Political Science and International Relations

 The department of Political Science and IR was opened in 2021 by admitting under graduate regular students and in 2022 MA (Masters) program was launched. Currently, as of 2024, the department is offering courses for both undergraduate and Post-graduate students in both regular and extension programs. 

Background of the Program

In the contemporary international system, which is essentially marked by complex challenges, knowledge and research driven political actions, policy decisions and diplomatic relation is extremely indispensable. Seen from this perspective, universities play pivotal role not only in producing highly qualified professionals to advance the political, diplomatic and economic interests of a given country at international level but also to solve problems and drive broader social, cultural, economic, political and technological developments and innovations. Universities serve as knowledge hub bridging the theory-practice gap. This is extremely important if one look from the context of Africa and Ethiopia where challenges in democratization, bad governance, corruption, human rights violation and poverty stand out. In order to transcend these challenges, investing in higher education, promoting diversifications and the horizontal and vertical expansion of academic programs is of extreme importance.

In this regards, the launching of the undergraduate program in Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) is part of this renewed focus and have been informed by a number of domestic and international conditions. Domestically, since the regime change in 1991, Ethiopia has gone through glaring policy experiments ranging from, parliamentarian politics, federalism and instituting the right for self-determination including secession but also political turmoil as witnessed over the last three years. The policy measures have opened new ventures for scholarly engagement but also the demand for an army of technocrats at various levels. Internationally, the end of the Cold War and the War on Terrorism brought a new dimension to conflict and security dynamism in the Horn of Africa necessitating the re-formulation of the traditional approach in the theory and practices of foreign policy. Moreover, as the African Union aspires to deliver its ‘Agenda  2063’, it underscores developing human capacity as key to achieve the collective vision of peace, integration and prosperity in the continent. In addition, the curriculum is formulated in line with the mission and vision of the department of Political Science and International Relations. The department aspires to be one of the top centers of excellence in Africa in the fields of political science and international relations and related field.

Cognizant of this motive, the designing of the curriculum has undergone through a series of steps taking into account major developments at national, regional and global level outlined above. In addition, the department will be revised its curriculum by taking into account the courses of the Universities of Hravard-Kennedy School of Government- USA, London School of Economics and Political Science- UK, University of Cape Town- South Africa, and other universities in India, New Zealand, South Korea, and other institutions pertinent to the context of the country. Lessons would also been taken from Ethiopian Universities offering degree program in PSIR in Addis Ababa University and newly established Political Science and International Relations programs at Wollega, Dire Dawa . One of the key lessons learnt from is the challenges that PSIR face is to produce quality graduates. This is found to be due to the rigidity of the teaching and learning approach, its weakness to reconcile the world of education and the world of work. In addition it is short of satisfying the desire of students to be able to choose. Lack of adequate resources and skilled man power are also serious challenges.

Moreover, the curriculum is prepared by adopting competence based education. Hence, generic competencies and subject specific competencies are integral parts of this curriculum. Courses are arranged, modified or adopted to increase the theoretical, practical, and subject related knowledge, skill and attitude of learners as well as to rise the capacity for analysis, synthesis, general knowledge, awareness of the national and international dimensions, capacity for independent learning, cooperation and communication and capacity for leadership. The department believes that this curriculum is not the final one, but it can be improved, developed and enriched through the feedbacks that come from students, customers, stakeholders, peer departments in accordance with the internal regulations of Injibara University.

  1. Rationale and Justifications

It is well known that Higher Education Institutions are vested in producing professionally qualified personals to meet the ever increasing needs of the country. In line with this, Higher Education Proclamation (No. 650| 2003) of Federal Republic of Ethiopia states that one of the objectives of Higher Education is to produce skilled man power both in sufficient quantity and commendable quality that will strive to maximize opportunities and address the various political and socio-economic challenges of the country. In fact, post- 1991 political and socio-economic and changes in Ethiopia especially the change in ideological orientation, introduction of  federalism, re-orientation of the country’s foreign policy as well as decentralization as part of the democratization initiative necessitate professionals particularly of political science. Over the years, Ethiopia has been facing tremendous challenges. But the country is also emerging as a power house in the Horn and Africa at large. Given that Ethiopia is the center of African and international diplomacy as many Continental like African Union and International Organizations like the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa located in the Country, experts in political science are no doubt central in helping the country to continue to play a leading role.

