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This subject provides students with an introduction to the actors, institutions, dynamics and key debates that make up contemporary international politics. It equips students to 'go behind the news' of world affairs and understand the deeper structural and political changes and challenges confronting states, citizens and non-state actors in our increasingly interconnected world. Topics covered include the changing nature of war; terrorism; nuclear proliferation; great power rivalry; and the roles of the EU, the US, China and India in international politics; human rights; humanitarian intervention; trade liberalisation and its critics; global inequality; climate change; and the refugee crisis. The topics will be used to demonstrate the relevance of competing theories of international politics, including realism, liberalism and critical theories (such as Marxism and feminism).
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should:
- Demonstrate a detailed knowledge and critical understanding of diverse concepts and theories in international politics, including the mainstream theoretical perspectives in the academic discipline of international relations
- Critically apply concepts and theories used in the study of international politics to a range of key empirical issues and debates, and identify the key interests, ideas and institutions in changing contexts.
- Recognise and analyse the major debates in international politics, such as the roles of states, international organisations and other actors; the key sources of insecurity; interpretations of power; and the causes of and responses to structural and political challenges in the world today.
- Identify the ways in which the scope of the study of international politics has broadened over time to include a range of actors and contemporary issues, in an increasingly interconnected world.
- Communicate effectively in oral and written formats.
Last updated: 5 June 2020