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Semester 1

Theories of International Relations (PLIT08021)







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**Please note that all Politics courses are very high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.** Visiting students are advised to bear in mind that enrolment in specific courses can never be guaranteed, and you may need to be flexible in finding alternatives in case your preferred courses have no available space. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.

Course Summary

Researching and analysing international relations depends on theory and theoretical knowledge, whether we realise it or not. This course will introduce you to a rich diversity of theoretical frameworks for making sense of international politics. It will also engage theory as a transferable skill, something we never stop using to identify, analyse, and understand various international political phenomena.

Course Description

The course introduces students to the major theoretical traditions and conceptual frameworks used to make sense of international politics, including relations between states and interstate institutions as well as a range of global political processes. It shows how to use theory to make sense of the complex issues, developments, and events. The key objective of the course is to introduce students to the rich diversity of theoretical approaches - from orthodox to critical - within international relations and to offer them key analytical skills to compare and engage with theories and to use theories in their further research and studies. Students will become conversant with and able to critically assess the principal propositions and arguments about international relations found in theories such as realism, liberalism, constructivism, English School, Marxism, feminism, critical theory, poststructuralism, and postcolonialism. They will also gain an introduction to cutting edge areas of IR theory, which not only offer resources for decolonising knowledge of international politics but also help contextualise and assess the work of IR theory as a social and political vocation.

Assessment Information

Written Exam 0%, Coursework 90%, Practical Exam 10%

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