Great Classical Thought Systems in International Relations

SS094
Fall 20

Often common people, scholars, and politicians refer to and quote historical scholars and philosophers in their talks and writings. One explanation for this behavior is that it is perceived to provide them with legitimacy for their own thoughts and sayings, it provides them with a pedigree and linkage with wisdom and reason. Another reason is that many issues and problems faced by human beings are recurrent and the nature of those issues is historically the same. The historical thinking about human issues is never outmoded. As in any other areas of human knowledge the subject of International Relations also evolved out of the strands of past political thinking. The historical thinking about the problems of war and peace, social organization and governance are still relevant because human beings still struggling with the same questions. Understanding classical thinking has practical and scholarly purposes. Classical thinking about how to solve the perennial issues of politically organizing society and efficiently governing it, how to avoid and manage conflict between politically organized groups can provide answers to contemporary societies. Classical thinking can provide us guidance and advice about avoiding human mistakes which all human groups nevertheless often repeat. The proposed course will explore and trace the sources of political thinking from Asia and the West and discuss its modern impact. This course will help students to understand the sources of varied political thinking and values in Asia and West and a better view of the roots of contemporary international relations.

Srikanth Thaliyakkattil


Srikanth Thaliyakkattil


Srikanth Thaliyakkattil received his PhD from the School of International Studies, Peking University. In his PhD thesis he analysed the Indian perceptions of China over the last century through a political psychology framework.