- Department: Politics
- Module co-ordinator: Dr. Sara Van Goozen
- Credit value: 20 credits
- Credit level: I
- Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
States, Empires and religious communities are not isolated but have engaged with each other through war, trade, colonialism, international cooperation and migration. This module uncovers the various ways in which international norms, responsibilities and rights have been theorised.
|Semester 2 2023-24
This module examines how theorists have made sense of the global encounters between city-states, Empires and nations and raised questions that are still pertinent in the present day. Can a war be just? Is colonial conquest defensible? Does trade lead to conflict or peace? How can international law protect stateless people?
We will attempt to construct genealogies of international relations, international law, and the history of international thought, uncovering the various languages in which international political actors and their actions are discussed in the western tradition and alternative strands of international thought, including Islamic traditions. In doing so, we will achieve a better and more nuanced understanding of important concepts in international relations such as (just) war, sovereignty, civilization, imperialism, and (international) law.
The module takes up questions around whether war or conquest can ever be just and how and if international peace can be achieved. It subsequently addresses imperialism and decolonisation, and the emergence and limitations of international law with reference to a range of western and non-western thinkers, such as Rosa Luxemburg, Adam Smith, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, Frantz Fanon, W.E.B. DuBois, and Hannah Arendt.
By the end of this module, students will be able to:
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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 25 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.
In this module, we will read a range of primary texts from some of the most famous writers on international political thought. Some good secondary books covering some or most of the authors discussed are: