International Relations & Politics

This course serves as an introduction to the theoretical background of international relations and politics. Delegates will examine a range of historical topics about international relations in trade, finance, and political institutions which it is possible to explore the behaviour of states of international organisations.

About This Programme

LengthYou can attend for 2, 4, 6, or even 8 weeks. Each week, you can select a different course (see below).
Available DatesSummer Session 1: 01 July – 14 July 2018
Summer Session 2: 15 July – 28 July 2018
Summer Session 3: 29 July – 11 August 2018
Summer Session 4: 12 August – 28 August 2018
Lectures /
15-20 hours of seminar style lectures covering your course are given per week by highly experienced and qualified tutors, lecturers, doctors, and professors from the University of Cambridge (UK) and/or the University of Oxford (UK). We require all students to attend at least 1 exam to receive an Academic Transcript issued by CBL International. A certificate of participation signed jointly by Magdalene College (University of Cambridge) and CBL International is presented to delegates with a 90% or above attendance rate. There are weekly exams scheduled for every course.
AccommodationSingle dormitory room with shared bathroom in a college of the University of Cambridge (UK), includes daily breakfast – 980GBP.

If you would like lunch and dinner provided for you, there is an additional charge of 300 GBP.

PrerequisitesThis is an open enrolment course, we recommend applicants to have prior knowledge or strong interest in the subject/course they are enrolling in.
In addition to lectures given, this course also includes various extra-curricular activities such as social events & spare-time activities, visits to businesses and institutions in London, and excursions to famous places and historical landmarks.

Learn more about Programme Information.


Course Details

  • Course Timetable
  • Overview
  • Course Descriptions
  • Course Faculty
You will cover one topic of choice each week containing 15-20 hours of seminar style lectures from University of Cambridge and University of Oxford professors, lecturers, doctors or tutors in that field of study. Aside from the academic aspect, this exciting programme includes leisure activities, excursions, company visits, and much more.

For a typical week at CSI, please click here.

Draft schedule for CBL International Cambridge Summer Institute (click to enlarge)

*Disclaimer* Changes to the course description, topics, programme structure, and schedules may occur due to the availability of faculty members at the actual time of the programme.

international-relationsThis course serves as an introduction to the theoretical background of international relations and politics. Delegates will examine a range of historical topics about international relations in trade, finance, and political institutions which it is possible to explore the behavior of states of international organizations.

Through this, we can provide our delegates an in-depth understanding of international relation and politics related disciplines in the complex field between nations.

International Relations – European Union as a Global Power and Political Systems in the Far East

a. European Union as a Global Power
The decision by the Nobel Committee to award the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union has been seen by many as the best choice. Despite the current crisis gripping the EU, the Nobel Committee chose ‘to focus on what it sees as the European Union’s most important result: the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation for democracy and human rights’. Nevertheless the decision faces us with a series of questions: Is the European Union actually greater than the sum of its parts? Have the achievements helped to turn the European Union into a unique global player? Can it project its soft and hard powers beyond European borders? Can we consider the European Union as a global power in other areas, such as foreign affairs, diplomacy, and security? This course will provide participants with the historical, theoretical, and practical understanding of the European Union as a global political power.


b. Political Systems in the Far East
The three leading states of East Asia, China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, are all in their own current self-understanding ancient states. Their territories have been expanded and consolidated over thousands of years to create nations formed as communities through a deep and purposeful process of political construction. The category of democracy is one which has reached them relatively recently and unmistakably from the outside. Two of the three now have political and legal orders modelled on the European or American paradigm of representative democracy, with constitutions and clearly competitive elections between rival political parties to select their national governments. One, the People’s Republic of China, is governed very differently.This course considers the historical process of interpreting the western category of democracy as a source of political authority and a basis for effective government in all three countries. It explains why the political forms in which they are now embodied have limited credibility in all three countries, and why those forms now make such an unimpressive contribution to handling the political challenges which each now conspicuously faces.


International Politics – International Organisations

This course will use a combination of theoretical and cutting-edge empirical research to critically examine the role of international institutions in promoting cooperation in several different areas of global politics. The introductory sessions entitled ‘Institutions and Cooperation: Competing Theoretical Frameworks’ will introduce students to basic conceptual and theoretical questions in the study of international organisation and then delegates will move on to a thematic study of the functioning and impact of international organisations in different issue areas. Starting with ‘The International Organisation of Security’, the course will look at the theme of ‘Protecting the Global Environment’ before looking at the question of the “International Organisation of Human Rights”.

