Subfield Coordinator: Vinod Aggarwal
International Relations at Berkeley focuses on the study of contemporary and historical problems in world politics. Our faculty and graduate students work on an eclectic set of substantive issues that frequently cross over between international relations theory, security studies, and international political economy.
Current research interests pursued by our group include the causes and consequences of peace and war, the political economy of trade and finance, American foreign and national security policy, emerging issues in security, geopolitical order and change, the impact of technology and geography on world politics, the role of ideas and identities shaping international affairs, the link between business and politics, and the interaction between religion and global politics. In addition to resources in the political science department, our work is reflected and supported by various centers across campus: the Institute for International Studies (IIS), the Berkeley Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Study Center (BASC), the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy (BRIE), the Religion, Politics and Globalization Program (RPGP), and others. In addition, the journal Business and Politics is edited by one of our faculty members.
Our methodologies are equally eclectic, ranging from socio-historical analysis to quantitative empirics and formal modeling. Much of our research is interdisciplinary, drawing from fields as disparate as economics, psychology, ecology, theology or history. We take theory seriously but not to the exclusion of interesting and important global problems. Our overarching goal is to contribute to an understanding of how international politics is organized and how it functions around substantive issues that matter to political actors and human beings.