What Is an International Relations Degree?
Globalisation is defined as, “worldwide integration and development”; “the act of extending to other or all parts of the world.” Globalisation focuses on the social forces of the world and how they interact between cultures. Specific forces include politics, economics and religion.
International relations is a product of globalisation. Without globalisation, there would be no need for international relations. Globalisation creates an economic and political interdependence between nations; international relations studies this interdependence and addresses conflicts and issues within our globalised world.
National politics have a tremendous impact upon the society within which they are practised. Many underestimate the impact national politics have on the world’s political and economic climate. International relations takes national politics and assesses their impact on the international landscape; a crucial step within today’s Internet-driven, globalised society.
Information is disseminated in an instant, and people have access to information about issues they would not have had merely a few decades ago. Transportation and the Internet give people knowledge about what’s going on locally and half-way across the world. In many ways, this is good; in some ways, it is not.
As information spreads, other cultures might become offended about a political or religious position another culture takes. Without international relations, the consequences of any offending action might result in deadly conflict. International relations opens the door to communication to avoid the potential offense and the resulting ramifications.
A degree in international relations gives graduating students an opportunity to enter the political, economic and international landscape, prepared to handle the ever-changing development of globalisation.
International Relations Job Opportunities
International relations graduates will enter into the political arena in one form or another.
Graduates wishing to be directly involved in changing business or political policies should find work as a public affairs consultant. The term “lobbyist” might seem more familiar, and these consultants influence corporate, local or national political climates by advising and lobbying for policy changes. Public affairs consultants begin lobbying at around £18,000. Experienced lobbyists who work their up to major constituencies have the potential of earning £100,000.
Graduates who wish to work directly with politicians have the option of becoming government social research officers or a politician’s assistant. Social research officers conduct research to determine the effectiveness of existing public programmes and policy. This research is used to reshape existing policy when necessary. Government social research officers earn anywhere from £23,500 to £68,500 for senior level researchers.
Politician assistants provide administrative support to elected officials. Support includes secretarial duties and public relations. Salaries for PAs, as they’re called, begin at £15,000 and tap out at £40,000 for PAs promoted to office managers.
Social researchers manage social projects by collecting and analysing data to address issues affecting the population such as unemployment, social services, healthcare, education and the environment. This research is used to analyse the effectiveness of existing policy or plant the seed for new policy. Social researchers make £22,000 to start and can earn as much as £70,000 once they reach the director level.
International Relations Curriculum
International relations curriculum teaches students how to understand local and global politics and their role within their collective societies and abroad. International relations students will learn how to ask the important questions, such as: How do national decisions have international consequences?
Students will learn how to analyse the political forces of both large and small nations. Students will see how these forces shape the politics and economies of all the world’s nations, and how nations remain challenged on a daily basis to interact positively in a globalised time.
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