Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Fear, Cooperation and Trust in World Politics
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 20 Hours (10 x 2 hours)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Seminar Performance  10%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,750 word essay  45%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,750 word essay  45%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,000 word assignment in lieu of seminar performance  10%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,750 word essay  45%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2,750 word essay  45%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Discuss key theoretical concepts in the study of international cooperation.
2. Apply these concepts to a range of concrete historical and contemporary cases.
3. Compare the utility of various conceptualizations of fear, cooperation and trust.
4. Identify key elements of processes leading states to conflict and cooperation.
5. Analyze the complex relationships between such factors.
6. Evaluate various ideas designed to enhance international cooperation.
7. Discuss the ways in which alternative solutions to the problem of world order could be implemented.
8. Assess the limitations imposed by the existential condition of uncertainty on the behavior of states.

Brief description

This module explores key theoretical arguments about conflict and collaboration in international politics. It is built around three central concepts – fear, cooperation, trust – and examines how each shapes in various and different ways dynamics of interstate interactions. In addition to the strong theoretical dimension, it will allow students to apply these concepts to practical analysis of international processes and events, such as the cold war, climate change, or security communities. It draws directly on research which has been conducted in the Department by Ken Booth, Nicholas Wheeler and Jan Ruzicka.


Session 1: Introduction to the module
Session 2: The condition of uncertainty

Session 3: Fear and international politics
Session 4: Fear, uncertainty and the origins of the cold war

Session 5: Fear, nuclear weapons, and deterrence
Session 6: Cooperation under anarchy

Session 7: Cooperation and climate change
Session 8: Cooperation and nuclear nonproliferation

Session 9: Trusting relations in international politics
Session 10: Trust-building among adversaries

Session 11: Trust and security communities


The module will enable students to develop high level theoretical and empirical knowledge about cooperation and discord in international politics. It will provide understanding of various theoretical perspectives on the concepts of fear, cooperation and trust. Students will therefore be exposed to challenging theoretical and empirical material which they will have to integrate. It should be seen as complementary to modules in international relations theory offered in the Department, on which it aims to build. The advanced nature of the module is evidenced in the way in which it will be taught. The module will be structured as a series of 10 two-hour long seminars.

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 and how to present their arguments most effectively individually or as a group. They will learn the importance of information and clear communication and how to use these effectively. 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. This module will particularly test aural and oral communication skills as it involves assessed seminar performance. Students will also be required to submit their written assignments in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management. 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 the direction of their coursework and presentation topics. The need to prepare for assessed seminar participation and to meet coursework deadlines 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 and to use online sources appropriately when conducting research.
Personal Development and Career planning This module is intended to advance and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statements 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 project work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of two written assignments and preparation for seminar discussions 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; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar and dissimilar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research when working on their essays. This will involve utilizing mostly academic texts. Students will in part be assessed on their ability to gather appropriate and interesting resources materials.
Subject Specific Skills The module will provide students with the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that will help them to understand, analyze and evaluate examples and ideas about policy-making. These subject specific skills include: - Collection and understanding of a wide range of data relating to the module - Evaluation of competing perspectives - Demonstration of subject specific research techniques - Application of a range of methodologies to various historical and contemporary national security policy-making cases.
Team work Students will engage in group activities during the seminars. For some of the topics on this module, seminars will consist of small-group discussions where students will be asked to discuss as a group.


This module is at CQFW Level 6