Gender in World Politics

School: School of Government and Society
Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies

Final year module

Lecturer: Dr Jill Steans

This course is comprised of two inter-linked modules. There are a range of perspectives and related literatures on gender in international politics, which collectively provide novel approaches to and critical insights into a range of issues and areas conventionally regarded as falling within the domain of international relations and international politics. These include the state; citizenship, constructions of identities and boundaries of political community; ethics; war, peace and security; international institutions; political economy and development and human rights. 

Contemporary constructivist and approaches in International Relations (IR), including feminist and queer theory have also expanded the field of study to include, for example, the role of emotion in politics and the significance of aesthetics and the visual in understanding the domain of world politics. In this course, an eclectic approach to gender that draws upon out a various strands of contemporary IR scholarship is utilised to interrogate a range of discrete areas and issues within the ambit world politics.

There are no lectures on this course. In the first semester, seminars are tutor led. Each week, the tutor will provide a brief overview of the topic under discussion, followed by a focused discussion of key related readings. In the second semester, seminar discussions will be student-led. Each week one or two students (depending on class size) will present a brief introduction and overview of the core readings for that week, followed by focused discussion based around key questions identified by the presenters.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to: 

  • Have a deep understanding of the concept of gender and the various ways in which the concept has been employed in the study of international politics 
  • Distinguish between gender as a category within the study of international relations and gender as an approach to the study of international relations. 
  • Locate feminist international relations scholarship within a broader range of constructivist and critical approaches to international relations. 
  • Critically interrogate a range of core concepts employed within the study of international relations and international politics, from the perspective on gender. 
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge on one discrete area of study on the syllabus.


  • Term One/Two: Presentation (15%)
  • Term One: 1 x 1,000 word research outline (15%)
  • Term Three: 1 x 4,000 word assessed research paper (70%)

Related courses:

The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2018. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.