The course explores issues and problems crucial to international politics, which are of international, regional and national importance. It promotes the study of those problems through theoretical, ethical and practical inquiry, drawing on the expertise of a large and diverse team of research-active international relations specialists. It is designed for students who are either familiar with the study of international politics at undergraduate level or who are enthusiastic to focus on this area of study at the postgraduate level.
As a postgraduate student in POLSIS you will also have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events. You will be welcomed as a member of the international relations and security research group. This group includes members of academic staff and postgraduate research students who meet regularly to discuss their own research, recent publications and to organise research events including inviting visiting speakers.
The course covers both long establish fields of study such as war, security, foreign policy and diplomacy and new research agendas such as rising powers, global justice, and gender issues. The core aims are to provide an introduction to International Relations Theory for those students new the subject and to ground theoretical studies in a range of concrete puzzles, problems and dilemmas. Gradually, week by week, we will build to the level of deep knowledge and understanding of this diverse field. A further aim is to prepare you to conduct independent research and analyses of international politics.
Key issues and questions examined include:
- What is the nature of international or world order?
- Which actors have power and how is power exercised?
- Why are there wars?
- What is ‘security’ and how can security be achieved at national, regional and international levels?
- When and how is international cooperation possible?
- Is there a relationship between democracy and peace?
- Are human rights universal?
- Is it possible to realize global justice?
- What are the legal and political condition for humanitarian intervention and can intervention be justified on ethical grounds?
Who is the programme for?
The degree will be of interest and benefit to those interested in pursuing careers in national and international governmental agencies, in NGOs, journalism, the public sector and education as well as those interested in undertaking doctoral work in international relations. In all cases, students are encouraged to work closely with staff in a supportive and intellectually-committed environment.
Please note these courses have changed for 2019/20. For students studying in 2018/19 please refer to the Programmes and Modules handbook.