Fear, Cooperation and Trust in World Politics

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

Modular value: 20 credits
Term long, semester 2

The module provides advanced theoretical training in how to think about the challenges of building security in an uncertain world characterised by multi-level interactions and unprecedented levels of global interconnectedness. The first part of the module introduces you to theoretical debates on the obstacles and possibilities for ameliorating intractable interstate and intrastate conflicts, drawing on International Relations scholarship and work from fields such as Neuroscience, Socio-biology, Economics, Philosophy, and Anthropology. The second section of the module applies these insights to an analysis of the possibilities for cooperation within multilateral security regimes at the global level, to assess the potential for meeting today’s urgent global security challenges. A number of case studies are drawn upon including; the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the evolution of the climate change regime, and the possibilities for developing new regimes in response to future challenges from the weaponisation of space and cyber threats.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate an interdisciplinary understanding of competing theoretical approaches to building cooperation in global politics;
  • Recognise the theoretical and epistemological challenges involved in understanding the possibilities for cooperation in intractable conflicts at both the interstate and intrastate level;
  • Move beyond traditional International Relations theory, by incorporating a variety of cognate disciplines to support research;
  • Find, use and critically analyse primary and secondary data relevant to specific issue areas of global cooperation.


The assessment for the module will consist of:

  • 1 x group presentation (25%)
  • One 2,500 word essay (75%)

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.