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School of Politics and International Relations

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Modules (Paris)

Course Title:    Doing International Politics (1): Theories and Actors

Course Code:    POLP101

Credits:    30

Semester:    SEM A + B

Level:    4

Timetable:    TBC

Contact:    Professor Engin Isin

Overlap:    None

Prerequisite:    None

Assessment:    Book review 25%, Field report 20%, Presentation 25%, Essay 30%

This module develops the idea that politics in general and theory in particular are not passive pursuits. Focusing on the embodied and empirical aspect of international politics, you will explore the main actors doing international politics today.

You will learn about some of the most important theoretical innovations in many of the disciplines of the social sciences including International Relations, Sociology, Anthropology and Development Studies and understand how each contributes to the study of global politics. The classroom will be experience as an embedded political space where all are encouraged to bring their own experiences to bear on how globalisation, migration, and inequality are not abstract and rarefied domains but relate to our everyday, even banal, existence.

This module aims to make all students aware of their own position as active participants in international politics both in Paris and beyond.

Course Title: Learning Lab: Field Experience (Actors)

Course Code: POLP102A

Credits: 60

Semester: SEM A + B

Level:  4

Timetable: TBC

Contact: Professor Engin Isin

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Assessment: Case study 20%, Written Research Design 20%, Presentation 20%, Research Report 40%

The contemporary study of international politics recognises actors in addition to nations and states for doing international politics such as artists, activists, non-governmental organisations, collectives, and movements.  

You will gain practical experience of how these various actors perform international politics. This module teaches students how to identify, understand and analyse a specific actor (e.g. individual, corporate, collective, institutional, governmental, non-governmental) and study the ways which this actor performs international politics by using theoretical and methodological tools.

Through a collaborative and workshop environment you will share your findings with your colleagues, social and other media as well as a research essay.

The aims of this module are to (1) to enable students to understand the practical sense of actors performing international politics: (2) to interpret these actors with theoretical tools; (3) to study their actions with methodological tools.  The module also enables students to share their findings with other students in a collaborative and workshop environment, disseminate their findings with social and other media, present their work to other students, and write a research essay.

Course Title: Doing International Politics (2): Methods – Giving an account of international actors

Course Code: POLP201

Credits: 30

Semester: SEM A + B

Level: 5

Timetable: TBC

Contact: Prof Engin Isin

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: POLP101

Assessment: Actor Case Study 30%, Methods Essay 30%, Practical Skills Assessment 40%

Nineteenth-century Marxists and positivists attacked idealism, laying the foundations for modern social science’s distrust of actors’ own explanations for their behaviour. More recent authorities such as Pierre Bourdieu remained suspicious of ‘biographical illusions’.

You will be introduced to these debates by asking what we can and cannot learn from people giving an account of themselves. The module  begins with the study of how various actors give accounts of themselves (activists, diplomats, lawyers, migrants, technicians) and culminates in students conducting and analysing their own account of international political actors and themselves as actors.

Like other  modules on the BA International Politics, this addresses a central question for political studies – the (in)significance of actors’ own explanations for their actions – with a focus on how this issue affects methods of doing international politics research. You will draw upon the knowledge of actors studied in Year 1 whilst exploring the diverse approaches to this topic.

By conducting your own studies, finally, you will learn to engage those actors doing international politics through interviews, focus groups, surveys — data analysis methods that evaluate actors’ accounts of themselves.

Course Title: Learning Lab: Field Experience (Sites)

Course Code: POLP202A

Credits: 60

Semester: SEM A + B

Level: 5

Timetable: TBC

Contact: Prof Engin Isin

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Assessment: Case Study 20%, Research Design 20%, Presentation 20%, Research Report 40%

The contemporary study of international politics recognises heterogeneous places where international politics happens. These places range from city streets and squares to internet platforms and are often intensification points for international politics. This module enables students to gain practical experience of how these various sites become intense points of international politics. This module teaches students how to identify a site and study the ways which a particular site becomes an intense locus by using various methods of analysis taught in the module through fieldwork. The module also enables students to share their findings with other students in a collaborative and workshop environment, disseminate their findings with social and other media, present their work to other students, and write a research essay.

The aims of this module are to (1) to enable students to gain a practical sense of sites in which international politics is performed: (2) to analyse these sites with theoretical tools; (3) to study these sites with methodological tools.

Course Title: Sites of International Politics

Course Code: POLP203

Credits: 30

Semester: SEM A + B

Level: 5

Timetable: TBC

Contact: Prof Engin Isin

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: POLP101

Assessment: Review  10%, Proposal/Report 10%, Presentation 30%, Essay 50%

This module makes the concept of ‘site’ its prime academic instrument. It explores how sites of international politics – such as museums, streets, internet platforms, socio-political movements and NGOs amongst others – are implicated in the construction of global politics.

