Module Identifier IP10310  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Jenny Edkins  
Semester Semester 2  
Mutually Exclusive GW10310  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours (20 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   5 Hours (5 x 1 hour)  
Assessment Essay   1 x 1,500 word   30%  
  Exam   2 Hours   70%  

Brief description

This is the second of two modules which introduce you to International Politics. It offers what we expect and hope will be an unsettling and challenging re-appraisal of the subject of International Politics. In Semester 1, the first module, IP10110, introduced the traditional Realist account. This module introduces four contemporary approaches, each of which disagrees with the framework advocated by Realists. They are in many ways more challenging? and more difficult? to study, because they depart from the common sense view familiar in non-academic contexts, for example, on the news or in pub discussions. It is the business of academic work to question conventional wisdom and to ask whether traditional thinking can be justified, rather than just taking common sense for granted. The alternative accounts challenge the claims to neutrality and objectivity of the realist account and ask to what extent its account can be said to be `realistic?. They point to partiality in both its theoretical framework and the issues it sees as important. They provide us with alternative and more exciting definitions of what International Politics is about.


The module provides an introduction to four distinct contemporary approaches to International Politics, the differences between them, and the accounts each provides of international politics.

There are four blocks, each dealing with one approach. In each case we concentrate on a particular writer, and a key text from their writings, in order to simplify your task and to make sure you end up with a clear grasp of at least one version of the approach rather than a very murky view of several.


At the end of the module you should be able to compare and contrast how each of these frameworks sees international politics and for each approach:

Reading Lists

J Baylis & S Smith. The Globalisation of World Politics. OUP 1997
D Held. Prospects for Democracy. Blackwell 1992
C Encloe. Bananas, Beaches and Bases. Pandora 1989
D Campbell. National Deconstruction. Minnesota 1998
I Wallerstein. The Modern World-System. Academic Press 1974-1989