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POL251 International Relations Theory

(POL240A – Autumn, POL240B – Spring)

Credits: 30 credits

Semester: 3 & 4

Contact: Dr Lee Jones

Overlap: Students taking POL206 Modern Political Thought cannot take this module.

Prerequisite: POL100 and POL106


This module focuses on some of the key theories, issues and themes in the study and practice of contemporary international relations. It takes as its starting point the distinct political characteristics of the social space of the "international'' defined by the absence of common political power and the political and economic changes associated with the end of the Cold War and globalisation. The first semester is mostly concerned with exploring theories of international relations, from realism and liberalism to historical materialism and post colonialism. The module then proceeds to identify and examine key issues of concern within contemporary world politics including the changing nature of state sovereignty, war and violence, global governance and international organisations, the nature of the world economy, and human rights. Through the study of these issues the module aims to equip students with the conceptual tools and empirical knowledge to enable them to acquire a deeper and more nuanced understanding of contemporary international relations. This module is compulsory for single honours International Relations students

Assessment: Critical Review 10%, Essay two 30%, Research proposal 10% & Research essay 50%

Level: 5

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