Christopher David LaRoche


Research & Publications









Current courses:

Who Rules the World? International Order in Theory and Practice.

See the reading list.

Past courses:

POLB80. Introduction to International Relations. Co-taught with Simon Frankel Pratt.

A 12-session introductory course in International Relations (IR) theory and global issues at the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus. The first half of the course introduces students to the major aspects of IR theory. After a survey lecture on the global rise of the sovereign states system, we take E.H. Carr's dialectic of Utopianism and Realism as a starting point before progressing through the main theoretical contributions of contemporary IR scholarship. The second half of the course focuses on contemporary global issues, beginning with two sessions on the postwar liberal-democratic order and the challenge rising powers may (or may not) present to it. We then cover humanitarianism, terrorism, and development and the environment. At the end of the course, we return to a discussion of the postwar landscape, with specific attention paid to the United States' possible turn toward disengagement under its current leadership.

POLC40/380. The Politics of Sovereignty and Humanity: Military Intervention in the 21st Century.

This upper-year course, which I taught at University of Toronto's downtown and Scarborough campuses, explored debates over humanitarian intervention by critically exploring the history and thinking behind military intervention and its relationship to political order, particularly the modern sovereign states system. I began the course with readings from the 19th century, where the issue of intervention gained powerful expression (and criticism) in the pens of J.S. Mill, Edmund Burke, and others. The course then moved to contemporary debates, examining changes in the justification of military intervention, especially its post-Cold War humanitarian turn. Grounded in an examination of compassion, this section of the course explored the current legal and political ramifications of humanitarian intervention as articulated by some of its most thoughtful proponents and severest critics. The last third of the course examined recent cases of interventions, grouped in thematic categories, in an effort to both apply and better understand concepts explored in the first part of the course.

POLB81. Global Issues and Governance. Co-taught with Joseph MacKay.

This 12-session introductory course is the sequel to POLB80 at the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus. The course introduced students more deeply to contemporary world political issues than POLB80, with a focus in our sessions on the causes of war and conditions for peace.

POLB80. Introduction to International Relations. Co-taught with Wilfrid Greaves.

A 12-session introductory course in International Relations (IR) theory and global issues, taught at UofT's Scarborough campus. The first half of the course introduced students to the IR theory core paradigms, while the second half of the course explored several contemporary security and governance issues.

POL381. Politics and the Idea of History.
Co-taught with Jonas Schwab-Pflug.

This upper-year course taught at UofT's downtown campus examined the moorings of today's 'historical' politics in the philosophy of history of the past two centuries. Much current public political discourse is framed in temporal or historical language: progress against regress, forward against backward, hope for the future, returning to the glory of the past, and so on. Over 11 sessions we engaged in a close reading of primary texts written by political philosophers who inaugurated the historical approach to politics reflected in contemporary discourse: Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Kojčve. These close-readings brought out how history was increasingly used to answer the questions of traditional political theory: the nature of the best regime, justice, citizenship, and war. We used these close readings to enlarge and expand students' understandings of current debates about history's bearing on politics, and the seeming return of past political phenomena such as nationalism, irredentism, and geopolitical conflict.

Select teaching assistance:

POL208. Introduction to International Relations. Includes multiple appointments as Head TA.

POL312. Canadian Foreign Policy.

POL326. United States Foreign Policy.

POL340. International Law.

PCJ260. Introduction to Peace, Conflict, and Justice (through the Trudeau Centre).


Current courses

Past courses

Teaching Assistance