Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the information below is subject to change, in particular that concerning the teaching mode (presential, distance or in a comodal or hybrid format).
- Using substantive cases Belgium itself and other small, to provide an application of the analytical methods and elements of political science and international relations taught on other courses. The course will seek to develop the theoretical approach to small sized powers through an explanation of a model that analyses their foreign policy. - This will involve information on the content of international policy (e.g. sources, and how they develop) if students are going to be able to identify the constants of this policy. - The course will examine the development of Belgian foreign policy in terms both of its content and of the mechanisms involved in forming it and carrying it out. This development will be developed on the basis of the international context, and in relation to the domestic political situation.
At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :
|1||By the end of the course, students will: - have expanded their critical acumen in the reflection that they are asked to develop in respect of all foreign policy; - have a good knowledge of the content of Belgian international policy (from 1830 to the present day), and of the institutional mechanisms that affect it; - have developed, on the basis of the case of Belgium, or of a small or medium-sized power, their abil-ity to analyse an example of foreign policy (e.g. taking account of the various influential factors, and the relationship between domestic and foreign policy); - demonstrate some skill in (oral and written) scientific communication.|
The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
Content The course will first examine the various conceptions of small sized powers, and will then provide an analytical model that can be applied to the foreign policies of these powers. The notion of a "small power" will serve as the defining feature as far as Belgium and an examination of its foreign policy are concerned. The course will also examine the main features of the origins and development of Belgian international policy since 1830: they include the formation of the state, the role of the powers, the status of neutrality, neutrality and international crises, colonial expansion, relations with neighbouring states, the 1914-1918 war, voluntary neutrality, independence policy, Belgium and the Second World War, east-west equilibrium, European integration, decolonisation, security policy, and relations with central Africa. The course will also take in the institutional mechanisms that help to draw up this international pol-icy (e.g. the king, the government, Parliament, the communities and the regions). In addition, the course will stress the various factors that influence the formation of Belgian inter-national policy, and will endeavour not to reduce the examination to the action of a single state ac-tor. Methodology This professorial course will also rely on the reading of texts and private study. There will be expo-sure to official documents, primary sources, and contemporary actors in this policy.
Pre-requirements: A good knowledge of Belgian political life since 1830. Foreign students are advised to do some basic reading. Work may be directed to-wards other small powers. There will be an oral examination.
Faculty or entity
Title of the programme
Master  in Political Sciences: International Relations