Module Information

Module Identifier
IPM4820
Module Title
Dissident Perspectives on World Politics
Academic Year
2016/2017
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
External Examiners
  • Professor Jonathan M Joseph (Professor - University of Sheffield)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 10 x 2 Hour Seminars
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,500 word essay  60%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the cognitive, social, and ethical dimensions of key post-positivist theories of international politics;
2. Critically assess post-positivism's contribution to the understanding of international reality and of the discipline that takes it as its subject-matter;
3. Demonstrate an understanding of the distinctive features of different post-positivist methodologies, and apply these methodologies to specific issues and problems of world politics;
4. Problematise the relationship between cognitive and normative representations of the world;
5. Problematise the relationship between the nature of social and international orders on the one hand, and the nature of ordinary and academic knowledge on the other.
6. Develop a self-critical and methodically reflexive perspective on their engagement with world politics and academic research.

Brief description

This module explores key "dissident" perspectives on the international that offer simultaneously a critical understanding of world politics and the global order, and a political critique of International Relations (IR) itself. It examines the core features of different post-positivist traditions (Critical Theory, Social Constructionism, Poststructuralism/Postmodernism, Critical Feminism, Postcolonialism, and Reflexivism) by highlighting their epistemic-ontological stances, methodologies, and distinctive themes, as well as their historicity, the stakes of their intellectual project, and their socio-political and ethical commitments. It then turns to an assessment of their theoretical and empirical contributions to knowledge of global realities, and a critical engagement with their criticisms of IR's assumptions, modes of explanation, and values. The module is framed by a socio-historical understanding of IR knowledge understood as a situated system of beliefs, discourses, and practices, and hence encourages students to reflexively and methodically situate, contextualise, and problematise their own perspectives, representations, and judgments about global realities.

Aims

The module provides an additional optional module for the Postcolonial Politics Degree scheme 'basket' and will also be of interest to, and form part of the baskets of, the Critical International Politics, International Relations, and Global Politics degree schemes. It will be an optional module in the basket of the Politics Media and Performance Degree Scheme run in TFTS. It will be an optional module for students of other degree schemes in the department and the Institute, for example students of International Security Studies

Content

1. Mapping Dissidence in IR: Insights from the History and Sociology of the Discipline
2. The Frankfurt School and Social Critique
3. Critical IR Theory
4. Social Constructionism
5. From Conventional to Critical Constructivist IR
6. Genealogy and Deconstruction
7. Poststructuralism/Postmodern IR
8. Critical Feminist IR
9. Postcolonial IR
10. From Reflexivity to Reflexivism

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing. They will be required not only to acquire information and make academic judgements about it but also to communicate their analytical conclusions clearly and effectively. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Some of the teaching sessions will involve small group discussions in which all students will be required to participate and communicate. Students will be expected to submit their work 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 of assistance from both the academic staff and the fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding (under guidance) the topic of their essays. The need to meet deadlines for assessed work will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as BIDS and OCLC).
Personal Development and Career planning The seminar discussions in particular will help to develop students' verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay and a case study report, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable skills
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; all the forms of assessment will require that the student develop problem-solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: examine issues from differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to problems; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills The assignments will require the students to develop their research skills in order to locate appropriate research resources and present the results in a coherent and analytical manner.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of skills that are specific to the subjects that contribute to this module. These skills will help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas about the internet and social media. Such subject specific skills include: Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the topic Evaluate competing perspectives Demonstrate subject specific research techniques Apply a range of methodologies to complex problems
Team work Team-work skills are an essential component of this module. Students will frequently be required to work together during teaching sessions. Much of the core learning students will do will come through sharing and debating their ideas with their peers.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7