Accessibility statement

International Crisis Diplomacy - POL00070H

« Back to module search

  • Department: Politics
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Graeme Davies
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module summary

The principal aim of this module is to provide students with a strong grounding in theoretical and empirical research into international crises. 

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21

Module aims

The principal aim of this module is to provide students with a strong grounding in theoretical and empirical research into international crises.  The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the theoretical approaches used to analyze state behavior during international crises. Students will be shown how uncertainty and the distribution of information is a key factor in explaining crisis outcomes. The module will demonstrate why some strategies are more effective than others, in particular highlighting the difficulties of implementing successful sanctions. The module will discuss the factors that affect elite decision-making during international crises. By the end of the module the students will be equipped with a range of theoretical tools that will allow them to analyze two ongoing international crises, such as Iran, North Korea, Russia or Syria.

Module learning outcomes

The aim of this module is to encourage students to think critically about a range of issues related to the international crises. Students are encouraged to apply theoretical knowledge to current international crises as we examine a variety of theoretical and empirical issues via a series of thematically organised seminars topics.  On completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of how information influences crisis outcomes. (PLO 1)
  • Independently apply theoretical debates to ongoing international crises. (PLO 2)
  • Explain the strengths and weaknesses of competing approaches to crisis diplomacy and to critically evaluate the principal debates about coercive diplomacy. (PLO 2)
  • Assess the utility of theory in understanding leader behavior during international crises. (PLO 3)
  • Discuss factors that underpin the effectiveness of the use of force and economic sanctions. (PLO 5)

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 3000 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 3000 words
N/A 100

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; 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

Jentleson, Bruce W. and Christopher A. Whytock (2005/06). “Who “Won” Libya? The Force-Diplomacy Debate and Its Implications for Theory and Policy”, International Security Winter 2005/06, Vol. 30, No. 3: 47–86.

Fearon, J. D. (1994). “Domestic political audiences and the escalation of international disputes.” American Political Science Review, 88:577–92.

Schultz, K. A. (1998). “Domestic opposition and signaling in international crises”. American Political Science Review 92: 829-844.

Downes, A. B., & Sechser, T. S. (2012). The illusion of democratic credibility. International Organization, 66(03), 457-489.

Davies, Graeme A.M. and Robert Johns (2013)“Audience Costs among the British Public: The Impact of Escalation, Crisis Type and Prime Ministerial Rhetoric” International Studies Quarterly 57.4 : 725-737



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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students