Module Identifier IP31020  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Jenny Edkins  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   11 Hours (10 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   10 Hours (10 x hour)  
Assessment Assignment   4,000 words   70%  
  Performance assessment     10%  
  Essay   1,500 words   20%  


Research inspired by post-modern or post-structuralist approaches forms a challenging contribution to recent international relations, political theory and postcolonialism. There are two linked modules that explore this field. This first module, which is introductory, looks at the writings of thinkers associated with the move. It allows students to develop a thorough critical appreciation and understanding of the field through a reading of primary writings. They will then be well placed to go on if they wish to study scholars of international politics or postcolonialism who draw on this work. The module concentrates on giving a flavour of the excitement of these approaches, rather than examining the debates between postmodernism and its critics. There are no prerequisites, apart from a willingness to read in depth and engage with the material.

The module begins with a brief examination of Freud, Saussure, feminist writers and Marx, and then focuses on three writers - Foucault, Derrida and Lacan. Lectures introducing key areas are accompanied by seminars based on careful readings of selected texts supported by extensive discussion. The lectures will include opportunities for questions and debate, and may also include group activities. Seminars will be student-led.


By the end of the course, students should:

- have a good understanding of approaches described as postmodern or post-structural
- be able to discuss some of the ethico-political questions raised by this work
- be able to demonstrate a familiarity with key post-structuralist writers, based on a direct reading of their texts

Brief description

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Jenny Edkins. Poststructuralism and IR.
Alan Sheridan. Michel Foucault: The Will to Truth.