The key concept of the ‘site’ is best conceived as an extended version of the concept ‘field’ used in political sociology to describe a concentration of various arenas and forces, including the ways in which sense-making and memory function to legitimise certain stories and histories at the expense of others. This includes critically thinking about the ‘site’ as an analytical tool against conventional naming of the world into categories such as the ‘East’ and the ‘West’.

You will identify, understand and analyse different sites of international politics as worthy conceptual and empirical tools, exploring how these sites are created, maintained, resisted and (re)configured in the 21st century.

You will also play with the dichotomous interpretation of site/sight examining how much a site revolves around one’s sight or perspective.

Finally, building on your previous theoretical knowledge you will incorporate more complex ways of making sense of the complex and networked world we inhabit, not least in order to question the arbitrary but sense-making division of the world into ‘East’ and ‘West’.

Course Title: Study Abroad Year

Course Code: POLP300

Credits: 120

Semester: SEM A + B

Level: 5

Timetable: TBC

Contact: Prof Engin Isin

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Assessment: TBC - students pass assessments in modules at partner institution

This core module is for students undertaking the four year BA in International Politics with Year Abroad (Paris Plus) or the four year BA in International Politics with French with a Year Abroad (Paris Plus). These students are the only students eligible for this module.  In addition, to be eligible for the module students must achieve an average of 2.1 in year 2 with no failed modules.  Students must pass the assessments set by the collaborative institution in order to progress to year 4 of the programme.  

This module will provide students with the opportunity to study politics or international relations as a carefully selected partner university. To learn more about QMUL partner universities, please visit: http://www.qmul.ac.uk/international/global-opportunities/outgoing-students/

Course Title: Doing International Politics (3): Practices - The nation-state as a global practice

Course Code: POLP301

Credits: 30

Semester: SEM A + B

Level: 6

Timetable: TBC

Contact: Prof Engin Isin

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: POLP201

Assessment:  2 x Essay (2500 words) 30% each, Event analysis 40%

Many narratives of nationalist movements claim each nation-state as a unique formation, and yet the methods they use to  encourage the loyalty of their populations are everywhere so similar.

This module works through this paradox from an international political perspective.

It will enable you to understand and explain the emergence of the nation-state form and its dramatic extension to the world ). Topics include comparative nationalist music; mimetic diasporic nationalisms; similarities and differences between African, Asian and Latin American decolonisations; and differing global responses to the French Revolution.

This module fits with the programme’s broader objectives in three ways. Firstly, as stated above, it analyses the kind of ‘practice’ common to all YEAR 3 modules. Secondly, the content relates directly to the programme theme of global approaches to citizenship and the nation-state. Thirdly, and finally, topics such as diasporic nationalisms allows you to study international politics being done in Paris.

Course Title: Learning Lab: Field Experience (Practices)

Course Code: POLP302A

Credits: 60

Semester: SEM A + B

Level: 6

Timetable: TBC

Contact: Prof Engin Isin

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Assessment: Case study 20%, Research design 20%, Presentation 20%, Research report 40%

The contemporary study of international politics recognises other actors than nations and states for doing international politics such as artists, activists, non-governmental organisations, collectives, and movements.  This module enables students to gain practical experience of how these various actors perform international politics. This module teaches students how to identify organisations, institutions, and movements through which actors develop routine, regular, and durable practices and transmit these practice from one site to another and from one generation to another. The modules teaches students how to understand these practices through fieldwork. The module also enables students to share their findings with other students in a collaborative and workshop environment, disseminate their findings with social and other media, present their work to other students, and write a research essay.

The aims of this module are to (1) to enable students to gain an analytical understanding of practices of international politics: (2) to study these practices with theoretical tools; (3) to study their effects with advanced methodological tools.  

Course Title: Research Project

Course Code: POLP388

Credits: 30

Semester: SEM A + B

Level: 6

Timetable: TBC

Contact: Prof Engin Isin

Overlap: None

Prerequisite: None

Assessment: Proposal 20%, Presentation 20%, Dissertation 60%

The research project is designed to give students the opportunity of studying an agreed topic under supervision on an individual basis and to a greater depth than is possible within existing modules.

Students must fill in the pre-registration form and should undertake a programme of preparatory work during the long vacation. A programme of research workshops will be provided in the first semester and each student will have an opportunity to present their research to a small group in the second semester. Assessment is on the basis of two coursework assignments and a dissertation of 10,000 words. For more details, please read below.

The research project is an independent study programme.  Student will select their own research topic and will be expected to develop a strong research commitment.

Each student is appointed a research project supervisor, with whom they will meet regularly, to offer advice and guidance.

The research project module encourages final year students to take responsibility for their own learning, with the guidance of the supervisor, by the end of the module students will be able;

• To explore areas of interest within the discipline of their degree programme with an in-depth research
• To develop a number of useful research skills
• To apply critical analysis to areas of interest
• To challenge, through an original research, dominant theories and perspectives within the discipline.

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