for BA (Hons) Liberal Studies (International Relations)
This module will introduce you to an academic study of international relations, focusing on theoretical issues and debates and proceeding to analyse the practice of conduct of international relations. You will be introduced to different schools of normative thought in international relations, while conducting research into empirical fields of international relations practice. You are required to participate in discussions and debates in class. Teaching will be a mixture of lectures and seminars. This module will focus on theories of international relations and the application of normative knowledge to empirical situations in global politics. The study of the history of international relations as an academic discipline will provide the basis for understanding contemporary developments in international relations.
The International Law module introduces the principles of public international law. It focuses on the role and importance of international law and its impact on international relations. The module provides a solid knowledge of the sources of international law, examining its application in history and in contemporary politics. It highlights and critically analyses current debates and changes in international law. Topics may include, state jurisdiction and state responsibility, international legal personality, diplomatic immunity, the regulation of the use of force, international human rights and the legal aspects and structures of international institutions, including the United Nations. The module aims to develop your analytical and critical thinking skills in the field of international law and to sharpen problem solving skills in relation to relevant sections of the law.
The purpose of this module is to introduce you to the concepts and theories that shape the study of human rights. The module will focus on the historical and philosophical underpinning of human rights, as well as major debates about human rights protection and promotion. The module will encourage students to critically analyse the construction and application of human rights language in a wide variety of cases pertinent to the study of international relations.
This module introduces you to the subject of international security, including theoretical, normative and policy issues. The concept of security is used very frequently in relation to international issues, often regarding major policy choices as an important element of identity construction. The unit begins by surveying different approaches to the study of security. It then takes a thematic approach. It considers whether liberal democracies are different from other types of state, in relation to war and attitudes to the laws of war. It also examines the issues of terrorism, controls on conventional arms transfers, ethnic conflict, the news media and public opinion, the occupation of Iraq and the relationships between security and development. Throughout the module, you will be encouraged to explore different perspectives in order to assist you in developing your own understanding of these issues and in deciding which, if any, you find most persuasive.
This module offers an introduction to the issue of development. It will provide you with the theoretical arguments and practical issues central to the question of development, at the global level. As the world economic system is now highly integrated, due to the increased cross-border flows of goods and capital, the question of converging with the developed world has become a significant one to the developing economies. In the current global economic system, the domestic, political and economic dynamics have significant global implications, while international events have a broad impact on domestic affairs of individual countries. Over the past few decades, the world has gone through changes in multiple fronts including, international trade, and finance system, economic growth strategies, distribution of global wealth, basic human security, and cultural norms. As a result, the global community has witnessed various success development stories in different parts of the world, while challenges have remained unchanged for some societies. Given the importance of cultural and historical contexts, it is important to understand how needs and perspectives of various groups are critical to creating a global development discourse. This module will seek to assess the influence, development policies at national and international levels.
This module will introduce the theory and practice of social research methods for international relations. You will explore various research methodologies and examine how these theories guide the selection and application of particular research methods in the social sciences. You will also consider the challenges and ethical implications of conducting research about sensitive political issues in a variety of contexts. Practical research skills will be developed through in-class exercises, including semi-structured interviews, questionnaire design and qualitative and quantitative data analysis. These discussions and exercises will inform the construction of a final research proposal outlining how you plan to research a chosen topic in international relations.
This module is a broad introduction to US Foreign Policy and Foreign Policy Analysis. It will examine the processes involved in the formulation of US Foreign Policy, providing a framework for thinking about the nature of American foreign policy and how this policy is made. The module will discuss theoretical approaches to US foreign policy and the reasons behind the country becoming a superpower.
This module aims to provide the necessary tools to critically analyse the complexity of the politics and conflicts in the wider Middle East region. The module’s objective is to provide you with a solid, deep, diverse and fact-based background about the roots of the regional sub-system, the emergence of state and non-state actors and the intricate relationships between them and other components of the international system. Moreover, it is the aim of this module to introduce students to international relations and political science concepts required to assess profound political problems and challenges, the Middle East region has faced since the end of the First World War and well into the 21st century. The principal objectives of this module, are to develop your ability to distinguish between reliable and unsubstantiated data, to support critical and analytical scholarly work (especially in the case of the Middle East) and to apply conceptual frameworks in understanding the region.
