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HSE University による Understanding International Relations Theory の受講者のレビューおよびフィードバック



The course aims to introduce the key assumptions of the international relations theory as a part of social science and as an analytic tool, focusing on the problems of war and peace, foreign policy decision-making, etc. The course combines historic approach and analysis of the modern political problems. The historic part shows the evolution of the international relations theory from being a part of political philosophy to its emergence as a special branch of political science, which is essential to understand the key ideas of the IR science. The lectures also include broad outline of the modern concepts and debates in the context of the contemporary political problems, such as rise of China and other emerging powers, threat of terrorism, US-Russia confrontation, etc. The lectures of the two outstanding Russian scholars and political analysts – Timofey Bordachev and Dmitry Suslov - cover such fields as the problems of international security and conflict resolution, international economic relations, foreign policy decision-making, global governance, the role of power in the IR. Do you have technical problems? Write to us:



The course provides understanding about basic concepts of IR Theory, with quizzes and assignments and useful readings. The professors are enthusiastic and able to explain the concepts in details.


It was really excellent taking this course. The course content was well delivered and the presenters were amazingly amazing in explaining the different concepts and views.


Understanding International Relations Theory: 26 - 50 / 144 レビュー

by Rubana M


great information

by laureen a



by Artamonov G A


Let me outline the pluses and minuses of this course. I'll start from pluses.

1 Good material (both presentation and content) for absolute beginners

2 Most of the lectures are informative. There are also further readings for every lecture.

3 Many empirical examples

Now the minuses

1 Accent is veeeeeeeeeery thick (on both tutors). And overall English usage is... imperfect, to say the least

2 A lot of annoying errors at the test part. Tests quality is like 1/5 (completely useless)

3 A lot of peer-review stuff (this one is very subjective)

4 Course doesn't dive deep enough to take a somewhat "full grasp" of the theory. I understand that time is a limited resource, but there are a lot of obvious ways to improve the course structure quality (stop putting too much effort into useless classifications, for example)

5 Last week is pretty much one-way interpretation of Russian foreign policy given in a video lecture format. No other interpretations of Russian FP are presented, making it seem like authors of the course accept only their own view as the plausible one. I think this may narrow the perspective of course participants.

To sum up, it is a very weak 4 (closer to 3 actually). Tests are annoying, English is kinda poor, material is on the very surface level (but again, presentation is very good). ABSOLUTE beginners in the subject will without a doubt find this course helpful.

My English might be bad too, so sorry for that.

by Andrea C


The subject is very interesting and the course gives a large overview of the international relations theory. A section dedicated to exercises should be introduced. English language needs to be improved. Overall rating by the way is positive, it's a course that teaches you to understand the international arena. something that is essential to every kind of professional.

by Joanna S


I had to unenrolled from this course because it was too much of a struggle understand the presenter's English. The transcript was just as bad. It's a real pity because I was enjoying the subject but in the middle of Week 2 I decided that I was spending too much time just trying to fathom out what he was trying to say.

by Miriam E


I am giving this course 2 stars because I found it to be quite Euro-US-centric and actually quite racist and sexist. I know this is not wholly the university's fault: IR as a field has been quite Eurocentric and male dominated in general. However, that is changing, and Coursera should be invested in ensuring the courses on its platform are growing with the fields they represent. Meaning, let's think a little harder about how race and gender play into IR and how IR theory has been portrayed and shaped from a more critical lens that acknowledges the field's racist past and present--instead of rambling off the same old Eurocentric story just because that's what we've always done.

All of the influential IR thinkers cited were American men, and some were European men. This course is your typical Westphalia and onwards vision of IR, dominated by male thinkers. African countries were only mentioned once or twice when the professors needed examples of poor countries. That is racist. This is really unacceptable. Also, how can IR theory really be INTERNATIONAL if it is only based on and shaped by events and (male) thinkers in the US and Europe? Intellectual racism and sexism are fitting descriptors.

The lecture on feminism was particularly terrible. The professor mischaracterized what feminism is by saying it is based on the assumption that men and women behave differently (that's not what feminism is). And then he proceeded to use a quote by a MAN to disprove feminism, saying that feminists have too many "unverified assumptions" and that Hilary Clinton and Condoleeza Rice are both women and are in politics, so therefore feminists are not needed in IR theory. It just made zero sense and is a huge injustice to portray feminism in this way. If you don't know what feminism is and you don't care about it, at least get someone who DOES to give the lecture on it.

This course has 2 professors. One is much more engaging than the other, who basically reads long sentences off of the powerpoint slides.

