Module Identifier IPM7330  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Professor Ian Clark  
Semester Semester 2  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours 3 hour examination  60%
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 3,000 words  40%

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:
1. Discuss the historical origins and development of the idea of international legitimacy.
2. Describe and analyse the main theoretical perspectives on the concept of international legitimacy.
3. Demonstrate, through written work and in seminars, an ability to apply these theoretical perspectives to historical examples of international peacemaking.
4. Explain the historical development of criteria about 'rightful membership' of international society.
5. Explain the historical development of criteria about 'rightful conduct' within international society.
6. Describe and analyse how these practices have been related to other changes in historical context.
7. Analyse the specific applications of such ideas in contemporary conditions.
8. Evaluate the role of international legitimacy in relation to state conduct.


This module adds to the Departmental provision in the area of International History. It integrates other skills by requiring students to deal with a theoretical issue from a historical perspective.

Brief description

This module traces the evolution since 1648 of ideas about international legitimacy and, in particular, how these ideas have been implemented in the context of the major peace settlements of modern international history. The major changes in the international system can be captured by looking at these shifts in ideas.


1) Legitimacy: Idea and Historical Practice
2) Beginnings: Westphalia and All That
3) Utrecht and the 18th Century
4) The Legitimate Order of Vienna 1815
5) Standards of Civilization
6) The Versailles Order
7) Self-Determination, Minorities and Trusteeship; The Prelude to Decolonization
8) The Post-World War II Settlement
9) Legitimacy and the End of the Cold War

Transferable skills

The submission of an essay will reflect the independent research skills of the student. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills. Research preparation for a seminar presentation will also enable the students to develop independent project skills. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of the students' ability to work alone can be undertaken.


This module is at CQFW Level 7