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History of the International System

By James Sheehan

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World politics and international relations from the dominance of empires and nation states at the turn of the century to the present. The influence of communism, fascism, and anti-imperialism, and the emergence of society as a factor in international relations. Questions of sovereignty versus the new world order.

Customer Reviews

Still Relevent

I did not (really) understand globalism, terrorism, the significance of Brexit, or globalism until I took this course. This lecturer is excellent at teaching, and has a balanced conceptual framework he sues to teach. Disapointed with your university education? Take this course.

Maybe Best Course on iTunes U

Interesting and engaging content. Great scaffolding of historical events lecture-by-lecture. Extremely knowledgable lecturer. Perfect duration (~50 min a lecture). Very clear audio. Give it until WWI content and YOU WILL BE HOOKED. This is my SECOND time to listen to it in 2 years.


It is impossible to distinguish Prof. Sheehan's voice from that of comedian Bill Mahr. At times, this is eery.

Aside from that, the series is a tour de force. Its conceptualization around the pre- and post-wars order is brilliant, and Prof. Sheehan is a very fine speaker and teacher. Two things seem to draw people to Stanford on iTunes: computer programming and courses like this one. Not a big fan of the former. I am only sorry this series eventually ends. Maybe he could imagine the next 50 years and just keep going. Thanks.