Locating the International

This two-part course begins by exploring how we understand ‘the international’. Usually, we tend to think of the international as being defined by the line between the domestic and the foreign. However, this line is often moving, blurrier than we think, and even appears in new places. By engaging students with a range of material that contains expressions of ‘the international’ from different scholarly fields, the course first asks: what makes some topic or idea international? What are international issues or problems? The course will draw on the history of empires, law, and international relations, spy literature and film, diplomatic memoirs, environmental studies, and contemporary and historical business studies and mass media. By analyzing and discussing this material together, the course attempts to develop a sense of how the international is constituted and defined. In the second part of the course, students will explore different ethical foundations to consider the questions that arise with the variety of interpretations of the international. In other words, what are the intersections between what is “the international” and what is “the good”. What are the different ethical perspectives that form the foundation for different obligations and responsibilities to the international? Philosophical selections will be drawn from Greek, modern European, Confucian and other non-Western, and contemporary philosophy.