Is the way nations interact with one another more like a game of chess or like poker? Are the rules of conduct different for weak and powerful countries, and if so how? To what extent is a country's foreign policy determined by idealism, and how much influence does simple self-interest have?
Any of these questions can provoke a vibrant or even acrimonious debate. Students of international relations and security studies therefore need to have (or develop) excellent communication and reasoning skills. Much of this field involves understanding and expressing intricate, nuanced ideas that cannot be simplified beyond a certain point. Anyone without an innate talent for analyzing and mentally organizing complex information would be better off with another major.
Some of the subjects taken during the course of a bachelor's degree in international relations and security studies include history, philosophy, political theory, international law, and military history. In this interdisciplinary course of study, a student will often have to incorporate elements of several of these fields into a single line of reasoning. This means that successful graduates tend to have exceptional research and critical thinking abilities.