Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 15 Hours (15 x 1 hour)
Seminars / Tutorials 8 Hours (8 x 1 hour)


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,500 word essay  25%
Semester Assessment 1 x 1,500 word essay  25%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (2 hour exam)  50%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,500 word essay, if essay element failed  25%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 1,500 word essay, if essay element failed  25%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 3,000 word essay in lieu of exam, if exam element failed  50%

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate an in-depth and systematic understanding of concepts of power, representation, identity, sovereignty and emancipation in world politics, and the role these have played in shaping contemporary international relations.
2. Demonstrate the critical awareness to undertake the analysis of complex issues pertaining to the module, and to synthesise and structure analytical material logically, using knowledge and processes from the forefront of the field.
3. Professionally engage in academic communication by defining an issue, presenting its ramifications effectively, engaging an audience through speech and with audio-visual means, and responding effectively to questions;
4. Use a level of conceptual and theoretical understanding that will allow them to critically evaluate (and apply) theory to a particular world order problem and hypothesise on alternative approaches.
5. Critically engage with apply research and presentational skills to complex issues in global governance autonomously.

Brief description

This module engages with contesting interpretations of the 'international' and of political community in international relations, with a particular emphasis on their evolution. Including coverage of state-formation, anti-colonial struggles, poststructuralist thought, and the counter-globalization and Green political movements, this module invites students to rethink the meaning of statehood and governance in contemporary global politics.
The use of diverse case studies provides a both global perspective and an interdisciplinary perspective. Students engage in critical analysis of various actors, thinkers, and of cultural representations of international politics. These include detailed case studies of a state (Iraq), a film (Children of Men), a stateless nation (Wales), and the works of a thinker (Murray Bookchin).


Lecture schedule
1. Introduction: globalization & world politics
2. The state and sovereignty in world politics
3. The (re)making of the international system
4. Case study analysis 1: Iraq
5. From Marx to Cox: 'radical' critiques of established orders
6. Conceptualizing power and resistance in IR
7. Case study analysis 2: Children of Men
8. Case study analysis 2: Children of Men
9. Remembering the other: 'them and us' globalization
10. 'Globalizing' world politics
11. 'Small is Beautiful': the return of the little actor?
12. Case study analysis 3: Wales
13. Beyond humanity: ecological critique and the expansion of political community
14. Case study analysis 4: Murray Bookchin
15. Conclusion: (Re)locating power and sovereignty in contemporary world politics
Seminar schedule
1. Globalization
2. The state
3. Power and resistance
4. Unpacking Children of Men
5. The other in IR
6. Small actors
7. Green critique
8. Conclusion & exam preparation


The module adds to the teaching programme of the Department by providing a sustained focus on international space, the state, and notions of political community and agency in world politics.

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 how to present their arguments most effectively. They will learn 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. This module will particularly test aural and oral communication skills as it involves assessed seminar performance. Students will also be required to submit their essays in word-processed format and 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 convenor and fellow students alike. 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 (under guidance) 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. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources.
Personal Development and Career planning This module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement 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 essays 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 cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research for all elements of the assessed work. This will involve utilizing media and web sources, as well as more conventional academic texts. Students will in part be assessed on their ability to gather appropriate and interesting resources materials.
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 • Evaluate competing perspectives • Demonstrate subject specific research techniques Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and contemporary political problems.
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars. For many of the topics of this module, seminars will consist of small-group discussions where students will be asked to discuss as a group the core issues related to the seminar topic. These class discussions and debates form a significant part of the module, and will allow students to approach and examine a given topic through team work.


This module is at CQFW Level 6