Advanced Topics in Politics and International Relation - PO665

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury
(version 2)
Autumn
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6 15 (7.5) DR AM den Boer
Canterbury
(version 2)
Spring
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6 15 (7.5) PROF R Sakwa

Pre-requisites

In order to study this module, students must have obtained an average of 60% or more in their stage 2 coursework.

Restrictions

This module is only available to stage 3 students in the School of Politics and International Relations (single or joint Honours) who have obtained an average of 60% or more in their stage 2 coursework.
Students may only take one topic within this module.

How to register your interest for modules PO652 (Politics in the Classroom) and PO665 (Advanced Topics)

You will not be able to register for modules PO652 or PO665 through the online module registration process. Instead, you will need to register for an alternative module for that term, and then complete the registration of interest form stating which module/s you are interested in taking and which module you would drop if you are successful in gaining entry on to your chosen module.

You should return the completed form to Sara Witchell, Student Support Manager, either in hard copy, or by e-mail to polirsupport@kent.ac.uk by the end of the module registration period i.e. 24 March 2017.

2017-18

Overview

This module is designed to offer Stage 3 Politics and International Relations students an opportunity to study a topic in politics and international relations at an advanced level. Participation will be limited to students who have demonstrated strong writing and analytical skills in their Stage 2 coursework (with a minimum average of 60%) and the topics may vary from year to year depending on the research and teaching interests of academic staff. The module will build on the concepts, theories and methods that students have acquired in their previous studies, introducing them to more advanced readings and further developing their knowledge and understanding of the scholarship at the forefront of their discipline in a given issue area. Students will work very closely with academic staff and will benefit from their research expertise and individual feedback in a small group setting. The module will assist students in developing their critical and analytical skills and help them to understand the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge concerning their advanced topic in politics and/or international relations.

FOR THE 2017/2018 ACADEMIC YEAR

Two topics will be offered in 2017/18, one in the Autumn term and one in the Spring term. Students may only take one topic within this module.


Topic title: Global Gender Justice, Convenor: Dr Andrea Den Boer - AUTUMN TERM

This module addresses some of the complex issues regarding achieving justice for women internationally through a thematic examination of classical and cutting-edge scholarship in the areas of gender, security, and human rights. We will interrogate practices of representation of women as victims and explore the cultural, religious, political, and social challenges and barriers to achieving gender justice within the family, the community, the state and global society. We will analyse the effectiveness and limits of international organisations, international human rights instruments, NGOs and activists to bring about change in women's lives. The seminar will be guided by an overall aim to explore the extent to which gender inequality within the state has an impact on state behaviour, with a specific focus on state development and state security.

Students gain an awareness of the following themes: the situation of women around the world; the ways in which gender affects social, political, and economic status; the evolving study of gender in international politics (with an emphasis on security and human rights); the political implications of scholarship; and the links between gender, feminism, and activism.

The seminar requires previous knowledge of international relations, but will introduce students to feminist theories relevant to the study of gender in international relations. The two-hour weekly seminar will involve a close reading of key texts as a group as well as discussion/debate of the weekly topics.


Topic title: Russia and its Neighbours, Convenor: Professor Richard Sakwa - SPRING TERM

The crisis over Ukraine from 2013 was stark demonstration of the failure to establish an inclusive and mutually legitimate system of European security and international politics after the end of the Cold War. On the one side, Russia was treated as a defeated power, even though the country did not see itself as such, and was assigned a modest role in world affairs. In the end this provoked a type of Weimar syndrome in a country whose dignity and interests were perceived to have been ignored. On the other side, the European Union and NATO have claimed to be advancing a type of 'post-modern' politics in which traditional Westphalian notions of balance of power and geopolitical interests have given way to a benign notion of economic and normative homogenization. Two contrasting visions of world order came into contestation.

The module will examine the evolution of Russian foreign policy since the end of the Cold War and its interactions with the EU and NATO. The broader context of the tension between greater and wider visions of Europe will be analysed, as well as the tensions within representations of Europe itself. More specifically, Russia's relations with its immediate neighbours will be studied in the context of moves towards the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union and the development of greater Asian ideas, notably in the consolidation of 'non-Western' institutions (such as the SCO and BRICS) accompanied by the emergence of a narrative of resistance and insulation from Western hegemony.

The seminar requires some familiarity with international relations theory and European politics, but will introduce students to the fundamental developments in Russian and Euro-Asian politics and international relations. The two-hour weekly seminar will involve a reading of key texts as a group as well as discussion/debate of the weekly topics.

Details

This module appears in:


Contact hours

150 hours including a weekly 2-hour seminar (22 hours); 128 hours independent study.

Availability

How to register your interest for modules PO652 (Politics in the Classroom) and PO665 (Advanced Topics)

You will not be able to register for modules PO652 or PO665 through the online module registration process. Instead, you will need to register for an alternative module for that term, and then complete the registration of interest form stating which module/s you are interested in taking and which module you would drop if you are successful in gaining entry on to your chosen module. The form is available on the Politics and IR Student Guide on Moodle, under 'choosing your modules' in the Undergraduate Student Section.

You should return the completed form to Sara Witchell, Student Support Manager, either in hard copy, or by e-mail to polirsupport@kent.ac.uk by the end of the module registration period i.e. 24 March 2017.

Method of assessment

100% coursework (Reconstruction or critical literature review (20%), 4000 word essay (80%))

Preliminary reading

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

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