The subfields of international relations and political theory
have a long history of cross-fertilization. Scholars in one field have often developed the ideas and debates that emerge in the other field in interesting ways. Despite this cross-fertilization, scholars in
both fields often talk past each other. International Relations scholars have long decried the naïve idealism of political theorists, and political theorists have often challenged the (misinterpretations of significant political theorists (such as Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, etc.) by IR scholars. My aim in
this class is to recast the dialogue by reading texts from the western tradition of international legal and political thought. This will be a survey class that considers the texts and major theoretical ideas of international political theory from Thucydides through the writings of classical political economists in the 19th century.
Aims and Objectives
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Ability to critically analyse texts
- Ability to synthesize abstract concepts through writing long essays
- Understanding of classical theories of international politics
- Ability to express ideas of international political theory in writing
This course surveys classical and early modern theories of international politics. It will cover the following topics and authors.
1. What is International Political Theory?
2. Thucydides, the Peloponnesian War, and political realism
3. Just War Theory
4. Machiavelli and Raison d’Etat
5. The Salamanca School, Natural Law, and the European Conquest of the Americas
6. Hugo Grotius and the rise of International Law
7. Thomas Hobbes, Sovereignty and Westphalianism
8. Emerich de Vattel and International Republicanism
9. Kant and Perpetual Peace
10. Karl Marx and International Political Economy
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
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)
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
Chris Brown, Terry Nardin and Nicholas Rengger. International Relations in Political Thought: Textsfrom the Ancient Greeks to the First World War. Cambridge University Press.
Peter Bondanella and Mark Musa. The Portable Machiavelli. Penguin.
Thucydides and M.I. Finley. The History of the Peloponnesian War: Revised Edition. Penguin.
Summative assessment description
|Discussion board activity||25%|
Referral assessment description
Repeat type: Internal & External