Module Identifier IP10320  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Robert G Hughes  
Semester Semester 2  
Mutually Exclusive GW10320  
Course delivery Lecture   8 Hours. (18 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   18 Hours. (8 x 1 hour)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  70%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2,000 word essay  30%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module. For further clarification please contact the Academic Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of this module students will:

- have been introduced to the key issues and ideas concerning the role of force in International Relations, including its evolution, modern strategic thought and a number of contemporary issues in strategy;
- have a basic familiarity with the concepts utilized in contemporary strategic discourse;
- be able to apply these concepts to a range of issues and problems.
- Effectively deploy skills of: identification and location of appropriate sources; independent study; writing (essays and examinations); IT skills plus time-management.

10 ECTS credits

Brief description

This module is intended to provide an introduction to the study of the role of force in international relations, the manner of its use, and how assessments are made over its possible use. It includes a consideration of the utility of force, the evolution of warfare, contemporary strategic thought, the nature of intelligence and contemporary issues in strategy and torture.


This module provides an introduction to the role of force in International Relations, to thinking about force and to debates surrounding the issue of force. Specifically the module aims to address:

- The utility of force in the modern age.
- The evolution of modern warfare.
- Strategy in the nuclear age.
- The role of intelligence.
- Contemporary issues in strategy.


The module is in four linked sections, which provide a thorough introduction to the subject. Each section consists of a number of lectures and 1 or 2 seminars. The module begins with a discussion of the utility of force in the modern age, war, its study and its evolution, the ethics of war and it then introduces key ideas on how force may be used. This includes and examination of theories of land, sea and air power, nuclear strategy and insurgency warfare. The third section examines the role of intelligence, including the legitimacy of intelligence gathering activities, intelligence and the state, and counter-espionage. Finally the module addresses a number of contemporary issues in strategy, including nuclear proliferation, terrorism, HIV/AIDS and the British decision to replace Trident.

Transferable skills

Throughout the module students will practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as self-management skills. In seminars, students will enhance listening, explaining and debating skills, as well as oral presentational skills. Preparing for and writing-up essays will encourage students to practice independent research skills including data retrieval, selection, assembly and organization, writing, IT and time management.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Baylis Strategy in the contemporary world Oxford University Press 019878273X
** Supplementary Text
Baylis Strategy in the contemporary world Oxford University Press 019878273X
Baylis, John Contemporary strategy Holmes 084190930X
Booth, Ken New thinking about strategy and international security Harper Collins
Brown, Seyom The causes and prevention of war St. Martin's Press 0312102690
Buzan, Barry The arms dynamic in world politics Lynne Rienner 1555875963
Freedman, Lawrence War Oxford University Press 0192892541
Gray, Colin S. Modern strategy / Oxford University Press 0198782519
Holsti, K. J. Peace and war Cambridge University Press 0521399297
Holsti, K. J. The State, war, and the state of war Cambridge University Press 052157790X
Keegan, John A history of warfare Pimlico 0712698507
Knorr, Klaus On the uses of military power in the nuclear age Princeton U.P.
Luard, Evan The blunted sword New Amsterdam Books 0941533484
Luard, Evan War in international society Tauris
Mueller, John E Retreat from doomsday Basic Books 0465069401
Paret, Peter Makers of modern strategy from Machiavelli to the nuclear age Clarendon 0198200978
Seabury, Paul War Basic Books 0465090680
Snyder, Craig A. Contemporary security and strategy Macmillan 0333739647
Toffler, Alvin War and anti-war Warner Books
Van Creveld, Martin On future war Brassey's 0080417965

International security

Web Page/Sites
Department of International Politics
Passwords and Guides to Electronic Journals at UWA
Subject Information & Links for International Politics
UWA Electronic Information Resources
UWA Electronic Journals


This module is at CQFW Level 4