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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

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse the purpose, coherence, and contradictions of contemporary theories of international relations
  • Evaluate the contribution of different theories of international relations to our understanding and explanation of international relations
  • Apply IR theories and approaches to better understand different events and processes in the world
  • Summarise the arguments from academic literature in way which presents the core of the academic contribution to knowledge

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 comprise a schedule of interactive lectures and seminars, both of which will provide the knowledge and analytical and study skills required to complete this module successfully. Lectures will offer a thorough introduction to the Theories of International Relations, and it will be up to students to follow up on this introduction through completing assigned reading. Seminars will offer an interactive opportunity to further practice the knowledge of International Relations theories.

TypeHours
Teaching34
Independent Study116
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

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

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

Carlsnaes, Risse, Simmons. Handbook of International Relations. 

Brown, Ainley. Understanding International Relations. 

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

Burchill, et al. Theories of International Relations. 

Brown, Ainley. Understanding International Relations. 

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

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

Carlsnaes, Risse, Simmons. Handbook of International Relations. 

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

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

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (2 hours) 40%
Group Assessment  ( words) 20%
Reaction paper  (1200 words) 40%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (3000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: PAIR1001 or PAIR1002 or PAIR1004 or PAIR1005

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