All said, I took this course because I care about IR theory and know that I need to learn about IR as it has been taught in the past to understand today's conversations in the field. However, if Coursera cares about racism and white supremacy, it should invest in courses that are not actively continuing white supremacy's legacies and ways of viewing and defining the world in the courses it offers. IR will continue to be racist as long as platforms like Coursera continue to invest in courses like this one.

by Gloria G d R


This course is a SCAM. DO NOT PURCHASE! In the last assignment, they will not grade it and then they will make you retake it and you can only do so IF you RE-PAY the course. And the worst part is, there is no where you can ask for help about it or to place a complaint. Worst course EVER! DO NOT PURCHASE!

by Prathamesh D


A very interesting and comprehensive course. One not only gets to see International Relations, but also human behavior in general. How we humans differ in our behavior and how situations compel us to behave in a certain way. There are several theories on that, which the Professors have explained well. Professor Bordachev with a calm and systematic approach and Professor Suslov with an enthusiastic and example-oriented approach makes a great combination. All in all, I'm sure all learners will have fun with this course. Many thanks!

by Giovanni R


The course is great. It is straightforward and builds consistent mental associations. Ultimately it is the perfect introductory course to international relations. The professors are amazing. Their teaching method focuses on giving you some key principles that you can remember. They repeat the principles in different ways, so to help you building associations in your memory. The only negative side is some problems in the questions of the quizzes. But that is a totally neglectable problem, which cannot affect my 5-star evaluation.

by Aldrich L R R


The course is comprehensive and encompassed a lot of helpful topics that will help undergraduate and graduate students alike in understanding international relations and global politics. It also provides valuable insights into Russian foreign policy. Lastly, I would like to thank Professors Timofey Bordachev and Dmitry Suslov for accompanying us through this learning experience. They have been very knowledgeable and professional, and I finish this course with utmost respect for them.



This course was one of the most complete courses I have taken. Twelve week-long full of knowledge, if you are wondering to specialize in the area of International Relations, this course is essential for your development. The instructors presented each topic giving details but also giving a clear message about it. This is complex topic but the way it was developed amazed me. Congratulations to everyone involved in this project, the output I have got impressed me.

by Mr. S P


Interesting, very helpful course by excellent professors and from well known university! These people made theories of international relations very easy to understand. Especially last section of this course is very important as it describes not only importance of Russian Federation as such but also importance of Eurasia, which is generally get ignored while studying international relations! Quick suggestion, update the course content! that's it!

by Sally M C


Very well structured course for IR beginners. Great assignment design to encourage you to read more on topics that you are interested (your choice!). Two possible ways to further improve this course: (1) make the lecture slides to be downloadable; (2) small briefing of what other non-dominating schools of IR theories that are not including in this course and whether they are popular in certain countries / culture.

by Aria F


I took this course to prep myself for an MA degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy as my previous background was mainly in Education. The course was very well designed, both instructors were SUPER KNOWLEDGEABLE. And In general, it helped me a lot to learn the major theories in IR. Good Job Guys! thank you for creating this course! your work is really inspiring.

by Gaïa V


This course was excellent !The teachers explained international relations theory very well, with a lot of accuracy and examples. This course will permit you to understand international relations history and how they work, and I think it is useful for everyone interested about the world they live in. I really recommend taking this very complete course !

by Irene U B


This course is very interesting and very intellectually challenging. Being completely new to politics and international relations, doing this course has only increased my interest towards it. Both teachers are excellent (especially professor Suslov), are incredibly knowledgeable and give finally a perspective on IR that is not American-centric.

by Li D


well explained basic concepts + clear historical background + case analysis in real world.

Finishing the essay assignments are relly helpful to (re-)construct one's own overview of most schools of thoughts in international relations and international politics.


by Aleksandra B


Thank you Profs. Bordachev and Suslov for this excellent course. The quality of the material coupled with easy-to-follow presentation and structure have made the learning process truly enjoyable. Upon completion I have been able to fill the blanks in my knowledge of international relations and will use it to continue my research.

by Ashhar S


In my opinion this has been THE BEST of the 8 Politics and IR courses I've completed at coursera. The lecturers, espectially prof. Dimitrii Suslov has been extremely elaborate. This course covers a huge domain in the world of International Relations that perhaps is not offered in any other course here.

by Carolina A


I really enjoed the course, the proffessor were very professional and explained really good, I liked how the views were so imparcial and respectful. I would like that some of the test or essay were calificate by proffessors or high students from the University but the rest was amazing. Thanks so much !



Probably the most interesting course I have done so far. Coming from an engineering background I found it reflects a different perspective about the world. I learnt how each country is correct in their own ways and why USA should not interfere in other people's business unnecessarily.

by Jairam R P


Twelwe weeks packed with indetailed information regarding International Theory covering traditional approach, realist theories, liberal theories and much of recent theories. The exercises are challening but at the same time test your application knowledge and your perspective.

by Jina M


This is by far the best course I have taken.

I gained a deep understanding in international relations. What is distinguished about this course is the passion seen from the instructors, and the general knowledge that covers a variety of subjects.

Highly recommended.

by Professor


the best course, I have taken so far..

I am really thankful to the Coursera team, who help me financially to do this course. I will try to share my success with others and also spread the information about Coursera to my peers.

thank you, Coursera.

by A Y G


Excellent course. I'm an international Relations student now. But I have been an oral surgeon ( a dental specialty) for 35 years. I have learnt a lot of this course. I recommend this course to everyone who interested international relations.