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Undergraduate Politics And International Relations 2019-2020

PI1018: POLITICS & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 1: DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNANCE

15 credits

Level 1

First Sub Session

Politics and International Relations impacts on all parts of our lives, with more specifically it being the study of ideas, events, institutions and choice. Studying these provides us with both knowledge of the world and also how it operates and functions. It also changes our perception of our surroundings and makes us aware of an ever changing global context. This course will introduce students to concepts and ideas that form the basis for the study of these disciplines while simultaneously also helping us understand our own place within a global context.

PI1518: POLITICS & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 2: POWER AND CONFLICT

15 credits

Level 1

Second Sub Session

Politics and International Relations impacts on all parts of our lives, with more specifically it being the study of ideas, events, institutions and choice. Studying these provides us with both knowledge of the world and also how it operates and functions. It also changes our perception of our surroundings and makes us aware of an ever changing global context. This course will introduce students to concepts and ideas that form the basis for the study of these disciplines while simultaneously also helping us understand our own place within a global context.

PI2009: IDEAS AND IDEOLOGIES IN POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

30 credits

Level 2

First Sub Session

Ideas and ideologies are core to teaching, learning and research in Politics and International Relations. Theoretical developments are at the forefront of academic debates within the discipline, demonstrated by the appearance of a number of new approaches as more traditional theories have struggled to account for an ever changing world. This course will introduce students to these with profound questions and struggles over identity, belonging, justice and rights underpinning these theoretical debates.

PI2508: GLOBAL POLITICS: EQUALITY AND INEQUALITY

30 credits

Level 2

Second Sub Session

Equality and inequality are at the forefront of many debates within contemporary Politics and International Relations. This course will examine the historical context, theoretical underpinnings, and also key concepts which continue to uphold equality and inequality on a global scale.

IR3018: INTERNATIONAL SECURITY

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

This course explores salient concepts of security and conflict, focusing on contemporary issues and problems.  It examines traditional, state-centred topics ie. interstate and intrastate war, as well as the ‘new security agenda’  involving issues like terrorism, organized crime, environmental security, health security and population trends.  Students will gain knowledge of international security and its role in contemporary International Relations through analysis of conceptual factors and case studies.  In addition, students will develop critical thinking skills, communication skills and analytical skills, including being able to formulate lucid, concise and rigorous accounts of international security affairs.

PI3069: RESEARCHING IN THE 21ST CENTURY

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

Research methods and techniques are fundamental to the study of Politics and International Relations. In addition, they are highly desired by employers. This course will introduce students to a number of different research techniques which they will use throughout their studies at Honours and in particular their Honours dissertation. Moreover, they will also constitute a significant part of their graduate attributes.

PI3073: THE EU: CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGES

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

The EU has recently gained heightened academic and policy interest, particularly in the aftermath of the recent debates about the UK’s witdrawal.  In addition to introducing the main theoretical approaches and concepts, the course aims to address the policy and practical dimensions regarding current status and future prospects for the EU. This will certainly be valuable for PIR students with an interest in international organisations, government, and policy debates.

PI3074: AMERICAN POLITICS

30 credits

Level 3

First Sub Session

The 2016 American Presidential election further intensified global interest in the politics of the USA. The course takes an in-depth look at the institutions, the actors and the issues that make American politics a fascinating subject for observers the world over.


PI3562: POLITICAL PARTIES IN BRITAIN

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

The course involves a detailed examination of Britain’s party system and the individual political parties.  Through this course, students should acquire a knowledge and understanding of a number of inter-related themes, including the role and democratic function of political parties in Britain, the development of party philosophies and how these relate to the realities of party policy, the organisation and distribution of power within Britain’s political parties, and elections and party campaigns.  In this way, the course examines the contested and changing nature of political debate in British politics.

PI3565: SOVIET AND POST-SOVIET RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course examines contemporary Russian Foreign Policy through the historical framework of Soviet foreign relations. International, domestic, cultural and ideological factors will be examined throughout the course. This will provide an understanding of a wide range of issues that have affected Moscow’s foreign policy decision making in both the recent past and their legacy in the contemporary situation.

PI3567: INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM COUNTERTERRORISM & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

International terrorism and counterterrorism are at the top of today’s agenda – of scholarly debates in International Relations (IR) as well as of policy discussions on international politics. The course focuses on both the (individual and/or structural) causes and different manifestations of terrorism and reviews the debates on how to respond to terrorism not only effectively but also without violating humanitarian principles and international law. The course is interdisciplinary and will provide both an overview on current research on international terrorism and counterterrorism in IR and also with in-depth knowledge of core aspects of the issue.

PI3570: MEMORY AND POLITICS OF THE PAST

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

This course examines the ways in which societal understandings of the past shape political outcomes in the present. Introducing students to the concept of ‘Collective Memory’, the course engages with key theoretical and empirical debates in this emerging field of Politics and IR. It asks such questions as: How can narratives of the past reproduce or challenge contemporary power relations? To what extent do political actors and institutions engineer particular historical narratives that serve their current interests? To what extent are societal ideas of the past malleable? What is the relationship between ‘remembering’, ‘forgetting’ and political power?

PI3572: HUMAN RIGHTS IN GLOBAL POLITICS

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

Human Rights have long been at the epicentre of heated debates in contemporary global politics. This course will examine the theoretical and philosophical foundations of human rights within their historical context, along with the key controversies that shape current implementation and enforcement of the human rights regime in global politics. This course is suitable for specialist and non-specialist alike. No prior knowledge is required.

PI3575: THE FIRST 9/11: REVOLUTION AND COUNTER-REVOLUTION IN CHILE

30 credits

Level 3

Second Sub Session

Set within the context of the Inter-American Cold War, this course addresses one of the seminal events of the twentieth century: the coup against Chile’s democratically-elected Socialist government led by Salvador Allende, as well as the nature of the counter-revolution and dictatorship which followed and their contemporary legacies within the politics and society of Chile. 

IR4031: DISSERTATION

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course affords students the opportunity to apply their knowledge/research skills in the field of Politics & International Relations to an individual piece of research, focusing on a topic selected by the student and approved by the Dissertation supervisor. Over the course of the project, with guidance from a supervising member of staff, the student will conduct a literature review of relevant material, select appropriate research methods, gather data where necessary, analyse data, and write a final analysis in the form of the Dissertation. Particular emphasis will be given to helping students develop their own skills.

IR4033: NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN WORLD POLITICS

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

The course will trace and illustrate the salient strategic, technological and political developments and related controversies in the history of nuclear weapons since 1945. In the process the intellectual integrity of the notion of the 'First' and 'Second' nuclear ages will be tested as will the arguments about the impact of proliferation on world security, the viability of deterrence as the bedrock for security in a multi-nuclear system, and the real dangers posed by the advent of the 'new terrorism' and its possible links with WMD.

IR4033: NUCLEAR WEAPONS IN WORLD POLITICS

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

The course will trace and illustrate the salient strategic, technological and political developments and related controversies in the history of nuclear weapons since 1945. In the process the intellectual integrity of the notion of the 'First' and 'Second' nuclear ages will be tested as will the arguments about the impact of proliferation on world security, the viability of deterrence as the bedrock for security in a multi-nuclear system, and the real dangers posed by the advent of the 'new terrorism' and its possible links with WMD.

IR4516: ARAB - ISRAELI RELATIONS

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

The course will scrutinise the historical development, political characteristics and strategic condition of the most enduring and emotive conflict in the international system. The topics to be considered include the political impasse since 2003, the origins of the conflict, the wars and peace plans between 1948 and 1979, the nature and policies of the PLO and Hamas, the Peace Process 1993 - 2003, US - Israeli relations, the EU and the dispute, the 'peace partners': Egypt and Jordan, the 'rejectionist front': Syria and Iran, and prospects for the resolution of the conflict.

IR4528: WAR AND PEACE IN INTERNATIONAL POLITICS

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

The course aims to provide students with an understanding of how conflict between ethno-national groups impacts on international politics. It explores the responses of the international community to intra-state conflict. Following an initial exploration of the relevant theories, the course focuses on a number of key conflicts in international politics. What explains violent conflict between ethnic groups? What role do external actors play in peace processes? Should the international community intervene to stop violent conflict? What kind of institutional frameworks do external actors promote in post-conflict states?

