Module Identifier IPM3630  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Jenny Edkins  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Seminar   1 x two hour seminar per week over one semester  
Assessment Course work   Seminar participation   20%  
  Essay   outline of review paper 1,000 words   10%  
  Essay   Review Paper 5,000 words   70%  

General description

The study of international and national politics needs to take account of the ways in which political community relies on difference. Difference cannot be traced at an abstract level - it arises out of embodied and located practice or, in other words, it involves real people and real places. In an era of globalisation the diversity of ways of being human has become increasingly apparent. Identities seem complex, fragmented, and hybrid. People move from place to place, forcing a redefinition of community and boundary. Transnational families have become as much a focus of study as territorially bounded communities. The politics of identity has been replaced by a politics of difference.   

The module explores how we can understand some of the processes at work in the formation and transformation of identities and the politics of difference. This raises many questions. Is difference skin deep? How are power relations inscribed in eveeryday social interactions? Where does the notion of difference come from? How does it work politically? How do racial and sexual difference intersect?

In addressing these issues and others, the module draws on fascinating work in postcolonial studies - work until recently neglected by international relations theorists. It also considers explorations of subjectivity and power from feminist, postculturalist, Marxist and psychoanalytic work. Students unfamiliar with these areas can attend lectures on a parallel introductory undergraduate module if they wish.


By the end of the module, students should be able to:


The module will:
1. give students an in-depth introduction to these issues
2. develop students' skills in contributing to and leading seminars on complex and controversial topics, and
3. enable them to prepare and present an extended academic paper