Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Global Politics of Middle Powers
Academic Year
Semester 2
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay 1  2500 Words  50%
Semester Assessment Essay 2  2500 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 1  2500 Words  50%
Supplementary Assessment Essay 2  2500 Words  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

Explain how certain states classify as middle powers.

Analyse how middle powers negotiate with major powers.

Identify common aspects in the diplomacy of middle powers.

Examine the strategies deployed by middle powers to shape the global order.

Brief description

The module examines the relocation of middle powers in the global order and explores their contemporary diplomacy across different international regimes. The module identifies common patterns in the international behaviour of middle powers and the ideas, interests and strategies that inform their foreign policies. The module analyses the types of diplomacy that middle powers pursue to achieve the recognition of their status in the international hierarchy. It also demonstrates that while middle powers are unwilling to conform to the rules of the existing order, they have been reluctant to take a revisionist stance.


The module examines a number of country case studies including Brazil, India, South Africa and Turkey, and analyses how these states negotiate in key areas of international politics like trade, energy, investment and climate change. The module also examines the relations of these states with major powers like the US and China, and identifies the strategies that such middle powers use to shape international institutions like the UN and the WTO.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Students will learn how to communicate their ideas verbally and in writing, and how to present their arguments most effectively. They will develop skills in using the many sources of information available 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. Students will also be required to submit their written assessments 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 Students will be required to undertake independent research in order to complete the assessed work for this module. This will involve utilizing a range of information sources, including core academic texts, journal articles, electronic publications, and online news sources.
Information Technology Students will enhance their digital proficiency using Blackboard, where materials to support learning will be made available. Students will also develop skills in searching for, and assessing the validity of, online information sources as part of preparation for lectures, workshops and assessed tasks. Assessed work will be presented in electronic format, according to standard expectations.
Personal Development and Career planning The 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 requires students to write 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. Students will be given the opportunity to regularly reflect on their progress at the workshops taking place throughout the module. The module convener will provide students with questions on the module topics that will help guide self-reflection.
Problem solving Creative problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of an essay and preparation for workshop 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; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills The module aims to promote critical and analytical thinking within a context in which support and assistance is available from the module convenor and other students. 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 how to answer assessed essay questions.
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. • Apply a range of methodologies to contemporary political problems.
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the workshops. For some of the topics of this module, workshops will consist of small-group discussions where students will be asked to discuss as a group the core issues related to the workshop 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 7