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Second Year of International Relations and Diplomacy at the United States Institute of Leadership and Diplomacy

Second Year Objectives

The second year of an International Relations and Diplomacy program aims to build upon the foundational knowledge and skills acquired during the first year. The focus is on deeper engagement with specialized topics, advanced research, and practical application. Here are the key objectives for the second year:

  1. Deepening Theoretical and Conceptual Understanding:

    • Objective: Enhance students' comprehension of advanced theories and concepts in international relations and diplomacy.

    • Outcome: Students should be able to critically engage with and apply complex theoretical frameworks to a range of international issues and case studies.

  2. Advanced Research Skills:

    • Objective: Develop students' ability to design and conduct sophisticated research projects.

    • Outcome: Students should be proficient in advanced research methodologies, including both qualitative and quantitative techniques, and capable of producing high-quality academic research papers.

  3. Specialization in Key Areas:

    • Objective: Allow students to focus on and gain in-depth knowledge in specific areas of international relations and diplomacy that align with their interests and career goals.

    • Outcome: Students should acquire specialized expertise in areas such as international security, global political economy, regional studies, or international law.

  4. Practical Application and Skills Development:

    • Objective: Equip students with practical skills necessary for effective participation in international relations and diplomatic activities.

    • Outcome: Students should develop advanced skills in negotiation, conflict resolution, and public diplomacy, and be able to apply these skills in simulated and real-world scenarios.

  5. Policy Analysis and Evaluation:

    • Objective: Train students in the techniques of policy analysis and evaluation.

    • Outcome: Students should be able to critically assess international policies, develop policy recommendations, and evaluate their potential impacts.

  6. Global Governance and International Institutions:

    • Objective: Provide an in-depth understanding of the roles and functions of global governance structures and international institutions.

    • Outcome: Students should be able to analyze the effectiveness and challenges of international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, and regional organizations.

  7. Enhancing Communication Skills:

    • Objective: Improve students' ability to communicate complex ideas clearly and persuasively in both written and oral forms.

    • Outcome: Students should be able to produce well-structured policy briefs, research reports, and academic papers, and deliver effective presentations.

  8. Language Proficiency and Cultural Competence:

    • Objective: Achieve higher proficiency in a foreign language and deepen cultural understanding relevant to international relations.

    • Outcome: Students should demonstrate improved language skills, enabling them to engage more effectively in international settings, and possess a greater appreciation for cultural diversity.

  9. Internships and Real-World Experience:

    • Objective: Provide opportunities for practical experience through internships and fieldwork.

    • Outcome: Students should gain hands-on experience in relevant organizations, enhancing their practical skills and professional networks.

  10. Preparation for Capstone Project or Thesis:

    • Objective: Prepare students for their capstone project or thesis, which is typically completed in the third or final year.

    • Outcome: Students should be able to develop a clear research proposal, conduct a thorough literature review, and begin preliminary research for their capstone project or thesis.


The second year of the International Relations and Diplomacy program is designed to deepen students' theoretical knowledge, enhance their research capabilities, and develop practical skills essential for a career in international relations. By the end of the second year, students should have specialized expertise in their areas of interest, advanced research and analytical skills, improved communication abilities, and practical experience through internships and real-world engagements. These objectives ensure that students are well-prepared for the advanced stages of their studies and for professional roles in international relations and diplomacy.

Second Year Curriculum - International Relations and Diplomacy

The second-year curriculum for a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy builds on the foundational knowledge and skills acquired in the first year. It introduces more specialized subjects, enhances analytical and practical skills, and further develops language proficiency. Here’s a structured second-year curriculum:

Third Semester:

1. Theories of International Relations

  • Overview: In-depth exploration of major theories and their application to global issues.

  • Key Topics: Realism, liberalism, constructivism, Marxism, feminism, and critical theories.

  • Assessment: Research papers, exams, and theoretical analysis essays.

2. International Political Economy

  • Overview: Examination of the interaction between politics and economics on a global scale.

  • Key Topics: Global trade, international finance, development economics, and economic policies.

  • Assessment: Exams, policy briefs, and case studies.

3. International Law

  • Overview: Introduction to the legal framework governing international relations and state conduct.

  • Key Topics: Sources of international law, treaties, human rights law, and international courts.

  • Assessment: Legal analysis essays, case studies, and exams.

4. Regional Studies I

  • Overview: Focused study on a specific geographical region’s political, economic, and social dynamics.

  • Key Topics: Regional conflicts, political systems, economic development, and regional organizations.

  • Assessment: Regional analysis papers, presentations, and exams.

5. Foreign Language III

  • Overview: Continuation of foreign language study with an emphasis on advancing to higher proficiency levels.

  • Key Topics: Advanced grammar, complex vocabulary, in-depth conversations, and cultural nuances.

  • Assessment: Quizzes, oral exams, and written assignments.

Fourth Semester:

1. Comparative Foreign Policy

  • Overview: Analysis of how different states formulate and implement foreign policy.

  • Key Topics: Decision-making processes, national interests, case studies of major powers, and foreign policy tools.

  • Assessment: Comparative essays, policy analysis, and exams.

2. Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies

  • Overview: Strategies and methodologies for resolving international conflicts and promoting peace.

  • Key Topics: Mediation, negotiation, peacekeeping, post-conflict reconstruction, and case studies.

  • Assessment: Role-playing simulations, conflict analysis papers, and exams.

3. Global Security Studies

  • Overview: Examination of security challenges and strategies in the contemporary world.

  • Key Topics: Terrorism, cybersecurity, nuclear proliferation, regional security dynamics.

  • Assessment: Security policy briefs, research papers, and exams.

4. Human Rights and International Justice

  • Overview: Study of international human rights laws and mechanisms for their enforcement.

  • Key Topics: Humanitarian intervention, international criminal courts, and human rights advocacy.

  • Assessment: Legal analysis essays, case studies, and exams.

5. Foreign Language IV

  • Overview: Further advancement in foreign language skills, focusing on fluency and comprehension.

  • Key Topics: Advanced conversation practice, reading comprehension, and cultural context.

  • Assessment: Quizzes, oral exams, and written assignments.

Additional Components:

Workshops and Seminars:

  • Diplomatic Skills Workshop: Interactive sessions on diplomatic communication, protocol, and negotiation techniques.

  • Research Methodology Seminar: Advanced research techniques and methodologies specific to international relations.

Extracurricular Activities:

  • Model United Nations (MUN): Continued participation in MUN to refine negotiation and public speaking skills.

  • International Relations Club: Engage in discussions, debates, and events on current international issues.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the second year, students should:

  • Have a deeper understanding of key international relations theories and their applications.

  • Understand the complexities of international political economy and global trade.

  • Be familiar with the principles and institutions of international law.

  • Gain specialized knowledge of a particular region’s political and economic dynamics.

  • Enhance foreign language proficiency to a higher intermediate or advanced level.

  • Develop skills in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and global security analysis.

This curriculum aims to equip students with the analytical tools and practical skills necessary for advanced study and professional work in international relations and diplomacy.

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