RBA203_Course outline.pdfRBA203_Course outline.pdf

CREDITS 4 (LV) 6 (ECTS) - 60 Contact Hours

The course starts with the introduction to the evolution of International Relations as a separate field of study. The first part of the course introduces students to academic research and writing in international relations. It is followed by an analysis of the most relevant IR theoretical schools – Realism, Liberalism, Constructivism, Economic structuralism, Feminism, Poststructuralism, and Normative IR theories. The course also looks at concepts such as the balance of power, security, and foreign policy. Lectures are followed by discussions based on an analysis of current events. At the end of the course, students present their research papers.

RBA213_Course outline.pdfRBA213_Course outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 32 Contact Hours

The course provides the students with an all-encompassing overview of what the diplomatic sphere has been and what are the differences with what it is now. In order to provide this comparison a step by step analysis is taken of the diplomatic procedure, embassy responsibilities, Vienna convention and other important aspects of the diplomat’s daily duties. 

RBA304_Course Outline.pdfRBA304_Course Outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 32 Contact Hours

The aim of this course is to discuss key concepts of Political Science and scholarly debates about them and to help building an academic understanding about the functioning of the society, the role and importance of politics in the life of the society as well as about making and implementation of political decisions by studying the basic concepts and mainstream theoretical approaches and by establishing causal relationships through considering examples and case studies.

RBA308_Course Outline.pdfRBA308_Course Outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 32 Contact Hours

The course covers the historical reasons and motivations for situations and problematic issues that the modern policy makers are coping with. The course is structured to cover the most important political and economic aspects and controversies in Europe, Americas, Africa, China, Middle East and Central Asia. With the emphasis on topics and international relations problematic this course addresses the history from the explanatory perspective. Regions and countries, and their specific cultural, economic and political heritage will be discussed during interactive lectures, allowing the students to engage in an active exchange of ideas, and provide alternative perspectives on historic developments.

RBB175_Course Outline.pdfRBB175_Course Outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 32 Contact Hours

The aim of this course is to introduce students with the core theories, concepts and approaches to comparative politics. The course covers four main themes: (i) comparative methodology and key concepts; (ii) political regimes; (iii) the behavioural school in comparative politics; (iv) the new institutionalism school in comparative politics. The core textbook is: Rod Hague & Martin Harrop (2019), Comparative Government & Politics. 11th edition. This, and the other texts listed in the lecture plan are available in the course compendium. In writing the research paper, students should follow the paper guidelines that will be available in the course profile. The lectures will be given by Daunis Auers and the seminars will be given by Justīne Elferte.

RBB179_Course outline.pdfRBB179_Course outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 32 Contact Hours

The main goal of this course is to give students an understanding of the most important aspects and dynamics in conflict and crisis management in international politics as one of the central problems of international security in the 21st century. During this course, we will address debates on issues such as traditional and non-traditional threats, tools and strategies of conflict resolution, the effectiveness of deterrence, the impact of international organisations on conflict management, and others. This course will cover major theories of international relations and boost students’ ability to apply theoretical concepts in integrated empirical analysis.

RBB180_Course Outline.pdfRBB180_Course Outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 32 Contact Hours

This course covers theoretical, practical and interdisciplinary approaches to one of the major sub-fields in international relations: international security. During this course students will learn various tools for analysing security and organised violence from individual, national, regional and global perspectives. In practical exercises students will learn to implement these tools and improve their analytical skills.


CREDITS 4 (LV) 6 (ECTS) - 64 Contact Hours

What is foreign policy and why study it? How are foreign policy decisions made and how are they implemented? To what extent are psychological influences important in foreign policy decision-making? Are states driven by values or interests? Do economic incentives work? Are negative economic sanctions effective? To what extent is foreign policy driven or at least constrained by mass media and public opinion? To what extent can states rely on cyber instruments in foreign policy? This course attempts to answer these important questions and to provide a systematic overview of theories dealing with foreign policy-making and implementation processes.

 Lectures introduce students to the main foreign policy theories and approaches. Levels of foreign policy analysis and the interplay between domestic and internal sources of foreign policy are also discussed. Seminars are mostly organized around case studies such as the Cuban missile crisis, Yom Kippur War, Bay of Pigs, the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula, Western economic sanctions on Russia, Sweden’s feminist foreign policy etc. Some case studies are explicitly related to theories of foreign policy decision making and implementation, while some cases are discussed in their own right. The aim of the seminar classes is to discuss foreign policy cases combining empirical and theoretical aspects of case studies.