PI4060: EXTREME RIGHT IN WESTERN EUROPE

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course will provide an in-depth analysis of a European party family which is growing in electoral support as well as political influence. Individual countries and parties will be covered, as well as key concepts such as fascism, racism, xenophobia and populism. Students will also be familiarised with different theoretical approaches explaining the growth of extreme right parties, and responses from the political environment. The course will be beneficial to future study and work in a wide range of areas and contexts, and has relevance to social and political challenges such as integration, internationalisation, globalisation and social cohesion.

PI4071: DISSERTATION

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

This course affords students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and research skills in the broad field of Politics & International Relations to an individual piece of research, focusing on a topic selected by the student and approved by the Dissertation supervisor. Over the course of the project, with guidance from a supervising member of staff, the student will conduct a literature review of relevant material, select appropriate research methods, gather data where necessary, analyse data, and write a final analysis in the form of the Dissertation. Particular emphasis will be given to helping students develop their own skills.

PI4072: ENERGY AND CLIMATE POLITICS

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

Energy and Climate Politics is a course designed to increase understanding of how energy and climate politics affects conventional political analysis and vice versa. EU politics of energy, controversies surrounding electricity market reform in the UK, how problems of energy security and climate change interact are among the topics.
How contemporary political issues are illustrated by energy issues is an important subject for discussion - for example electricity policy and the debate about the referendum and devolution and the issue of how different political systems work in their policy consultation patterns are important topics in the course.

PI4077: DIRTY WAR AND ITS AFTERMATH

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

The term 'dirty war' has gained currency within both popular and academic discourse, especially within the realm of conflict and terrorism. Popular and academic interest in the terms can be traced to the deployment of the tactics of 'dirty war' in a number of notorious cases by states seeking to quell internal conflict. This course will address the historical, social and political conditions in which 'dirty war' arose in specific contexts while analysing both its form and consequences.

PI4081: GLOBAL POWER SHIFTS, HEGEMONY AND KNOWLEDGE

30 credits

Level 4

First Sub Session

While the discourse over the transfer of power from West to East is gaining momentum, this course provides a rethink of global power shifts throughout history on the one hand, and explores the relations between hegemony and knowledge on the other.

PI4569: NATIONALISM IN MODERN EUROPE

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

Nationalism is one of the most powerful forces in modern politics but one of the most difficult to understand. The course addresses theories of nationalism, including primordial and modernist approaches and more recent syntheses. It addresses normative questions about the relationship of nationalism to democracy, social solidarity and conflict. These theoretical perspectives are complemented by a study of cases of nationalism across Europe.  There is a strong emphasis on combining theory with cases and on the historical context of nationalism. Students are encouraged to explore cases, and there is a strong focus on in-class discussion.

PI4573: POLITICAL ISLAM: ISLAMIST IDEOLOGIES AND PRACTICES

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

Taking a historical approach, the course will trace the key events that have led to current Political Islam (Islamism) concentrating on the ideology and practice of various movements and groups.  It will explore contemporary constructs of identity and political arrangements within Islamism and encourage critical analysis and independent thought in relation to the challenges Islamist poses to existing theoretical paradigms.  Areas to be explored will include: the political construct of early Islam, the Sunni/Shia divide, key ideologues, and contemporary movements such as the Muslim Brothers, Hamas and Hizbullah.

PI4576: WEALTH, POVERTY AND INTERNATIONAL ORDER

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

This course introduces advanced Politics and International Relations students to different ways of thinking about how the production of wealth and poverty serves to sediment economic, political and cultural hierarchies globally, especially how international practices depend on the re-production of these hierarchies for their legitimation.

Beginning with a reading of some classic texts on the sources of wealth and poverty, the course offers a close theoretical and historical investigation of the silences around questions of wealth and poverty in dominant understandings of the contemporary shape of the world, including questions of development, gender, security, and human rights.

PI4579: INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION AND EUROPE

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

International Migration has recently gained increased academic and policy interest. This course, while introducing the main analytical concepts concerning migration, addresses the policy dimension in the European context. Additionally the course will assist students in becoming active citizens in an ever changing world.

PI4582: DEVOLUTION AND CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE

30 credits

Level 4

Second Sub Session

Constitutional change in the UK has been at the centre of political debate for close to two decades.  Most recently, referendums in Wales (2011), Scotland (2014) and the UK-wide EU referendum (2016) have provided significant impetus to these discussions.  This course will place these changes in a historical and comparative context and consider why these methods of decentralisation have been followed.

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