2023-2024 / SPOL3012-1

Advanced studies in political science, international relations


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in political sciences : general (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in political sciences : general (120 ECTS) (CATANE (OUT))5 crédits 
 Master in political sciences : general (120 ECTS) (CATANE (IN)), 1st year5 crédits 
 Master in political sciences : general (60 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Extra courses intended for exchange students (Erasmus, ...) (Faculty of Law, Political Science and Criminology)5 crédits 


Liridon Lika

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course aims to focus on a specific geographical area which may vary from year to year. For the 2023-2024 academic year, the course will focus on the Western Balkans.


Political systems of the Western Balkan states

The aim of this course is to study the Western Balkan region, which is currently composed of six states: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. More specifically, it aims to analyze (at the domestic level) political systems, state and non-state actors, and political and socio-economic issues, as well as (externally) the bilateral and international relations of these six countries. The course will be based on an "intermestic" approach where the internal society and its place in the regional, European and international space will be analyzed.


First session: Introduction, purpose and objective of the course. The following concepts will also be analyzed: Balkans, South-East Europe, Western Balkans, Balkanization, Europeanization.

Second session: The major features of the Western Balkans in terms of geography, history, social, economic, political and strategic issues.

Third session: Systems and political regimes (organization of states, political regimes in place, socio-economic organization).

Fourth session: Issues related to war and peace in the Western Balkans.

Fifth session: The Western Balkans towards integration into the European Union (EU enlargement, democratization and the transformation process of these countries). The positioning of the Western Balkans in relation to the EU and the rising/emerging powers.

Sixth session: Regional cooperation, interconnectivity and reconciliation in the Western Balkans. 

The other sessions will be devoted to the oral presentations of the students.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

To have theoretical and empirical notions in political science.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is divided into two parts. The first part is theoretical and empirical. It is treated by the holder. The second part is based on student presentations. The interventions of the holder and the students are based on PowerPoint presentations.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

The teaching takes place in the form of ex-cathedra lessons during the first six sessions. The rest of the course is intended for oral presentations of students on a specific topic to the Western Balkans. The presence and active participation of students are strongly recommended throughout the semester. Depending on the opportunities presented, a limited number of external speakers will be invited to participate in the course.

Recommended or required readings

The course is based on notes prepared by the holder.

Written work / report

Continuous assessment

Additional information:

Class attendance, active participation and oral presentation (40 %), and written work (60 %).

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Students are strongly advised to attend the course regularly. Knowledge of English is desired.


Dr. Liridon Lika, Center for International Relations Studies (CEFIR), B31, level 0, office R.81 ; e-mail : Liridon.Lika@uliege.be ; Tel. : 043 66 35 53.

Association of one or more MOOCs