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IR4534: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS (2020-2021)

Last modified: 05 Aug 2021 13:04


Course Overview

This course investigates the international relations of science and technology, focusing on both the causes and effects of technology in terms of domestic and global governance. It examines issues such as ‘big science’ projects, technology transfer, the regulation of technology, competition in technology, and state policies toward technology using examples such as the nuclear industry, biotechnology, the internet, and others.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Professor M. E. Smith

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either International Relations (IR) or Politics (PI)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme
  • Either Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

Science and technology play fundamental roles in human history, and the development, dispersion, and regulation of technology are defining features of modern capitalist economies. Many technologies also have the capacity to transcend state borders and thus undermine national sovereignty. Yet until quite recently, science and technology have not received a great deal of focused attention by political scientists. To help stimulate more interest in this issue, this course investigates the international relations of science and technology, focusing on both the causes and effects of technology in terms of domestic and global governance. It examines issues such as modern ‘big science’ programmes, technology transfer, the international regulation of technology, competition in technology, and state policies toward technology using examples such as the nuclear industry, biotechnology, the internet, space-related industries, and others. It is intended to be both a survey course to introduce students to the field and a research seminar for students wishing to explore these issues in more depth.


In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 2 Tutorials during University weeks 26 - 29, 31 - 34, 38 - 39

More Information about Week Numbers


In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

Seminar presentations on readings

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 30
Assessment Weeks 26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35 Feedback Weeks 26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Coursework: Seminar presentations on readings. Two to four short (15 minute) oral presentations during the course term to facilitate discussion. 30% of total assessment.

 

Written feedback via e-mail will be provided after each presentation.

Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ProceduralAnalyseAnalyse the specific ways governments pursue technology for strategic national purposes.
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate the causes and consequences of major technological innovations from the perspective of domestic and international politics.
ProceduralUnderstandUnderstand the critical role science & technology plays in contemporary international relations.
ReflectionCreatePropose innovative and effective policies intended to help develop, disperse, and govern new technologies among states.

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 40
Assessment Weeks 39 Feedback Weeks 42

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Written feedback will be provided via e-mail on a standardised form used by the Department of Politics & International Relations.

Word Count 4000
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ProceduralAnalyseAnalyse the specific ways governments pursue technology for strategic national purposes.
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate the causes and consequences of major technological innovations from the perspective of domestic and international politics.
ProceduralUnderstandUnderstand the critical role science & technology plays in contemporary international relations.
ReflectionCreatePropose innovative and effective policies intended to help develop, disperse, and govern new technologies among states.

Essay

Assessment Type Summative Weighting 30
Assessment Weeks 26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35 Feedback Weeks 26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35

Look up Week Numbers

Feedback

Coursework: At least 3 short written questions about the week’s readings (total around 200 words per week) submitted one day before each seminar, via e-mail (10 seminars in total). 30% of total assessment.

Word Count 2000
Learning Outcomes
Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ProceduralAnalyseAnalyse the specific ways governments pursue technology for strategic national purposes.
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate the causes and consequences of major technological innovations from the perspective of domestic and international politics.
ProceduralUnderstandUnderstand the critical role science & technology plays in contemporary international relations.
ReflectionCreatePropose innovative and effective policies intended to help develop, disperse, and govern new technologies among states.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ProceduralAnalyseAnalyse the specific ways governments pursue technology for strategic national purposes.
ProceduralUnderstandUnderstand the critical role science & technology plays in contemporary international relations.
ReflectionCreatePropose innovative and effective policies intended to help develop, disperse, and govern new technologies among states.
ProceduralEvaluateEvaluate the causes and consequences of major technological innovations from the perspective of domestic and international politics.

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