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International Relations

Module Code: PO2640

Module Name: International Relations

  • ECTS Weighting: 10
  • Semester/Term Taught: Michaelmas + Hilary Term
  • Contact Hours: 44 hours lectures + fortnightly tutorials; 10 hours tutorials
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Dr. William Phelan

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Understand the basic causal mechanisms underlying leading approaches to explaining state behaviour in international politics
  • Assess the explanatory power of leading theoretical approaches to international relations, including as relates to particular historical examples
  • Compare leading international regimes, such as the WTO and EU, both from the point of view of their formal rules and from different theoretical perspectives
  • Understand the different collective action problems associated with different issue-areas in international politics.
  • Contribute, on the basis of theory and knowledge of a range of issue-areas, to contemporary debates in international relations scholarship about the relative influence of power, international institutions, domestic interests and international norms in state behaviour.

Module Learning Aims

To introduce students to basic scholarly approaches to studying international relations.


Module Content

This course is an introduction to the positive, descriptive study of international relations. Why do states make war? What are the conditions for the growth of cross-border trade and finance? What is the impact of international organizations on relations between states? This course considers these questions by looking at differing theoretical approaches to international relations and a selection of topics in historical and contemporary politics, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, the European Union, and international environmental and human rights regimes.

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Recommended Reading List

Robert O. Keohane, After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in World Political Economy (Princeton University Press, 1984)

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Assessment Details

Tutorial participation: 10%

Essay 1: 12.5%
Essay 2: 12.5%

1 x 3 hour final exam 65%
No term tests

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Last updated 14 September 2016 polsci@tcd.ie.