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POL8006 : Theories of International Relations

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Hanna Ketola
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aims of the module are to:
- Understand and critically assess key theories of international politics;

- Place theories of international politics into their historical contexts and link them to broader issues of power, inequality, identity, and conflict;

- Examine how theories produce different worlds, understandings of the international, and visions of order

- Provide guidance on how theories of international politics can be employed to examine substantive topics and contemporary issues

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will cover a range of topics, that may include:

-What is international politics?
-What is a theory (of international politics)?
-Empire, Race, Class, and the Origins of IR Theory
-Theories of Imperialism
-Feminist approaches
-Postcolonial Theory
-Rational Choice and Deterrence Theories
-The English School
-Liberal Institutionalism and Interdependence
-Dependency and World Systems Theories
-Critical Theory
-International Political Sociology
-Emotion and Affect Theories
-Quantum Theory and International Politics
-Aesthetic Theory and International Politics
-Practice Theory
-Assemblage Theory
-New Materialism
-Popular culture and world politics

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1178:00178:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching112:0022:00PiP
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

In the seminars key terms, approaches, concepts, and texts in the study of international relations will be introduced and discussed.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M1004,000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Essay will assess the ability of students to: connect theory to practice; explain what theories do in international politics; and apply theories of international politics to substantive issues/contemporary topics. The Essay will further assess the ability of students to critically compare, contrast, contextualise, and assess different theories of international politics alongside their knowledge of what theories are, what they do, and how to identify the political underpinnings of theories of international politics.

Reading Lists