Module Identifier IPM3630  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Professor Jenny Edkins  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   22 Hours 1 x 2 hours seminar per week  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 1,000 word outline of research paper  10%
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 5,000 words research paper  70%
Semester Assessment Seminar participation Course Work:  20%
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

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

- discuss in depth questions of identity, subjectivity and difference
- critically assess and situate a contribution to the field
- express themselves clearly and cogently on these topics both in writing and in seminars
- prepare and present an extended review paper

Brief 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 The politics of identity has been replaced by a politics of difference.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 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


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 everyday 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, post-stucturalist, Marxist and psychoanalytic work. Students unfamiliar with these areas can attend lectures on a parallel introductory undergraduate module if they wish.

Transferable skills

Reading, writing, summarising, speaking, listening and thinking Contributing to and leading discussions on complex and controversial topics.

15 ECTS credits

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Frantz Fanon (1996) Black Skin, White Masks Pluto
Bell Hooks (1981) Ain't I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism Pluto
Homi Bhabha (1994) Location of Culture Routledge


This module is at CQFW Level 7