Why Comparative International Relations

An interdisciplinary programme to understand today’s international challenges

The MA programme in Comparative International Relations (RIC) is the product of a long-standing collaboration betweeen the department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies and the department of Economics at Ca’ Foscari University. The programme is a unique opportunity in Italy for the study of international relations associated to that of languages and cultures.

After following a common track in international history, law, economics and politics, RIC students specialize in the study of specific geographical areas (paths on the Americas, East Asia, Eastern Europe),  institutions (path in European Union Studies, entirely taught in English) or subjects (path in Global studies, entirely taught in English). The study of the language of international relations in English and in a second foreign language pertinent to the chosen path enables students to acquire high-level communication skills, indispensable to both understand and represent international phenomena.

With diversified emphasis depending on the chosen path, RIC students can focus on the historical origins, as well as the political, juridical and economic implications, of some of the main processes at work in today’s international affairs:

  • global economic integration, the consequences of the economic crisis of 2007-08 and the growing systemic rivalry between the United States and China;
  • the increase in tensions within the EU and the growth of nationalisms in various regional contexts;
  • the international protagonism of actors such as Brazil, Japan and Russia, and the crisis of the “Arab springs” after 2011;
  • climate change and the contrasted search for global solutions to it.

The programme traditionally offers plenty of occasions to engage in direct dialogues with scholars from all over the world. Among the many that have held courses and lectures at RIC in the last ten years are Ennio Di Nolfo, Gilles Kepel, Odd Arne Westad, Shumpei Takemori, Akira Iriye, John Ikenberry, Silvia Federici, Donatella Della Porta, Colin Crouch, Rosemary Foot, Jon Elster, Federico Finchelstein, Luisella Pavan-Woolfe.

RIC promotes numerous opportunities to come into direct contact with international realities, both through exchanges with universities all over the world, and through internships at national and international institutions. Specific meetings are organized on a yearly basis to provide students with practical information on international careers, and RIC students have various opportunities to take part in simulations of the working of international organizations (such as the Model United Nations and Model European Union).

The interdisciplinary education and linguistic competences acquired at RIC enable graduates to pursue careers in public administrations, international organizations, NGOs and private companies, in think tanks for research and communication about international realities, and in institutes for the ideation and monitoring of international cooperation programmes. Further, RIC’s laurea magistrale enables participation in ministerial competitions for diplomatic service and the continuation of studies in research doctorates.

Last update: 09/04/2024