International Relations: Getting Started


African Union (AU)

African Union flag

Established in 2002 to replace the Organization for African Unity, it unites 54 African countries, (all those in Africa bar Morocco), into a set of shared supra-national political and administrative bodies. The objectives of the African Union are to foster political and economic development, cooperation, and integration across the continent; combat poverty and war; promote and defend African common interests; promote democracy, good governance, and human rights.

Source: A Dictionary of Human Geography

Getting Started

Use this guide to discover books, journals and articles from databases, and websites related to the vast field of International Relations. 

What is International Relations?

United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland   

International Relations (IR) is the study of relations between nationals focusing on political, economic, social and cultural exchanges. It encompasses many different fields of study, including but not limited to: terrorism, globalization, international security, religion, history, diplomatic relations, sustainability, human rights, and global finance. 

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics defines IR as:

"The discipline that studies interactions between and among states, and more broadly, the workings of the international system as a whole. It can be conceived of either as a multidisciplinary field, gathering together the international aspects of politics, economics, history, law, and sociology, or as a meta‐discipline, focusing on the systemic structures and patterns of interaction of the human species taken as a whole."

Source: The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics (3 ed.)

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