Middlebury College political scientist James Morrison has done a big favor for us do-it-yourself web learners by posting two of his International Relations courses on the web. In addition to the audio lectures, you can download the reading lists and PowerPoint slides. He’s an energetic speaker who lectures with humor and engages his students in frequent discussion. One of the things I especially like about his presentations is that he gives each group of theorists its due, without tilting too much toward his own opinions.
International Politics (readings, lectures)
This is the introductory course to international relations theory that we’ve been waiting for. Morrison gives a lively tour of the major international relations theorists, with lots of useful examples. Then he presents case studies, like the Cold War and World War II, to test the explanatory power of the theories. He wraps up the course with an overview of current issues like terrorism and globalization.
International Political Economy (readings, iTunes, feed)
This course is about the intersection of economics and politics in the international arena. Morrison reviews some of the concepts from his International Politics course, but there’s also a lot of economics, starting with classic theorists like Adam Smith, and moving on to modern perspectives. There’s a lot of meat in this course, and to really understand what Morrison is saying, I sometimes had to listen to the lecture more than once. (Note: lecture 2 is missing, but you can find lecture 2 of the 2009 version of the course on iTunes.)
Technical note: these lectures are in the m4a format used in iTunes and on Apples ipod devices. If your mp3 player requires mp3 files, you will need to convert the files. A free converter that I like is the RealConverter, part of the RealPlayer from real.com.)