Postgraduate

Modules

Modules

POL8006 : Theories of International Relations

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

•       To provide students with an advanced understanding of the evolution and current state of theory in international relations (IR).

•       To introduce the discipline of IR, its key themes and theories.

•       To explore the historical and contemporary themes of IR.

•       To discuss and critically evaluate the debates that have characterised the development of IR theory.

The module will explore the historic and contemporary themes of the discipline, and critically discuss these in the context of the ontological, epistemological and methodological claims raised by a range of theorists.

Outline Of Syllabus

First week: Introduction and Presentation of Curriculum
Second week: Morality, Power, and Human Interest
Third week: Norms, Beliefs, Perceptions, Constructions
Fourth week: Language and Power
Fifth week:Images and Power
Sixth week: Ontologies in/of International Relations
Seventh week:Difference in International Politics
Eighth week: Western-Centrism, Epistemological Imperialism, and Non-Western Approaches
Ninth week: History and Historiography in IR

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1137:00137:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials91:009:00Recorded, non synchronous
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Synchronous, online seminar
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities94:0036:00Annotated readings, non synchronous
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery91:009:00Synchronous, Online Office hours
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The teaching methods (structured guided learning; Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities; Guided In-dependent Study) seem best suited under the conditions of the Education Resilience Framework due to COVID-19 to accomplish the Learning Outcomes (1) to Identify and critically discuss the central themes in the study of IR; (2) to demonstrate an awareness of key IR texts and commentaries, and discuss their contribution; and (3) to debate on issues such as state power, hegemony, civil society, and the problems of order and stability in international politics. Students will thus be prepared through a mix of synchronous, non-synchronous, and independent learning, together with additional feedback options (online office hours as well as online equivalents to an “open door policy” in form of non-scheduled, general availability through emails and Skype are not listed above under Teaching Activities, but are a major component of feedback) well for their assignment (see below) to achieve the learning outcomes.

The ML’s recordings of interpretations of the seminar’s key texts introduce students to the key terms, concepts, and texts in the study of theories of International Relations. Q&A and feedback hours with the module leader and dedicated office hours provide live, synchronous environments in which students can discuss the main readings of this module and their analytical application to the analysis of international relations. Structured, guided learning activities in form of annotated readings guide students through the main readings and main questions to be asked. Students can also learn from relating respective texts intertextually and thereby create relations and meaning between respective texts and discourses to accomplish a synoptic understanding of the module’s thematic. In addition, there will be PPT presentation on Canvas on Essay Writing to guide students’ attention to and to prepare them for the module’s assignment.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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 assignment is a 4000-word research paper on one question out of eight questions listed in the module guide. These questions relate to the main readings and seminar topics as listed in the Syllabus. Each set question connects to one text in the context of a general IR theme, thus that the essay discussion is not only on one text, but asks for intertextuality or synoptic views on the discipline. The essay is of theoretical nature, i.e., implies a conceptual discussion with empirical examples as illustrations of the conceptual argument only (i.e., not including e.g. a case study). Such an essay corresponds best to the nature of purpose of theories in an of International Relations and the discussion of approaches to the analysis of international relations as it corresponds to the manner in which IR theory discussions proceed themselves, e.g. in disciplinary journals.

Reading Lists

Timetable