Published on Brock University (http://brocku.ca)
International Relations is the study of the interactions between states in a globalized world. The major areas of study within the field of international relations include international security, international political economy and global governance. The security of states has long been a major focus of IR because there is no world government to provide collective safety and welfare.. International political economy is concerned with the impact of interdependence and globalization on global trade, finance and production. The global financial crisis is the most recent example of the importance of the global economy to broader goals such as peace and stability. Global governance studies the role and importance of international organizations in promoting cooperation between states. A common theme unifying all these areas of study in IR is that states are no longer the only actors in the global system, and non-state actors such as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), multinational corporations and even terrorist organizations are having an impact on international security, international political economy and global governance. In learning about the changing nature of the global system, IR tackles issues arising out of the involvement of non-state actors in global governance, the emerging global norm of humanitarian intervention, the rise of emerging economic powers such as China and India, the significance of regional integration (for example, the European Union and North America), the persistence of poverty and inequality between and within states, and the implications of the apparent decline in power of the United States, Canada’s closest ally and trading partner. Students of IR have gone on to careers in a wide range of fields. Students have pursued careers in government, including foreign affairs and defence, as well as ministries with international responsibilities such as agriculture, the environment, natural resources and transport. Some are attracted to politics, while others have gone on to traditional professions such as law, teaching and business. Students have found opportunties in Canada’s security institutions, encompassing the armed forces, border security and intelligence agencies. Students wishing to broaden their horizons have found internship opportunities with international organizations such as the United Nations, or volunteer opportunities with international non-governmental organizations. While students at Brock, some have taken advantage of the exchange opportunites in developed and developing countries offered through Brock International.
International Relations Faculty