Module Identifier IP30420  
Module Title KEY CONCEPTS  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Jonathan M Joseph  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Ms Elin Royles, Professor Nicholas J Wheeler, Dr Roger M Scully, Mr Thomas Christiansen, To Be Arranged  
Course delivery Lecture   18 Hours (18 x 1 hours)  
  Other   4 Hours Round Table. (4 x 1 hours)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  50%
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 3,000 words  50%
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 have a greater awareness of the diverse meanings and uses of key concepts in political analysis. The ability to apply these skills to empirical and theoretical areas of international politics will be developed. The module will develop conceptual skills which can be used in advanced essay writing and in researching and writing the third year dissertation.

Brief description

The primary aim of this module is to provide students with advanced skills in conceptual analysis and to provide training in applying these skills to empirical and theoretical areas of the study of international politics.


The module provides an advanced introduction to key concepts from different areas of the study of politics and international politics, including strategic and security studies, international history, international political economy and normative approaches. Students will explore the meaning of key concepts in depth. The module also provides students with skill sin thinking about the connections between diverse areas of the contemporary study of politics.


The module is in four sections. The first section asks whether the future of world politics is destined to repeat the past, most centrally by witnessing the rise and fall of great powers. The second section considers the use of force in the modern world, and asks whether ideas about the obsolescence of force suggest that international cooperation is replacing war and conflict. The third section asks whether global inequalities are bound to increase in the future or may yet be reduced. The fourth section considers the future of the Westphalian model of state sovereignty given the importance of both nationalist movements and the 'post-Westphalian' European Union.

Transferable skills

The essay will develop analytical skills which can be applied in various areas of employment. Students will be required to write a short abstract of the essay which will help develop the skill of clearly summarising complex arguments. The ability to write short statements about several issue-areas under pressure will be developed through a final examination.

10 ECTS credits

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
John Baylis and Steve Smith (eds) (2001) The Globalisation of World Politics Cambridge: Cambridge University Press


This module is at CQFW Level 6