RBB403_Course Outline.pdfRBB403_Course Outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 32 Contact Hours

Respect of protocol and implementation of its rules is important in public and international life. Knowledge of the main rules of protocol is thus essential for a future diplomat as well as for anybody involved in public and international relations. The course introduces to the main theoretical aspects and principles, develops practical skills and promotes understanding of diplomatic protocol and etiquette, their meaning and role in the changing international environment, diplomatic relations, communication, public administration, private sector and management. It also helps to master the practical principles, get a better understanding of multicultural manners and to use as important tool of diplomacy and/or strategic communication.

RBC501_Course Outline.pdfRBC501_Course Outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 32Contact Hours

The debate on public diplomacy now dominates research agendas in diplomatic studies. (Jan Melissen, “Beyond the New Public Diplomacy”, 2011)

 Public diplomacy – along with the affiliated concepts of “soft power” and “smart power” - has become a conspicuous aspect of foreign affairs in the 21st century.  The course examines the history, utilization, means and morality of public diplomacy worldwide:  from the EU countries to the United States to China.

RBC503 Economic Diplomacy.pdfRBC503 Economic Diplomacy.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 32 Contact Hours

This course deals with the economic (commercial) diplomacy in the context of bilateral and multilateral relations between the states. The course will consist of three parts. During the first part the basic principles of economics and the management of national economies will be introduced, as well as the broad differences among national economies explained. In the second part, the issues of trade and investment promotion in the context of regional and global trade and capital flow arrangements will be addressed, inter alia, the role of regional and global economic multilateral bodies in this context. At the end, the challenges to security of economic development, critical supplies, and transportation caused by technological competition, fight against climate change and geopolitical rivalry will be dealt with. During the course several in-service commercial diplomats will be invited to explain to students their daily tasks and the challenges they face throughout their work.

RBC505 Course Outline.pdfRBC505 Course Outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 32 Contact Hours

The aim of the course is to introduce students with the core theories, concepts and approaches to negotiation strategies and tactics. The course is aimed at developing analytical and communication skills that are necessary for achieving results during negotiations. The study course is divided into two parts: theoretical approaches and concepts and simulations of the multilateral negotiations. The course will focus on theory and practice of the negotiations; students will be engaged in negotiation simulations, trainings, group discussions and creative tasks. Topics include basic negotiation strategies and tactics, argumentation, negotiation styles, cross-cultural negotiations, negotiating in teams. Students will also learn about the impact of power, perception, argumentation on negotiations. Students will acquire knowledge and skills of a systematic negotiation strategy and the ability to apply it across a wide range of transactions. The course is aimed at developing analytical and communication skills for negotiations in preparation, negotiating and post-negotiations phases. 

RBE186 Course Outline.pdfRBE186 Course Outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 30 Contact Hours

The course covers the period from the Ancient World to the present day. It analyses the key activities and features of diplomacy, the results and implications. Subsequently, it analyses how international institutions try to prevent conflicts and which tools they use in their attempts to resolve them and restore peace.

RBE268 Course Outline.pdfRBE268 Course Outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 30 Contact Hours

This course will provide an overview of politics, government and society in the USA. The lectures and seminars will particularly focus on how the contemporary USA compares and contrasts with other liberal democracies in modern Europe and will identify key areas of American exceptionalism. The course will cover the US political system – Congress, President, Supreme Court, political parties, interest groups and federalism – as well as the major policy areas and controversial issues.

RBE272_Course Outline.pdfRBE272_Course Outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 32 Contact Hours

The course contents are based on methodological approach to the process of analysis. This includes the critical thinking, its advantages and challenges in the analytical process. During the course students will obtain the overview of Russian history, culture and strategies which have direct and indirect impact on today’s politics, economy, social life and foreign policy.

RBE275 Course Outline.pdfRBE275 Course Outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 30 Contact Hours

The course is focused on developing communication skills on public policy through debate, important in law, politics and business. Study course is divided into two parts. The first part will be based on lectures which will introduce students with basic knowledge on how to argue a given policy. The second part will be based on individual and collective training.

