International studies examine societies, cultures, and languages, as well as systems of government and associated relationships (Flinders, 2010). Sometimes known as international relations or international politics at the university level, the discipline involves the analysis of political, economic, social, and cultural dimensions that significantly influence international development (Webber, 2020).
The major branches of international studies are concentrated in the areas of politics, economics, and law in the context of international development (“International Studies,” 2018). Subdisciplines include comparative politics (Russet, 2003), international political economy, international economics, and international politics (Kaplan, 1961).
International studies professionals contribute to positive societal structures, including political, economic, social, and cultural aspects among international communities (Vioreanu, 2017). This includes building and maintaining positive diplomatic relations among different countries; preventing, discovering, and solving international conflicts; and and promoting domestic government policies that support international development. Common positions in the field include diplomat, intelligence specialist, political analyst, lobbyist, and communications specialist for an international studies organization (Vioreanu, 2017).
In Disaster Research
International studies are linked to disaster research through their focus on global structures and events and security, international organizational context, and the global nature of catastrophic event impacts (Vioreanu, 2017; Hollis, 2017). Specific areas of concern include crisis decision making, international cooperation and adaptation in the face of climate change, and international security dilemmas (Hollis, 2017).
Flinders University. (2010). Bachelor of International Studies. Retrieved August 20, 2018, from http://www.flinders.edu.au/courses/rules-2013/undergrad/bis.cfm
Hollis, S. (2017). Bridging International Relations and Disaster Studies: The Case of Disaster-conflict Scholarship. Disasters, 42(1), 19-40. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/disa.12231
International Studies. (2018). In Wikipedia. Retrieved August 20, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_studies#cite_note-auto-2
Kaplan, M. A. (1961). Is International Relations a Discipline? The Journal of Politics, 23(3), 462-76. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2127101
McEntire, D. A. (2015). Field, Discipline, and Profession: Understanding Three Major Labels of Emergency Management. Journal of Emergency Management, 13(5), 389. http://dx.doi.org/10.5055/jem.2015.0250
Russett, B. (2003). Reintegrating the Subdisciplines of International and Comparative Politics. International Studies Review, 5(4), 9-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1079-1760.2003.00504002.x
Vioreanu, D. (2017). What Can I Become If I Study International Relations? MastersPortal. Retrieved August 20, 2018, from https://www.mastersportal.com/articles/584/what-can-i-become-if-i-study-international-relations.html
Webber, M. (2020, February 3). What is international relations? British International Studies Association. Retrieved May 20, 2020, from https://www.bisa.ac.uk/articles/what-international-relations
CONVERGE is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation, Program on Humans, Disasters, and the Built Environment (Award #1841338). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF.