School of Humanities & Social Sciences

International Relations

International Relations (IR), also referred to as International Politics, International Studies, World Politics, or Global Politics, is often considered an offshoot of Political Science. As a social agency emerging from interactions, IR draws from diverse fields such as History, Sociology, Economics, Law, Philosophy, Anthropology, Psychology, and Cultural Studies. Justifiably, International Relations or International Studies began to gain momentum only after the First World War. Meanwhile, as an academic discipline, International Relations was introduced in India only in the 1950s. While on the subject, there is a close connection between International Relations in India and Loyola College (Autonomous), Chennai.

Indian School of International Studies (ISIS)
At the suggestion of Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of India, the Indian School of International Studies (ISIS) came into existence. He proposed establishing an institution to assist in developing a pool of academic experts on international affairs and area studies that could provide an informed second opinion on India's relations with the rest of the world. The School was inaugurated on October 1, 1955, in the presence of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Vice President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan in attendance. Although it was initially associated with the University of Delhi, the School was later granted university status in 1961, allowing it to award degrees independently.

Prof. A. Appadorai was the first Director of The School, who served from 1955-1964. He took several steps to nurture this unique initiative. The second Director was Prof. M.S. Rajan who served until the School was merged with the JNU in 1970. Prof. A. Appadorai was teaching politics at Loyola College, Chennai. An alumnus of Loyola College, Mr Ketharaman, former Managing Director, Indian Oil Corporation who studied Economics under Fr. Basenach, SJ between 1938-1943, recalls, "The Economics faculty in Loyola, in fact, had very eminent lecturers like Dr A. Appadorai, one of the pioneers of Political Science education in India, later to become the Secretary-General of the Indian Council of World Affairs". To this day, his magnum opus The Substance of Politics, which he wrote while serving as faculty in Loyola College, Chennai, is the vade mecum for students of Politics and International Relations to understand the basics of politics. 

Subjects related to Politics were taught at Loyola College since its inception. Departments of History and Economics integrated Politics in their respective fields. Political Theory was an ancillary subject till 1978. Even today, many papers related to politics are taught at the undergraduate level at Loyola College. Western and Indian Political Thought, Western Governments, International Relations, Strategic Studies, and Indian Constitution are still taught to the students of History and offered to other Social Science Departments as allied papers. Professors Motha and Munusamy were also qualified with an MA in Politics to teach the subject.

The Universal Apostolic Preferences (UAP) is one of the Jesuits' focus areas: "Our Social Centres and Universities, working together and with others, desire to create the capacity to engage in a comprehensive study of the world's economic and social problems." It has indicated that educational institutions will be well served under this programme. Human Rights and Social Justice, Refugees, Stateless and Migrants, World Peace, and related topics will be addressed in-depth in this programme.

Dr Bernard D' Sami
Academic Mentor,
Senior Fellow,
LISSTAR, Loyola College (Autonomous)


Dr. P. Nansi

Department of International Relations,
GF, MCA Building, 
Loyola College (Autonomous),
Chennai - 600 034.
Tel: +91 44 28178372