This fascinating module gives students an introduction to the theoretical background to international relations and examines a range of contemporary and historical topics through which it is possible to explore the behaviour of states and international organisations. Topics may include the work of Hugo Grotius, the ideas of the Treaty of Westphalia and the Congress of Vienna.
Major themes, including national interest, realism, the nation state, sovereignty, ideologies (such as those dominant in the Cold War), the growth of superpower rivalry and war and co- operation will be addressed, all of which help to constitute some of the practical aspects of the subject. The course will also contrast the international behaviour of small and large states. Students will be encouraged to relate what they learn to contemporary issues, using up-to-date materials from various kinds of sources.
Politics & International Relations
This course will introduce students to some of the key debates in international politics and enable them to analyze global events with a theoretical and historical lens. The topics will be discussed in the seminar sessions with several guiding questions introduced at the start of the class.
Individual tutorials will supplement the teaching and allow students to acquire greater expertise in issues and debates that pique their interest. Background reading will be assigned for a few sessions. The major topics to be covered over the four weeks are as follows (students staying for a fortnight will cover two out of the four topics)
Introduction Students will be introduced to the major theories of international relations including realism, liberalism, constructivism and dependency theories.
Additional topics: Identifying countries on the world map, Extract from Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War Nineteenth Century Europe and the Birth of the Modern World Nineteenth century European history will be studied to allow a better understanding of some of the theoretical concepts discussed earlier. A special emphasis will be laid on the concepts of the balance of power, nation-state and nationalism.
Additional topics: Chronology (19th century), Political Philosophers and the Social Contract The Two World Wars The causes for the world wars and the theoretical models that help us understand the events will be studied leading up to the Cold War and policies of détente.
Additional Topics: Chronololgy (1900-1945), Extract from a speech by Winston Churchill. Globalisation and International Political Economy Students will be introduced to contemporary international economic relations including the role of international organizations, international trade and international law. The module will conclude with a discussion of the changing world order with the rise of the BRIC economies, the Eurozone crisis and the War on Terror.
Additional Topics: Chronology (1945-2014), Roundtable on current affairs.
Pre-reading: World Politics: Trend and Transformation, Charles W. Kegley Read a world news website (BBC, CNN, Guardian, etc) regularly. If you are unable to obtain books locally, they may be ordered from http://bookshop.blackwell.co.uk or www.amazon.co.uk