1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. International Relations: Key Questions

International Relations: Key Questions (POLS20025)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

You’re viewing the 2018 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks
You’re currently viewing the 2018 version of this subject


Year of offer2018
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codePOLS20025
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject explores key questions in international relations, beginning with the basic questions of why the world is comprised of states and why they enjoy a monopoly on legitimate violence, and then expanding through a range of questions such as whether cultural identities are responsible for international conflict, whether the concept of ‘human rights’ is a remnant of colonialism, and who really controls the global economy. This subject provides an in-depth examination of the ideas and actors that have shaped world politics, and encourages a critical exploration of the politics behind current events in international relations, from environmental agreements to targeted killings by robot planes to indigenous land claims. Students will be encouraged to evaluate the theoretical assumptions and debates in international relations and how they influence global politics today.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should:

  • have an appreciation of the contending theories in and approaches to international relations;
  • develop the ability to think critically about these theories and approaches;
  • have the ability to apply a variety of theories and approaches to contemporary international relations;
  • be able to deploy a range of critical thinking and analytical skills to practical problems;
  • be able to demonstrate improved writing and oral skill.

Last updated: 8 January 2019