The Rising Powers - POL00045I

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  • Department: Politics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Indrajit Roy
  • Credit value: 30 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Module summary

The world as we know it is changing. The recent emergence of the Rising Powers as potentially reshaping the global system towards multipolarity has excited the imagination of scholars, policy-makers and the media. Observers have coined any number of acronyms- BRICS, MINT, CIVETS, etc etc.- to offer their interpretations of these changes. Opinions are often polarised. Some commentators worry about the perceived decline of the ‘west’.  Others celebrate the alleged rise of the ‘rest’. In this module, we unpack some of these proliferating acronyms and nuance the polarised views. We explain the political and social factors that have spurred the economic and geostrategic transformations that are shaping the global future.

 

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2018-19 to Summer Term 2018-19

Module aims

  • Engage, understand and identify the origins, evolution and political dynamics of the contemporary world order, and the role of the rising powers therein
  • Apply different theoretical perspectives, methods and concepts to the rising powers and use intellectual reasoning and empirical evidence to evaluate knowledge claim made about them

The world as we know it is changing. The recent emergence of the Rising Powers as potentially reshaping the global system towards multipolarity has excited the imagination of scholars, policy-makers and the media. Observers have coined any number of acronyms- BRICS, MINT, CIVETS, etc etc.- to offer their interpretations of these changes. Opinions are often polarised. Some commentators worry about the perceived decline of the ‘west’.  Others celebrate the alleged rise of the ‘rest’. In this module, we unpack some of these proliferating acronyms and nuance the polarised views. We explain the political and social factors that have spurred the economic and geostrategic transformations that are shaping the global future.

The module will be framed by one overarching question: How should we expect the Rising Powers and other emerging markets to shape global futures?

We will answer this overarching question by focusing on the implications of the emergence of the Rising Powers for: (i) capitalism; and (ii) democracy. Our investigations will lead us to comparatively consider the political and social changes in the Rising Powers and other so-called ‘emerging markets’ that have contributed to their economic transformation. We focus on individual country cases- four of the five BRICS (Brazil, India, China and South Africa) and the four MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey)- to illustrate these causal connections in different historical and cultural contexts.

Through the module, we provide a theoretically-guided introduction to understanding the Rising Powers. As such, we hope that by the end of the course, students will appreciate:

1). The political and social factors that have shaped the Rising Powers;

2). The ways in which the Rising Powers are expected to shape the future of the global political economy; and

3). Scholarly approaches to interpreting the transformations wrought about by the emergence of the Rising Powers.

For a module of such a scope as this, we could organise the analytical categories in any number of ways. I have sought to focus our analysis to four theoretical traditions: (1). Modernisation, neo-modernisation and ‘multiple modernity’ theorists; (2). Marxism, neo-Marxism and dependency theorists; (3). Postcolonialist approaches; and (4) Constructivists and beyond. We will apply a combination of these categories to the examination of the country cases before us.  Furthermore, you will note that we will introduce you to scholarships that step beyond usual state-centric explanations to emphasise the dynamic interplay between states and societies that have come to shape the Rising powers, other emerging markets and possible global futures.

Module learning outcomes

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

  • Undertake guided and independent research by selecting and justifying the use of appropriate theories and concepts, gathering and interpreting data, and arriving at appropriate and justified conclusions (research skills);
  • Lead and collaborate with others to achieve collective goals, including group work and projects, problem-based exercises and group presentations (interpersonal skills);
  • Explain, debate and demonstrate the application of International Relations to problems and issues of global importance (communication skills).

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay - 2000 words
N/A 40
University - closed examination
The Rising Powers
2 hours 60

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay - 2000 words
N/A 40
University - closed examination
The Rising Powers
2 hours 60

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 20 working days 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

Cooper, Andrew. BRICS: A very short introduction, 2016.

Amsden, The rise of the Rest, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Narlikar, New Powers: How to become One and How to Manage Them, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.

 



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.