Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2 hr seminar


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Seminar performance  10%
Semester Assessment 2,000 word essay  30%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Examination  60%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. Discuss the historical origins and development of peace theory.
2. Evaluate the role that just war theory plays in early international law.
3. Describe and analyze the main theoretical perspectives of Kant's Perpetual Peace.
4. Demonstrate, through written work and in seminars, an ability to apply these theoretical perspectives to contemporary issues relating to state and interstate theory.
5. Define and evaluate the outlines for peace presented by Kant, Rawls and Habermas.
6. Evaluate the relation between morality and politics.
7. Demonstrate, through written work and in seminar discussions, an awareness and understanding of differing interpretations of writings on peace.
8. Discuss and evaluate moral justifications for the cessation of war.
9. Demonstrate the contemporary relevance of peace theory to international law.
10. Demonstrate the strengths or weaknesses of arguments for peace presented in political theory.


1. Modern International Law and the question of just war.
2. Practice and the moral perspective ? the role of the categorical imperative.
3. What is wrong with secrecy, imperialism, standing armies and spying?
4. Republican constitutions and their contribution to peace. The democratic peace thesis.
5. Pacific federations and international law. Contemporary interpretations, e.g. Habermas & Held
6. What is cosmopolitan justice? - John Rawls'r Law of Peoples
7. What are the guarantees of lasting peace and stability: history and progress? The end of history debate.
8. The role of the theorist (philosopher): how peace theory can make a difference.
9. Morality and right: is realist politics self-defeating?
10. International Law and the arguments for peace.

Brief description

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of key arguments for peace in political thought. Particular attention will be paid to the philosophy of Immanuel Kant and its relation to modern international law. The module will involve an in depth study of Kant'r Perpetual Peace, one of the key tracts in modern peace theory, and the debates that arise from its reception in contemporary international relations theory, political theory and international relations in general. Three of the contemporary focuses of the module will be democratic peace theory; John Rawls'r `law of peoples?; and Juergen Habermas'r arguments for reformed international relations.


This module is at CQFW Level 6