Module Identifier IPM0530  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr William W Bain  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Professor Hidemi Suganami  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   22 Hours. 1 x 2 hour seminars per week  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours  50%
Semester Assessment 1 x 4,000 word essay (50%)  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 successful completion of this module students should be able to:
Reason: - By the end of the course we expect that students will have developed the skills necessary to do the following:


The core module of the MScEcon International Politics programme provides an in depth specialization in International Relations Theory. In addition to providing a detailed understanding of rival perspectives and the concepts that distinguish them, it poses the question of whether it is possible to overcome the main disagreements between these perspectives. Students are expected to reflect on epistemological, political, and moral implications of studying contemporary world politics from various theoretical perspectives.

The module is taught by two hour seminars. During the course of the module, students are expected to take part in both large and small group discussions, present and defend their ideas within an academic setting, and participate in group projects. Those pursuing the Research Training (RT) stream will find that there is plenty of discussion in this module of methodological and epistemological issues that link to their wider research training programme. All students will find that discussion of these issues will be relevant to research towards the dissertation.


The module opens with an examination of five key concepts in international relations theory: history, sovereignty, power , law, and commerce/globalisation. Particular attention will be paid to the different ways in which these concepts are understood. Moreover, the module will consider how these concepts cut across different theoretical traditions. The module will then proceed to consider the major theoretical traditions in the academic study of international relations in the context of these key concepts. These theoretical traditions will be examined for the similarities and differences that distinguish them; and questions related to core normative problems, ontological and epistemological outlooks, and methodological approach will be addressed. It is hoped that the module will shine new light on a subject that is often portrayed as a series of rival schools of thought or incommensurable 'isms' by breaking down some of the disciplinary boundaries around which the stuff of international relations has been organised.

Transferable skills

Throughout the teaching and the assessment of the module the students will develop a range of transferable skills. The module will require the use of IT skills and general research skills in order to identify and search for appropriate data and sources. Students will also develop: critical thinking; rational argumentation strategies; logical thinking; writing skills; reading strategies; note-taking; report writing; presentational skills; and skills related to working in groups.

15 ECTS credits

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Carr, E. H. (1970) The Twenty Year Crisis London:Macmillan
Carr, E. H. (1964) What is History? Harmondsworth: Penguin
Clark, I. (1999) Globalization and International Relations Theory Oxford: OUP
Edkins, J. (2003) Trauma and the Memory of Politics Cambridge University Press
Enloe, C. (1990) Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics Berkeley: University of California Press
Foucault, M. (Gordon, C. ed) 'The Juridical Apparatus', Power/Knowledge New York: Pantheon Books
Gordon, C.
Morganthau, Hans Politics Among Nations New York: Alfred Knopf
Walker, R. B. J. (1992) Inside/Outside:International Relations as Political Theory Cambridge University Press
Bull, Hedley (2002.) The anarchical society :a study of order in world politics /Hedley Bull ; forewords by Stanley Hoffmann and Andrew Hurrell. 0333985869
Campbell, David (1998.) National deconstruction :violence, identity, and justice in Bosnia /David Campbell. 0816629374
Collingwood, R. G. (1993.) The idea of history : with lectures 1926-1928 /R.G. Collingwood. 0192853066
Connor, James E. (1968) Lenin on Politics and Revolution:Selected Writings 0672635534
Horkheimer, Max (1982.) Critical theory :selected essays /Max Horkheimer ; translated by Matthew J. O'Connell and others. 0826400833
Kelsen, Hans (1961 [c1945]) General theory of law and state /Translated by Anders Wedberg.
Keohane, Robert O. (1989.) International institutions and state power :essays in international relations theory /Robert O. Keohane. 0813308372
Linklater, Andrew. (1990.) Beyond realism and Marxism :critical theory and international relations /Andrew Linklater. 0333517202
Lukes, Steven. (2005.) Power :a radical view /Steven Lukes. 0333420918
Lukes, Steven. (1974.) Power :a radical view /Steven Lukes.
Nardin, Terry (1983.) Law, morality, and the relations of states /[by] Terry Nardin. 0691101558
Schmitt, Carl (c1985.) Political theology :four chapters on the concept of sovereignty /Carl Schmitt ; translated by George Schwab. 0262192446
Smith, Adam (1881.) An abridgement of Adam Smith's Inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations /by Wolseley P. Emerton.
Smith, Adam (1921.) An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations /By Adam Smith.
Smith, Adam (1904.) An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations.
Waltz, Kenneth Neal (c1979.) Theory of international politics /Kenneth N. Waltz.
Wendt, Alexander (1999 (various p) Social theory of international politics /Alexander Wendt. 0521465575
Zimmern, Alfred Eckhard (1939.) The League of Nations and the rule of law, 1918-1935 /by Alfred Zimmern.


This module is at CQFW Level 7