Module Identifier IPM5930  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Jan E Selby  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   22 Hours 1 x 2 hour seminar per week  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 2,000 word critical review  30%
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 6,000 words  70%
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 this module students will be able to:

Brief description

This module explores historical sociological approaches to the analysis of capitalist modernity and the international system.


This module aims to introduce students to historical sociological perspectives on capitalist modernity and the international system, and to apply these perspectives to the analysis of contemporary socio-political issues, structures and relations.


The module begins by considering historical sociology as an approach to socio-political enquiry. It then explores central questions regarding the structure and origins of capitalist modernity, and regarding the emergence and significance of specific sorts of modern actors and identities, paying particular attention to rival Marxist and Weberian approaches. It ends by examining a range of issues in the historical sociology of the international system, and by considering whether capitalist modernity is giving way to a postmodern or post-Westphalian era.

Transferable skills

Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of transferable skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas. Throughout the module, students should practice and develop their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as self-management. In seminars students enhance and develop their analytical skills and practice listening, explaining and debating skills. Through writing and researching their essays, students will develop their library and IT skills, practice good writing techniques, and develop their analytical skills.

Reading Lists

Alex Callinicos (1995) Theories and Narratives: Reflections on the Philosophy of History Oxford: Polity
Francis Fukuyama (1992) The End of History and the Last Man London: Pengiun
Ernest Gellner (1994) Rethinking International Relations Basingstoke: Macmillan


This module is at CQFW Level 7