Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 X 4,000 word essay  50%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   50%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- Assess the inter-relationships, tensions and synergies between various approaches to the study of international politics
- Reflect critically upon core debates in international theory as viewed in the light of contemporary considerations on the role and status of theory in the philosophy of the social sciences
- Reflect critically on the impact of contemporary concerns on the writing of history.
- Reflect critically on different theoretical approaches in international politics
- Assess the assumptions and theories that underpin some of the most important alternative conceptualisations of security.
- Reflect critically on contending perspectives and interpretations of a specified case study in international relations
- Apply the conceptual material studied on the module to a specific case study and show how it helps us to think about the key theoretical debates.
- Historically assess the significance of a seminal event in international relations
- Evaluate the strengths and weakness of different historical sources.
- Evaluate the assumptions, theories and practices that have defined traditional studies of intelligence
- Critically evaluate the assumptions and theories that underpin the concept of 'intelligence failure'.
- Reflect critically on the assumptions, theories and practices that define the field of Strategic Studies.
- Evaluate the key intellectual and policy debates about the future trajectory of European politics within the wider context of the global international system.

Brief description

A new and innovative module designed to give Masters students the conceptual tools to develop a deeper understanding of international politics by exploration of a selected chapter in world affairs. It will convey an array of different aspects of the discipline in a way that is designed to make them accessible, attractive and usable to all the students undertaking specialist Masters schemes. At the same time, students will be asked to reflect upon these approaches through the lens of a particular event or set of events (a case study). In essence, it will be an exercise to introduce students to wider horizons and to different sources of understanding. It will do so by assisting them in making some sense of international politics by exposing them to the sheer breadth of the Department itself.


Lecture 1: International Politics: The Inconvenient Truth
Lecture 2: Writing Contemporary History
Lecture 3: Marrying Historical and Theoretical Inquiry
Lecture 4: Diplomacy by Other Means: An Introduction to Strategy in the Modern World.
Lecture 5: Total War in the 20th Century
Lecture 6: Counterinsurgency Warfare in the Modern Age
Lecture 7: Why Intelligence fails
Lecture 8: The Classic Realist Tradition
Lecture 9: Realism and Neorealism
Lecture 10: The Classic Liberal Tradition
Lecture 11: Neoliberalism and Neoconservatism
Lecture 12: Postcolonial and Poststructural Perspectives
Lecture 13: Neocolonialism, Gender, and American Empire
Lecture 14: Towards an International Society?
Lecture 15: The Meaning of Security
Lecture 16: Marxist and Critical Theory perspectives
Lecture 17: Alternatives to American Hegemony

Seminar One: The history of the decision to go to war
Seminar Two: Applying strategic concepts to the decision to go to war. Politics vs Strategy.
Seminar Three: Explaining the war in Iraq from the Realist and Liberal perspectives
Seminar Four: Application of Postcolonial, English School and Marxist theories to the War in Iraq.

Two Special Teaching Sessions
Special Session I: Was there a Strategy for Iraq?
Special Session II: Contested Visions of Global Order: Europe vs. America?


This module is at CQFW Level 7