Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment ESSAY (4000 WORDS)  50%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   EXAM  50%
Supplementary Exam Resit opportunities for this module will be available in the Supplementary examination period each year. Normally, Masters students are required to resit those elements of the module that they have not already passed. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
1. Critically analyse the concepts of fear, cooperation, and trust in world politics, and locate them within competing theories of International Relations.
2. Demonstrate a Master's level understanding of the key literatures on fear, cooperation, and trust in world politics, and relate these to debates about these concepts in other disciplines.
3 Apply the conceptual material studied on the module to specific empirical cases, and show how these cases help us to think about the theoretical debates.
4. Demonstrate an appreciation of the methodological and theoretical challenges that face students undertaking research work on the interplay between fear, cooperation, and trust in world politics.


This module provides the core subject specific training for students taking the Department's new Master's in International Politics. It is designed to provide both an advanced level of training for students who have already studied International Relations at undergraduate level as well as providing a conversion course for those who have not studied International Relations before.

Brief description

The module introduces students to the theory and practice of fear, cooperation, and trust in world politics by exploring these ideas in the context of multidisciplinary approaches and selected empirical cases


The module will comprise 10 two-hour seminars
Seminar 1: Uncertainty
Part 1: Fear
Seminar 2: The Politics of Fear in World Politics
Seminar 3: `They have Nothing to Fear from Us? (the problem of benign self-images)
Seminar 4: `We have to Fear Them? (ideological fundamentalism in foreign policy decision-making).
Part II: Cooperation
Seminar 5: Theories of Cooperation under Anarchy
Seminar 6: Case Study o

Seminar 6: Case study of Global Nuclear Governance (managing the risks of nuclear proliferation and the challenge of the civil nuclear renaissance).
Seminar 7: Case study of Governing the Environment: (the existing regimes for managing the global environmental crisis, with special reference to climate change).
Part III: Trust
Seminar 8: Trust and Mistrust in World Politics?
Seminar 9 Trust and Security Communities?
Seminar 10: Can Trust exist in a Divided World?
Seminar 11: Reflections on Fear, Cooperation, and Trust in the 21st century

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 assert themselves to advantage. 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 the best advantage. They will learn to be clear and 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 will be run in groups where oral discussion and presentations will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication. Fellow students will be encouraged to question the paper-giver to critique their approach or to suggest areas for the development of the chosen topic; in turn each will discuss the contributions and ideas of the other.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the convener 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, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their essay and presentation topics. The need to conduct a seminar presentation and to meet an essay deadline 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 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 discussions in particular will help to develop students¿ verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay and a presentation, 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; both the essay and the exam will require that the student develops 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 cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills The submission of the essays will reflect the independent research skills of the student. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research 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 data relating to the module Ability to evaluate competing perspectives Demonstrate subject specific research techniques Apply a range of methodologies to complex political problems
Team work Seminars will consist in part of small-group discussion where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to seminar topics. Such class room debates and discussions are a vital component of the module.


This module is at CQFW Level 7