Module Information

Module Identifier
IPM0520
Module Title
International Politics
Academic Year
2017/2018
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
Reading List
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 2,000 word essay  Presentations are likely to take all day and all students on the module are expected to attend.  30%
Semester Assessment 1 x 3,500 word Extended Essay  60%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 750 words short paper in lieu of seminar performance  Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics.  10%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2000 word essay  30%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3,500 word essay  60%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Critically engage with key concepts in the study of international politics and international relations, such as anarchy, power, security, colonialism, and gender.

2. Apply and scrutinize the core concepts covered, and diverse approaches to them, in the study of international politics.

3. Think critically and creatively about how we might capture international political dynamics.

4. Think critically about the implications – analytical, practical, moral/political and epistemological/methodological – of how we try and capture international political dynamics.

5. Critically engage with core questions, puzzles, arguments and debates in the study of international politics.

Brief description

This module seeks to provide MA students of international politics with an advanced introduction to:

1) the significance of systematic study of international politics and the wide-ranging areas of concern to its study;

2) a variety of analytical tools for describing, explaining and understanding international politics and its constant dynamic evolution; and

3) debates in the study of international politics and international relations theory, and what is at stake in them, politically, ethically, practically and epistemologically/methodologically.

This core module provides the students with the essential skills and conceptual frameworks necessary for thinking through what it takes to tackle the subject of international politics/international relations and its subfields today.

The module covers ‘classical’ concepts of concern to the study of international politics, such as the contested meanings of anarchy, sovereignty, power and security, but also tackles the role of colonialism, environment and gender in the study of international politics. Attention will be paid to contestation over concepts used to describe international political realities, differences of meaning ascribed to the core concepts, the political, ethical, practical and epistemological/methodological consequences involved in the choice of concepts used, and the role of conceptual innovation in the study of a dynamic and diverse subject matter.

Content

To prepare students for analysis of the dynamic nature of international politics in the 21st century, this module seeks to provide a grounding in classical international political concepts and debates but also encourages and seeks to enable students to think creatively about how we might describe, analyse and explain the complex and dynamic evolution of international politics. While reflecting on the practical significance of conceptual decisions we make in how we describe international political dynamics, students are also expected to reflect on the political, ethical, practical and methodological implications of studying contemporary world politics from various perspectives and through specific concepts.
By the end of the module, students will have both a rounded understanding of core debates in the field of international politics and the critical analytical skills to approach the study of its varied aspects.
The module is taught through two-hour seminars by a team of leading international politics scholars based in the department. During the course of the module, students are expected to take part in mini-lectures, both large and small group discussions, presentation and defence of their ideas within an academic setting, and participation in group projects. All students will find that discussion of these issues will be relevant to research towards the MA dissertation (IPM0060).
The weekly topics covered (that is, the weekly discussed contested core concepts central to the study of international politics) are: international politics, theory, history, power, anarchy, sovereignty, security, (post)colonialism, gender, and the environment.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to present their arguments most effectively. They will understand the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know 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. Seminars may involve splitting students into groups where oral discussion will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication. 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 convener and 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, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their essay and presentation topics. Seminars provide opportunities for students to reflect individually and collectively on their performance. The need to contribute to the seminars and to meet deadlines for written work will focus students’ attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work electronically. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information, images and narratives on the web. Students will also be expected to make use of the resources that will be available on Blackboard and through Aspire.
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students’ verbal and presentation and team-working skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing them through to completion will contribute towards students’ portfolio of transferable skills.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of essays will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare for seminars will also enable students to develop independent project skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills The submission of the essays will reflect the independent research skills of students. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills. Research preparation for seminars will also enable students to develop independent project skills.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: • Collect and understand a wide range of material relating to the module • Ability to evaluate competing perspectives • Demonstrate subject specific research techniques • Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and political questions
Team work In seminars students will be obliged to prepare, present and discuss as a group the core issues related to seminar topics and particular case studies. Such classroom debates and discussions are a vital component of the module learning experience.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7