In addition, it is well known that studies about Ethiopia on issues of governance, local government and decentralization, democratization, foreign policy, gender, identity and the like are not adequate. Thus, the opening of the program will definitely help to produce skilled and professional scholars to engage themselves in problem solving research activities and, in doing so, contribute their part to the overall development endeavor of the country. Furthermore, driven by the motto explore your creative potential injibara university has set its direction in education and research programs that would address Ethiopia’s political and socio- economic development challenges and contribute to growth, building human capabilities and democratic society. In order to realize this objective, injibara University has been putting relentless endeavors in diversifying and extending undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

The opening of Political Science and International Relations program at undergraduate level at this juncture shall be seen in light of this broader picture and integral part of the tools to realizing IUs vision and mission. To this end, the task of developing the undergraduate curriculum was assigned to the curriculum designing committee of the Department of Political Science and International Studies. The committee after holding a series of meetings identified pressing needs in the field of study. The committee conducted need assessment survey to collect information from different stakeholders and to the extent possible, has incorporated their suggestions and comments into the curriculum. The new Program of Political Science and International Relations (PSIR) curriculum of Injibara University, therefore, is believed, should keep pace with the existing demands and the newest advances and developments in the field of study. To sum up, the most recent developments in the field, the developmental needs of the country, the needs and the interests of various stakeholders and the requirements of the new graduate profile which demand more skills training and professional capacity are the basis for the designing of this curriculum.

Module system

The overall students’ workload in CH is 113 and EtCTS point is 189, with 26-34 CP/semester. The Modules are categorized in to the following categories:

 Political Thoughts and Concepts

 Comparative Politics

 Research Methodology

 International Relations

 Politics in Africa and the Middle East

 Peace, Security and Social movement

 Politics of Development

 Ethiopian Politics and Foreign Relations

 Seminar in Political Science

 Common Courses

 Supportive Courses

Here are some key roles, missions and visions of PSIR in the university:

  1. **Academic Programs**: PSIR offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Political Science and International Relations, providing students with a comprehensive education in the theoretical and practical aspects of politics and international relations.
  2. **Research and Scholarship**: PSIR is a hub for research and scholarship in the fields of political science and international relations. Department members engage in cutting-edge research, publish articles, books, and reports, and present at conferences and seminars.
  3. **Interdisciplinary Collaboration**: PSIR collaborates with Civics and Ethical Studies and with other departments across the university to provide interdisciplinary education and research opportunities. This fosters a rich understanding of complex issues and problems.
  4. **Community Engagement**: PSIR engages with local communities, organizations, and governments to promote civic education, political participation, and social change. This includes organizing public lectures, workshops, and seminars on relevant issues.
  5. **Professional Development**: PSIR provides opportunities for students to develop professional skills, such as writing, research, critical thinking, and communication. Department members of PSIR often go on to pursue experiences and trainings in government, NGOs, academia, and private sectors.
  6. **Student Mentorship**: PSIR department members serve as mentors to students, providing guidance on academic and professional development, as well as scholarship and career counseling.
  7. **Curriculum Development**: PSIR is responsible for developing and reviewing curriculum for Political Science and International Relations programs across the department in collaboration with minister of education and other universities in the country having the same department.
  8. **Hosting Conferences and Seminars**: department of PSIR has a long term plan to host conferences, seminars, and workshops on various topics related to political science and international relations, providing a platform for scholars to share their research and engage with each other.
  9. **International Partnerships**: PSIR has established partnerships with institutions worldwide, facilitating student exchanges, research collaborations, and joint programs.

In summary, PSIR plays a vital role in the university by providing academic programs, research, community engagement, professional development, student mentorship, and curriculum development, conference hosting, and searching international partnerships.

Staff of PSIR

NoNameField of SpecializationAcademic Rank
1Wubante AyalewPolitical SciencePhD
2Agenagn KebedePolitical ScieneAss. Prof.
3Simeneh BiresPolitical ScienceLecturer
4Bruk AmarePolitical ScienceLecturer
6Mekonen WassiePolitical ScienceLecturer
7Ahmed UsmanForeign Policy and DiplomacyLecturer

Click the links Below to see all Details about the Staff:-

Simeneh Bires Belete

Head, Department of PSIR

Phone: +251911539238
P.O. Box 40
Injibara University, Injibara, Ethiopia

E-mail: semenehbiresaw@gmail.com