Module Information

Module Identifier
IQ32820
Module Title
Marx and International Relations
Academic Year
2015/2016
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
External Examiners
  • Dr Felix J Rosch (Senior Lecturer - Coventry University)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 11 x 2 Hour Seminars
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Seminar performance  10%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,000 words assignment in lieu of seminar performance  10%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay, if essay element failed  40%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay, if essay element failed  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate a knowledge of central elements of Marx's theorising
2. Show an understanding of the distinctiveness of Marx's critical theory in relation to disciplines such as history, economics and politics
3. Engage in critical evaluation of Marx's thought and its historical legacy
4. Demonstrate a knowledge of the main schools of Marxist thought in IR
5. Evaluate the challenge that 'the international' is often held to pose to Marxist thought
6. Historically contextualize the schools of Marxism in IR
7. Critically assess the use made of Marx in IR and evaluate the prevalent interpretations
8. Engage in assessment of the contemporary significance of Marx, both as a critical theorist and within IR

Aims

The aim of the module is to provide students with an opportunity to engage in-depth with one of the most important and influential bodies of critical theory and to explore how it has been used within their specific field of study, international politics. In doing this, the purpose of the module is to show the explanatory range and importance of Marx's social theory for understanding the modern world and for comprehending processes of power and resistance. As such, it is intended to give conceptual depth to students' understandings of the social and political world of capitalism. A further aim is to introduce students to Marx's thought as an unfinished and open body of work that they can engage with critically and imaginatively.

Brief description

The module both explores key elements of Marx's extensive theoretical oeuvre and covers the most important bodies of thought in IR that have used Marx's thought. The initial weeks of the module will be spent looking at central aspects of Marx's thought, familiarizing students with the most important basic concepts and how these facilitate critical thought. It will then move on to cover most of the main schools of Marxist theorizing in the field of IR. These will be covered chronologically, leading up to the present day, and students will be encouraged to think about each one in its historical context and also to think about what Marx means now, in the contemporary world.

Content

Seminar 1 ? Introduction: Marx Now
Seminar 2 ? The Critique of History: Historical Materialism
Seminar 3 ? The Critique of Politics and the State: Class
Seminar 4 ? The Critique of Political Economy: the Theory of Capital
Seminar 5 ? Marx as Critical Theorist
Seminar 6 ? Marx and International Relations
Seminar 7 ? Theories of Imperialism: Capitalism and Geopolitics
Seminar 8 ? World Systems Theory: the World Market
Seminar 9 ? Neo-Gramsican Theory: International Hegemony
Seminar 10 ? The Globalised World: the Highest Stage of Capital?

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to form their ideas both verbally in seminar discussion and in writing in the essays, and how to how to present their arguments most effectively. They will learn the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will learn how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Students will also be required to submit their essays in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from both the convenor and fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and exercising their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their coursework and presentation topics. The need to prepare to meet coursework deadlines will focus students' attention on the importance of managing their time.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format and to use online sources appropriately when researching.
Personal Development and Career planning This module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement of others. Moreover, the written work includes writing clearly and concisely, which is a common task in the workplace. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application.
Problem solving Independent work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of two essays will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research when working on the essay. This will involve utilizing media and web sources, as well as more conventional academic texts. Students will in part be assessed on their ability to gather, organize and analyse appropriate and interesting resources and materials.
Subject Specific Skills This module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement of others. Moreover, the written work includes writing clearly and concisely, which is a common task in the workplace. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application.
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars. For many of the topics of this module, seminars will consist of small-group discussions where students will be asked to discuss as a group the core issues related to the seminar topic. These class discussions and debates form a significant part of the module, and will allow students to approach and examine a given topic through team work.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6