International Relations

picture of worldInternational Relations at UCSD is more than the study of politics across national boundaries. Our graduate students are trained to understand the close links between international and domestic politics, and between politics and economics. International security and political economy are our particular strengths. From the causes of war to the determinants of foreign economic policy, our program emphasizes cutting-edge theory, methodology, and the development of advanced research skills.

The Department of Political Science and the Graduate School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS) are home to 19 faculty members who teach and conduct research in international relations. This is one of the largest concentrations of international relations faculty in the world, which means that students receive a great deal of individual attention and ample opportunities for collaboration.  We also offer an exciting mix of highly distinguished senior scholars and talented junior faculty researching a wide range of substantive topics using a variety of methods (formal, quantitative, qualitative, experimental). A majority of the faculty is also engaged in field work and interviews. 

The international relations curriculum at UCSD is rich and diverse, as befitting a department of this size and stature. We offer a unique set of key courses in international relations that students can augment with additional seminars on special topics: Quantitative Approaches, Formal Theory, International Political Economy, and Modern Diplomatic History (see Field Requirements for more detail). This set reflects our view that only robust grounding in both theoretical tools and substantive knowledge can produce great researchers.

Focus Areas in International Relations

  • International organizations
  • International political economy
  • International security

International Relations Faculty

  • John Ahlquist, Associate Professor, IPE/CPE, redistribution, labor, applied statistics
  • J. Lawrence Broz, Professor, IPE, political economy of money and finance
  • Peter Cowhey, Professor, IPE, trade & telecom, U.S. and the Pacific-Asia
  • Jesse Driscoll, Assistant Professor, International security, civil wars & state-building, experiments, former-Soviet Union 
  • Erik A. Gartzke, Professor, International security & economy, formal/quantitative methods
  • Emilie Hufner-Burton, Professor, IOs, International Law, IPE, human rights, social network, experiments.
  • Peter A. Gourevitch , Professor. IPE/CPE, financial crises, corporate governance, Western Europe
  • Stephan Haggard, Professor. IPE/CPE, development and governance, Asia 
  • David A. Lake, Professor. International security & economy, international system and governance
  • Philip G. Roeder, Professor. Authoritarian politics, ethnic policies, post-Soviet politics 
  • David R. Mares, Professor. IPE, governance, informal economy, Latin America 
  • Megumi Naoi, Associate Professor. IPE/CPE, international trade, experiments, East Asia 
  • Lauren Prather, Assistant Professor.  IPE/CPE, foreign aid, public opinion, experimental methods
  • Christina J. Schneider, Associate Professor.  IOs, IPE, distributive politics, foreign aid, European Union 
  • Weiyi Shi, Assistant Professor, IPE/CPE, foreign direct investment, firms in authoritarian systems, China 
  • Branislav L. Slantchev, Professor. International security, formal modeling 
  • David Victor, Professor. IOs & IPE, environmental politics, U.S. foreign policy
  • Barbara F. Walter, Professor. International security, with an emphasis on internal wars, conflict termination, and bargaining and cooperation
  • Tom Wong, Assistant Professor, immigration & border controls, governance on refugee flows, Western Europe & U.S.