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The University of Southampton
Courses

PAIR2001 Theorising International Politics

Module Overview

Although a ‘common sense’ view of world politics is often presented in non-academic contexts, there is little agreement among experts on what international relations is, and how we should think about the discipline. This module enables students to critically examine the conventional wisdom and as a result to gain a more critical understanding of international relations. The module emphasizes that ‘the truth’ about international relations is disputed and analyses competing knowledge claims Pre-requisite for PAIR3001 and PAIR3005

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Analyse the purpose, coherence, and contradictions of contemporary theories of international relations
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the contribution of different theories of international relations to our understanding and explanation of international relations
  • Summarise the arguments from academic literature in way which presents the core of the academic contribution to knowledge
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply IR theories and approaches to better understand different events and processes in the world

Syllabus

The syllabus will cover (but not be restricted to): mainstream IR theories (realism, liberalism, structuralism) and more reflective approaches to theorising and understanding international relations (such as critical theory, feminism and constructivism).

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching will be 2 hours of lectures per week. All will be recorded and posted on Blackboard. Lectures will be delivered either face to face or online only depending upon University and Public Health England Guidance at the time. Total of 24 hours of lectures (2 hours per week X 12 weeks) per module. Weekly student participation in online discussion boards. 1 hour per week delivered asynchronously. (1 hour X 12 weeks)

TypeHours
Teaching36
Independent Study114
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Baylis, Smith. The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations. 

Baylis, Smith. The Globalization of World Politics: An Introduction to International Relations. 

Burchill, et al.,. Theories of International Relations. 

Brown, Ainley. Understanding International Relations. 

Dunne, Kurki and Smith. International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity. 

Jackson and Sorenson. Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches. 

Dunne, Kurki and Smith,. International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity. 

Brown, Ainley. Understanding International Relations. 

Jackson and Sorenson. Introduction to International Relations: Theories and Approaches. 

Carlsnaes, Risse, Simmons. Handbook of International Relations. 

Carlsnaes, Risse, Simmons. Handbook of International Relations. 

Burchill, et al. Theories of International Relations. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Discussion board activity 40%
Research project 50%
Research proposal 10%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 50%
Reaction paper  (1200 words) 50%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: PAIR1001 or PAIR1002 or PAIR1004 or PAIR1005

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase reading texts as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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