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Contemporary International Relations

Module Code: PO4700 / PO4701

Module Name: Contemporary International Relations 2017-18

  • ECTS Weighting: 15 for PO4700, 10 for PO4701
  • Semester/Term Taught: Michaelmas + Hilary Term
  • Contact Hours: 1 lecture per week; 1 tutorial per week
  • Module Personnel: Lecturers - Dr Constantine Boussalis (MT) & Dr Jesse Dillon Savage (HT)
  • Pre-requisite: PO2640 International Relations

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Understand fundamental theories and themes of contemporary international relations.

  • Apply theoretical tools from the literature to critically evaluate international events and developments, ranging from conflict to cooperation.

Module Learning Aims

The objective of this module is to help students critically evaluate current world affairs using concepts and theories from contemporary international relations research. The international system is a complex environment. Multiple actors, interests and institutions interact to produce outcomes that we read and hear about in the media every day. Students will acquire the necessary theoretical tools which will allow for a clearer understanding of the international system and will facilitate critical and informed evaluation of global events.

Module Content

The course will cover a wide range of themes within the contemporary international relations literature, ranging from conflict to trade/monetary affairs to global environmental cooperation.

The first segment of the course will cover the central themes and theories related to international political economy. We will also engage with important new topics of international relations that are especially relevant to understanding the international system of the 21st century, such as transnational networks and issues dealing with environmental policy cooperation. Following the ‘money’, we will next shift our focus to the ‘blood’ where we will review the many dimensions of international conflict, ranging from interstate warfare to transnational terrorism.

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Recommended Reading List

Key Reading:

Frieden, J. A., Lake, D. A., & Schultz, K. A. (2010). World politics: interests, interactions, institutions. New York: WW Norton.

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Assessment Details

60% Exam

25% Paper Assignment

15% Debates/Presentations

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Last updated 25 August 2017