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Module Code: POU44032

Module Name: Contemporary International Relations B 2021-22

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Semester 2
  • Contact Hours: One 90-minute seminar per week
  • Module Personnel: Dr Patrick Gill-Tiney
  • Module Pre-requisites: PO2140 International Relations A and PO2141 International Relations B or equivalent
  • Module Co-Requisite: POU44021 Contemporary International Relations A

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

***Please note topics covered in Contemporary International Relations A and B may be interchanged from Semester 1 to Semester 2 and viceversa****

Contemporary International Relations A and B modules will cover a variety of important topics in international politics over 2020-21. The current descriptions set out a sample set of topics that have been covered in the past and may be covered again in 2020-21. However, the exact topics to be covered in 2020-21 as well as the instructors for these modules is subject to change, including switching of topics from Semester 1 to Semester 2 and vice versa, as well as changes in focus and materials over the year.

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.


Assessment Details (TBC)

100% Coursework

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