Module Identifier IP10420  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Mr Douglas W Stokes  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Professor Andrew Linklater, Mr Douglas W Stokes  
Mutually Exclusive GW10420  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours (20 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   8 Hours (8 x 1 hour)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  60%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,500 word essay  40%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students will be able to:

- Critically assess central approaches to the study of international politics
- Evaluate competing approaches to the reform of the international system
- Critically employ different approaches to the ethics of war, human rights and humanitarian intervention and global social justice
- Critically apply different approaches to the analysis of topical issues in world politics   

10 ECTS credits

Brief description

This module provides an introduction to past and present debates about the prospects for progress in international politics.


This module aims to explain the contemporary applications of central traditions of international thought and continuing debates about the nature and possibility of the reform of world politics.


The module is in three parts. Part One analyses three schools of thought (realism, idealism and the international society approach) which are central to the study of international politics. Part two examines contemporary debates about morality and war, human rights and humanitarian intervention, global social justice and the management of the global environment. Part three discusses contemporary case-studies which are central to understanding the prospects for the reform of the international system.

Transferable skills

Students will have the opportunity to acquire critical skills through the evaluation of different perspectives to world politics. Skills in assessing different philosophical and cultural standpoints will be developed along with an awareness of the ethical dimensions of policy-making and public life. In addition, transferable skills in analysing different perspectives and in applying them to the analysis of particular case-studies will be developed.   

Through lecture and seminars, students will acquire more specific skills in textual interpretation and conceptual understanding. Seminars will provide the opportunity to collaborate in small groups and to make presentations. The essay will develop skills in independent research, structured and balanced argument and clear expression. The examination will develop skills in forward planning and in developing the capacity to assess different perspectives and arguments within time constraints.

Reading Lists

Baylis, J. and Smith. S (2001) The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations Oxford University Press, Oxford
Brown, C (2001) Understanding International Relations Palgrave, Basingstoke
Halliday, F (2001) The World at 2000 Palgrave, Basingstoke


This module is at CQFW Level 4