International Relations and Dispute Settlement

This course will provide an introduction to international relations and international disputes. Students will explore the historical roots of modern day disputes in international relations, as well as systemic obstacles to dispute settlement. While the first part of the course will focus on a theoretical and historical overview, the second part of the course will focus on an ongoing dispute, namely the civil war in Syria, in order to illustrate the insights from the earlier lectures on an ongoing case study.

a. World Trade Organisation (WTO)
This course discusses the history, objectives, and institutional aspects (trade negotiations, decision-making, and dispute settlement) of GATT and the WTO. It also includes case studies and casework. There is a particular focus on the legality of measures adopted for the protection of the environment and human rights. The lecture also focuses on the more jurisprudential aspects of the WTO dispute settlement system. It also considers trade in services, which is of increasing importance to WTO Members and which is disciplined in a manner similar to trade in goods. It turns then to the regulation of free trade agreements and customs unions and also touches on the development dimension of the WTO, a topic of increasing importance given the Doha Development Agenda currently being negotiated by WTO Members.

b. Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)
The course analyzes situation in Southeast Asia during the Cold War period, emergence of regionalization leading to the formation of ASEAN. It discusses the role and function of ASEAN, impact on ASEAN of regional politics and economy, ASEAN’s norms and practice and transformation of ASEAN in response to international, regional and subregional changes. The lecture also focus on the relationship with China, what the challenges and opportunities for China and the future of ASEAN.

alexandra-bocseAlexandra Maria Bocse
Trinity College
University of Cambridge (UK)

Alexandra Bocse has worked and volunteered for different governmental and intergovernmental organisations. She was a Robert Schuman Fellow with the Directorate General for External Policies of the European Parliament working in this capacity on the EU Foreign Policy towards new and emerging democracies. She has worked in research for the United Nations University – Comparative Regional Integration Studies, Bruges and researched on the role of the European Union as a regional actor with global aspirations in the field of security, as well as on the regional integration trends around the Atlantic and the implications of these trends for the European Union Foreign Policy. Alexandra has also worked in the past for the United Nations Development Programme and the British Embassy in Bucharest, the Political and European Affairs Section.


john-dunnProfessor em. John Dunn
Professor for Politics, Department of Politics and International Studies
King’s College
University of Cambridge (UK)

John Montfort Dunn is an emeritus Professor of Political Theory at King’s College, Cambridge and Visiting Professor in the Graduate School of Social Sciences and Humanities at Chiba University, Japan. Professor Dunn was a fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge from 1965 to 1966 and the Harkness Fellow at Harvard University; since 1966 he has been a fellow of King’s College. He has been a lecturer in political science at Cambridge University between 1972 and 1977 and a reader in politics from 1977 to 1987. In 1987 he was appointed as a professor of political theory at Cambridge University.


kaitlin-ballKaitlin Ball
Magdalene College
University of Cambridge

Kaitlin Ball is a licensed US attorney and a PhD student in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Magdalene College. Her research focuses on empirical and qualitative analysis of so called ‘soft’ international law, looking at form and juriolinguistics in human rights and environmental soft law agreements. Kaitlin has significant experience working with some of the leading organisations in the world including US Department of State’s Office of the Legal Advisor, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the International Criminal Court’s office of the Prosecutor.

lorand-batelsDr Lorand Bartels
University Senior Lecturer
Faculty of Law
University of Cambridge

Dr Lorand Bartels is a University Senior Lecturer in Law in the Faculty of Law and a Fellow of Trinity Hall at the University of Cambridge, where he teaches international law, WTO law and EU law. He holds degrees in English literature and law from the University of New South Wales and a PhD in law from the European University Institute.
Before joining Cambridge, Dr Bartels was a Lecturer in International Economic Law at the University of Edinburgh. He has taught at several other universities, as well as the Academy of European Law (EUI) and he is a faculty member of the IELPO (Barcelona) and MILE (World Trade Institute, Bern) programs on trade law. In 2007 he was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow and an AHRC Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for International Law in Heidelberg.

catherine-mackenzieDr Catherine MacKenzie
Faculty of Law
University of Cambridge (UK)

Dr Mackenzie is a university Lecturer in International Environmental Law at the University of Cambridge. She is also an Academic Fellow of the Honorable Society of the Inner Temple. A member of the Bar of England and Wales and Australia, she has practised law in UK, Hong Kong and Australia and been employed by the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and United Nations. Her research focuses on the relationship between international law and environmental protection and she has particular interests in international forest law, climate change obligations and the implementation and enforcement of environmental obligations by international courts and tribunals. She coordinates the Cambridge MPhil and LLM paper in International Environmental Law, supervises PhD research, and lectures on the Masters in Sustainability Leadership.






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If you have additional questions, contact our Academic Advisors at or call them at +44 (0) 1865 616 726. They will gladly guide you through your various options and assist with your booking.

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