RBE307 Course Outline.pdfRBE307 Course Outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 32 Contact Hours

The first of a set of two courses covering the main countries of Asia, this course focuses on China and its multi-dimensional impact on the countries of Southeast Asia. It starts by explaining China’s fixation on returning their country to its former greatness, restoring the Chinese version of its place in the world as they had always known it It consequently explores how China currently strives to occupy “its rightful place as a great power”. To that end, President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) had been launched promising to spend over one trillion dollars for new ports, railways, fibre-optic cables, power plants, and other connections -- touching more than one hundred and thirty countries and expanding even into the Arctic, cyberspace, and outer space. Southeast Asia stands uniquely exposed to this waxing power of the new China. Three of its nations border China and five are directly impacted by its claims over the South China Sea. Using frameworks from the fields of international relations and comparative politics the course explains how domestic politics in these eight Asian nations are shaping their varying external responses and behaviours.

Teaching is based on the modern (American law school) version of the “Socratic method” — blurring the distinction between lectures and seminars.  As a consequence it is highly interactive with ample opportunity for classroom discussion and stimulating critical thinking.

RBE308_Course outline.pdfRBE308_Course outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 30 Contact Hours

Migration of people is as old as human civilisation itself, however, despite its long history, being a social phenomenon with vast both economic, legal, and political consequences, migration represents one of the most controversial issues debated in Europe and around the world. Judgments of the merits of migration, hence, its moral appraisals substantially diverge across and within countries, resulting in a multitude of policy approaches. The course will begin with the examination of historical and modern trends of migration. The legal part will deal with the conceptual categories of migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers, according to international and EU law. The political part of the course will look at the political causes and consequences of people’s migration. The economic perspective of both sending and receiving countries will be analysed in detail, as well as the developments and problems in the EU stemming from the intra-European migration and immigration from third countries. At last, but not least important, the acculturation strategies of immigrants and the approaches to diaspora engagement will also be addressed in this study course. In overall, this course aims to destigmatize the topic and demonstrate how a dialogue between supporters of open- and close-door approaches to migration can be fostered.

RBE312_Course Outline.pdfRBE312_Course Outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 30 Contact Hours

This course is devoted to the issues linked to the development and governance of the EU. During this course students will be introduced with the historical stages of the EU development, the theoretical aspects of European integration process and the EU’s institutional structure and competences. This course aims to disclose the driving forces behind the EU integration and the motives of the countries' accession to the EU, and now – also of departure.

RBE317_Course Outline.pdfRBE317_Course Outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 32 Contact Hours

This course introduces students to the concept of geo-economics and the field of economic statecraft. It will explore how changes in the international environment have affected foreign policy decisions and the ways in which States increasingly practice power politics by economic means. Seven economic tools are considered suitable to geostrategic  application: trade policy, investment policy, economic and financial sanctions, cyber, aid, financial and monetary policy, and energy and commodities. Each carries its own leading cast of countries and institutions and its own levers of state control and determinants of success. All will be covered in this course. Some academics consider geo-economics to be a genus of geopolitics. Others see the former more as an evolutionary transformation of the latter — a position that will be challenged In this course. Teaching is based on (a modern law school version of) the Socratic method. As a consequence the course is highly interactive — blurring the strict distinctions between “lecture” and “seminar”.

Tjaco Theo van den Hout studied law at Leiden University and economics as an extracurricular at Harvard. A former ambassador, he temporarily left the diplomatic service mid-career to take the helm for almost ten years of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. After retiring from diplomatic service in 2011, he moved to Riga to be with his family and, in the academic year of 2012-2013,  joined RGSL as a member of its visiting faculty.

RBE333_Course Outline.pdfRBE333_Course Outline.pdf

CREDITS 2 (LV) 3 (ECTS) - 32 Contact Hours

This course is the second of a set of two courses covering Asia. Its geographical focus is on India, Japan, the Korean Peninsula and, to Pakistan and Afghanistan. With regard to the latter it will include a discussion of the geopolitical implications of the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan The course will, in large part, rely on publications, mostly scholarly articles, that have recently appeared in prestigious journals. Students will cover a multi-disciplinary plane: moving from the geo-political field to foreign and domestic policy, economics and demographics.

 The course trains analytical skills and critical thinking. Teaching is based on the modern (American law school) version of the “Socratic method” — blurring the distinction between lectures and seminars.  As a consequence it is highly interactive with ample opportunity for classroom discussion and stimulating critical thinking.