Foundations of International Thought - POL00042I

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  • Department: Politics
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Tim Stanton
  • Credit value: 30 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2017-18

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2017-18 to Summer Term 2017-18

Module aims

Module Aims

  • Be able to demonstrate an understanding of the major theoretical approaches to the study of international politics and an understanding of the multiple issues associated with it.
  • Demonstrate ability to define and analyse relevant concepts such as the state, sovereignty, law, power, commerce, trade etc.

This module provides students with a comprehensive overview and detailed understanding of some key moments and texts in the history of international political thought. The fields of international relations and political theory have a long history of cross-fertilization. Scholars in one field have often developed the ideas and debates that emerge in the other field in interesting ways. Despite this cross-fertilization, scholars in both fields often talk past each other. International relations scholars have long decried the naïve idealism of political theorists, and political theorists have often challenged the (mis)interpretations of significant political theorists (Thucydides, Machiavelli, and Hobbes to name only three) by IR scholars. The aim of this module is to equip students with the knowledge and critical skills needs to move beyond this impasse, by reading texts from the western tradition of international legal and political thought down to the present day. Through these texts we will attempt to construct genealogies of international relations, international law, and the history of international thought which uncover the various languages in which statecraft, sovereignty, and international political actors and action continue to be discussed in the western tradition. We will also explore some alternative traditions of international thought, including Islamic traditions.

Module learning outcomes

Module Learning Outcomes

· By the end of this module a student should:

Be able to analyse why certain theories and institutions emerge in certain countries at certain times and their consequences for the global political order.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay
N/A 60
University - closed examination
Foundations of International Thought
2 hours 40

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay
N/A 60
University - closed examination
Foundations of International Thought
2 hours 40

Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s feedback and guidance hours.

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than six weeks after submission; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s regular feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

Thucydides, The History of the Peloponnesian War, revised edition, Penguin 978-0140440393

Francisco de Vitoria, Political Writings, Cambridge University Press, 978-0521367141

Hugo Grotius, The Rights of War and Peace, Liberty Fund 978-0865974364

Chris Brown, Terry Nardin and Nicholas Rengger, (eds.), International Relations in Political Thought: Texts from the Ancient Greeks to the First World War, Cambridge University Press, 978-0521575706

Richard Tuck, The Rights of War and Peace: Political Thought and International Order from Grotius to Kant, Oxford University Press, ISBN-13: 978-0199248148.

David Armitage, Foundations of International Political Thought, Cambridge University Press



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.