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The University of Southampton

PAIR1007 Crises of the 21st Century

Module Overview

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This module will introduce students to the analysis of some of the concrete political challenges facing the world in the early 21st century. Drawing on political science, political theory and international relations (as well as wider disciplines), it takes up a problem-based approach designed to explore the causes of the problem (diagnosis), the dangers that it poses (prognosis), and the ways in which it may be addressed (prescription). It is aimed at both helping students to understanding the complexity of addressing these problems but also the possibilities for doing so.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • The module will enable students to acquire knowledge and understanding of some of the key political challenges of our time.
  • This module will introduce students to the analysis of concrete political problems drawing on, and practising, a range of disciplinary intellectual and research skills.
  • This module will engage students in team work through groups projects.
  • The module will develop students research and communication skills through project work.


The content of the module will be determined by student choice of 3 topics from a menu of options specifying particular political challenges. Examples include: Social media and 'fake' news Populism Independence movements. War and political violence. Digital governance and the rise of algorithmic society. Refugee Crises/Violent Borders. Climate Change. World Poverty. AI, Robots, and the future of work. The options may vary from year to year as new issues become salient and may be partly dependent on staff availability.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, peer-peer group work, and workshops run in PAT groups. This module will involve group project work involving blog posts, posters and the building of a portfolio of research materials.

Preparation for scheduled sessions30
Completion of assessment task40
Independent Study20
Guided independent study42
Total study time150


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy of this module is designed to form and develop teamwork (assessment 1), communication (assessments 1 and 2) and data-selection and presentation (assessments 2 and 3) skills.


MethodPercentage contribution
Academic poster  () 30%
Blog Post  (800 words) 30%
Portfolio of evidence  () 40%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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