs, demand and supply, the role of the main international energy international organizations, and international treaties related to production, trade and the exploitation of energy.
Finally, this course analyses the place of energy in world and regional politics.
POL336History of Political Thought
3 credits    |    Pré-requis: POL211
This course covers the history of political thought, from ancient times to contemporary history. Particular attention is paid to concepts such of democracy, citizenship, the birth of the states, revolutionary movements, liberalism, socialism and conservatism.
POL333Human Geography of Lebanon and Arab Countries
3 credits
This course aims to introduce the topics of human settlement in Lebanon and the Arab countries, the phenomena of migration, and human activity, such as agriculture, industry and services.
SPO442Negotiations and Conflict Resolutions
3 credits    |    Pré-requis: SPO432
This course is of practical nature, intended to prepare students to address the different forms of international negotiations: individual diplomatic negotiations, labor delegations, international trade negotiations, how to resolve political, ethnic, community, and economic conflicts. This education is provided by practitioners in the field, such as diplomats and international businessmen.
POL226Political Economy
3 credits
This course aims, first, to analyze the microeconomic behavior; the subjective individual behavior of consumers and producers. The interaction between these two types of individuals, with the goal of maximizing their satisfaction, leads to the study of the market including the law of supply and demand and the equilibrium price. Thus, the analysis of competition in a market will be studied as well as non­competitive situations, such as, monopoly, monopsony, duopoly, oligopoly, etc. Then, individual behavior will be analyzed as a whole using the macroeconomic approach, including the relationship between large aggregates: GDP, consumption, unemployment, Gross Fixed Capital Formation, Export, and Import. This study will consider the different theoretical approaches concerning the choice of economic policy including monetary and fiscal policies for a country or a group of countries.
POL335Politics and Mass Media
3 credits
Political power remains voiceless or even nonexistent if it does not communicate with the masses, and it is put in danger if it communicates poorly. At its worst it can become autocratic, communicating one way. This course is responding to the question of how to call upon mass communication without manipulating which, this is the policy issue in democracy and the main focus of this course.
RIN432Public International Law
3 credits
This course deals with the law governing relations between States, its historical evolution, and the main international conventions, focusing on issues within political science.
RIN452Regional and International Organizations
3 credits
This course offers an historical overview of international organizations since 1944, and tries to establish a classification system of these organizations depending on their competences, structures and missions on the level of international or regional organization, cooperation or integration. The course will particularly focus on the Arab League and specific UN organizations.
RIN443The Arab­Israeli Conflict
3 credits    |    Pré-requis: POL322
This course considers the history of the Arab­Israeli conflict since the founding of the State of Israel and its impact on the regional and international political map, including: the interference of international powers in this conflict, the political contexts of the wars of 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, and the process of peace (the peace conference in Madrid, the Oslo Accords, and the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan), the problem of the Golan Heights and the Shebaa Farms.
RIN451Theories of International Relations
3 credits
This class will focus on the most important schools of thought and their approach to international relations. The main theoretical movements that will be covered include: Realism, Liberalism, Transnationalism, Marxism and Constructivism.
RIN442Transnational Movements
3 credits
This course deals with movements that do not position themselves necessarily under the traditional influence of the states, whether NGOs, lobbies, or Diasporas, all of which seem to obey their own logic. This class mainly attempts to explain their recent development, especially through international social movements, in the field of environmental protection and the phenomenon of globalization.
RIN444Water Issues in Regional Politics
3 credits
This course considers the issue of waters and rivers in Turkey and in the Middle East, international and interstate conventions and agreements concerning water, strategies and regional water conflicts, large water projects established and executed in the region, the water needs of states and water projects in Lebanon.


The mission of the International Relations department is to train students in the theories and political and economic issues that shape the relations between states, by offering a program focused on the following topics:
• Middle Eastern, Arabic and Lebanese policy
• International, diplomatic and constitutional law
• Political communication
• Economics and energy, and their contemporary challenges

Program Educational Objectives

1. Graduates will have the ability to manage projects in for NGOs, local or international associations or embassies, both in Lebanon and abroad.
2. Graduates will be trained to handle complex cases as high-level officials in the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and pass administrative exams.
3. Graduates will have the skills to analyze files and develop investigations in political journalism.
4. Graduates will defend their opinions, and deliver presentations relating to international relations, and in several languages.

Program Outcomes

a. Students will conduct field work in an organization or association of a political or humanitarian nature, and/or relating to human rights and the application of the international law.
b. Students will handle complex cases as high-level officials in the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and pass administrative exams.
c. Students will analyze files and develop investigations in political journalism.
d. Students will be capable of analyzing a problem and drawing correct inferences. In this process, they will be ready to communicate ideas clearly and persuasively in different languages.
Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik
Tél.: (+961) 9 600 000
Fax : (+961) 9 600 100
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