The module on Contemporary African Politics and History focuses on the socio-economic and political challenges and opportunities in Africa over the last two centuries. It introduces students to key theories in development economics and comparative politics relevant to the study of African politics. You will explore the pre-colonial period, examine the impact of slavery and explore the legacies of colonialism on nationalism and the African state. You will also discuss contemporary challenges to development and good governance both in theory and practice. Drawing on comparative methodology and independent research, you will further develop regional expertise and in-depth understanding of Africa’s complex history and the domestic and international dynamics that shape its political theatre. The module will enable students to develop an appreciation for Africa’s diversity, difficulties and potential.
International Organisations builds on the foundations of Introduction to International Relations. This module offers a comprehensive exposure to the theories, history and practice of international organisations. You will develop an in-depth understanding of the difficulties and opportunities facing international organisations and their contribution to the conduct of international relations. This module will discuss security organisations (including the United Nations and NATO), regional organisations (the European Union and ASEAN), legal institutions (like the ICC and the ICJ), and economics and trade facilitation institutions (WTO, IMF and the World Bank). You will also be expected to delve into new and alternative institutions such as the New Development Bank and assess the contribution of NGOs to global governance. This module provides a critical overview of policy making institutions and thereby a thorough understanding of a fundamental branch of international relations.
This module is a multidisciplinary survey of the politics, political economy and foreign policy of Latin America, with attention to selected countries in that region. Latin America comprises a vast and important part of the Western Hemisphere, yet, Latin American cultural norms, worldviews, social and political conventions and traditions remain relatively unknown to or misunderstood by the world. The main objective of the module will be to enable a clearer, firmer grasp of the region’s realities and complexities.
This module aims to introduce you to the leading issues and theories that underpin today’s international political economy. Synthesising the interplay between trends at both the local and global levels, it provides a conceptual framework for exploring the modern world system as a complex evolving ecology of political, economic, cultural and technological processes. The module will address a variety of topics including, emerging global systems as interplays between technological, political, cultural and economic trends, systemic tensions between markets and sovereignty, structural shifts in the global economy, inequality and international political economy, sustainability and international political economy
This module will introduce you to an understanding of the relationship between politics and media in contemporary societies. You will become aware of contemporary debates about the evolving role of the media in domestic and international politics. Thus the relationship between politics, society and media will be the focus of study. The module will encourage individual research and participation in debates, based on empirical knowledge and strengthened by the application of theoretical discussions. This module will also provide in-depth study of global politics, societies and the relationship to mass media. Thus interdisciplinary studies of politics, media and society will provide a basis for a successful approach to this module. Knowledge will be broadened with added content from the fields of political communication, political cinema, gender and media, equality, human rights, media and war and a global media and entertainment.
The Diplomacy and Negotiations module aims to familiarise you with the peaceful instruments of foreign affairs. The objective of this module is to analyse how states and non-state actors conduct their foreign relations and the role diplomacy and negotiations are playing in the overall external relations of states. The module combines, historical and theoretical approaches in exploring the evolution of the role of diplomacy in world affairs. This includes examining different negotiation strategies and approaches and analysing reasons for their success or failure. A further aim of this module is to examine diplomacy and negotiations in comparison to other instruments of foreign policy such as war, crisis, and sanctions, and evaluate under what circumstances diplomacy is preferable over other tools of foreign policy. You will explore and examine the principal debates in the field of diplomacy, and by the end of the module will acquire important negotiations skills and techniques.
The purpose of this module is to bring together the breadth of a Liberal Arts student’s learning and experience to bear on a major project. Starting from the student’s major area of study the project will reach out to incorporate elements from the totality of learning on the programme and the realisation of the breadth that a Liberal Arts graduate has achieved. The Capstone can take the form of a reflective practice-based project or a traditional written dissertation subject to meeting the word-length equivalencies below. The Capstone will run over two semesters and will be supervised by a minimum of one supervisor although two may be allocated depending on the nature of the work.