International Relations

The department’s graduate program in international relations prepares students for successful careers by introducing them to cutting-edge research across the field and training them to be productive and professional scholars. Our faculty members have produced award-winning research in the most selective journals—including the American Political Science Review, Foreign Affairs, International Organization, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, Journal of Conflict Resolution, and World Politics—as well as prestigious university presses—including Cambridge University Press, Cornell University Press, and Princeton University Press.

The best measure of our success as a graduate program is the track record of our students. In recent years, our students have taken tenure-track faculty positions at top universities, including Cornell University, the University of Texas, and McGill University. They have also been awarded highly competitive pre- and post-doctoral fellowships at Harvard University and Princeton University. We encourage our doctoral students to focus on publishing their research, and their work continues to appear in premier journals, including the American Political Science Review, International Organization, International Security, and International Studies Quarterly.

All of the department’s faculty members are well-versed in international relations theory, and the department has also developed a number of more specific core strengths:

-International Security (Andrew Bennett, Daniel Byman, Victor Cha, David Edelstein, Desha Girod, Lise Morje Howard, Matthew Kroenig, Charles Kupchan, Keir Lieber, Robert Lieber, Daniel Nexon, and Elizabeth Stanley): Together, this deep and diverse faculty exposes students to the most pertinent questions in the study of international security today. The specific research interests of the faculty include military intervention and occupation, terrorism, nuclear weapons, U.S. foreign policy, civil-military relations, post-conflict reconstruction, international order, the role of religion in international affairs, and the use of force in the modern world.

-International Political Economy (Marc Busch, Raj Desai, Carol Lancaster, Kathleen McNamara, George Shambaugh, and James Vreeland): The evolving structure and behavior of the international political economy is a central concern of the department’s faculty. Approaching these questions from a variety of methodological and theoretical perspectives, our international political economy group investigates issues including the governance of trade and finance, the politics of currency, and international aid and development.

-International Law and Organizations (Anthony Arend, Marc Busch, Christopher Joyner, Kathleen McNamara, Erik Voeten, and James Vreeland): The department’s faculty produces important scholarship on the politics of international organizations as well as the evolution of international law. As with our other core strengths, the faculty approaches these questions from a variety of perspectives, producing well-trained and creative graduate students. Our faculty’s research in this area includes questions about the role of the United Nations Security Council, the development of the European Union, international financial institutions, the international law of the use of force, and emerging international environmental law.

-Methodology (Andrew Bennett, Marc Busch, Erik Voeten, and James Vreeland): Our faculty is equipped to train graduate students in the full range of methodologies, including qualitative, quantitative, and formal approaches. Beyond the methodological strength of our international relations faculty, our students benefit from the methodological expertise of the department’s faculty in other subfields, including Michael Bailey and Hans Noel in U.S. Politics.

In addition to our core Government department faculty members, doctoral students benefit from faculty in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service (SFS), the Graduate Public Policy Institute (GPPI), and the McDonough School of Business (MSB) who teach and research issues in international relations. Abraham Newman (SFS) researches the consequences of the information revolution and standards of privacy for international relations. Dennis Quinn (MSB) explores the causes and consequences of international economic liberalization. Jennifer Tobin (GPPI) works on issues of international aid and development. The School of Foreign Service’s Security Studies Program houses three faculty members—Christine Fair, Bruce Hoffman, and Colin Kahl—who are conducting influential research on terrorism and insurgency. Finally, a variety of scholar-practitioners on the faculty, including Madeline Albright (SFS) and Anthony Lake (SFS), are able to share their real world experiences with our students.

Aside from classes, a centerpiece of our curriculum is the Georgetown University International Theory and Research Seminar (GUITARS). GUITARS meets on a regular basis each semester to discuss the most recent and most significant research in the field of international relations. Visiting faculty from around the world visit Georgetown to present their research, exposing graduate students to this scholarship as well as allowing them to interact and network with important scholars.

Finally, Georgetown offers a variety of institutional resources that support research and teaching that is of interest to our PhD students. The Mortara Center for International Studies advances the study of all aspects of international affairs. The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs explores the role of religion in relations between states, communities, and peoples. The Center for Peace and Security Studies is a forum for research at the nexus of theory and practice in international security.

In short, Georgetown’s Department of Government is quickly establishing itself as a leading place to pursue a doctorate in the field of international relations. We have a diverse and distinguished faculty that is eager to train the next generation of scholars of international relations. We hope you will join us.

The Department of Government also offers joint M.A./Ph.D. programs with the Graduate Public Policy Institute, Security Studies, German and European Studies, Latin American Studies, Eurasian-Russian-East European Studies, Arab Studies, and the Georgetown University Law School. In addition, it also offers Master's degree in International Law and Government. Taking into account the Department, the School of Foreign Service, the Graduate Public Policy Program, and the Law School, Georgetown has an exceptionally distinguished, diverse, and large group of faculty in international relations, with an unusual blend of theoretical interests and practical policy experience.

Please see the Graduate Handbook for more details about our doctoral program, including requirements, courses, and faculty. Admissions information can be found here. Should any specific questions about the program remain, you may contact the Field Chair or our Graduate Program Officer.

Click here for information about the Georgetown University International Theory and Research Seminar (GUITARS)