This module is an introduction to the study of world politics and the discipline of International Relations (IR). It provides an overview of key theories, concepts and debates in IR through a discussion of topical issues and developments in global politics, with particular focus on the role and status of states as key actors. The IR theories introduced include (but are not necessarily limited to) liberalism and realism. Theories and concepts will be evaluated in consideration with empirical material drawn from contemporary international politics. The precise list of issues to be covered will vary from year to year depending on the global political landscape. An indicative list of potential topics includes: the legacies of the Cold War; the Covid-19 pandemic; conspiracy theories; counterterrorism; globalisation; empire; and the Russia-Ukraine war. The issues chosen will be studied from multiple perspectives, creating the space for students to progress in their knowledge of key concepts and explore the merits of leading IR theories.
Private Study: 128
Contact Hours: 22
Compulsory to the following courses:
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Language
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Placement Year?
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Foundation Year
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Year in North America
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Year in Continental Europe
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with Quantitative Research
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with Quantitative Research With a Placement Year
• BA (Hons) in Politics and International Relations with?a Year in the Asia-Pacific?
Optional to the following courses:
• BA (Hons) Philosophy and Politics
• BA (Hons) History and Politics
• BA (Hons) Sociology and Politics
Also available as an elective module
Method of assessment
Main assessment methods
Essay, 2000 words, 50%
*The exam will be online for 23-24*
The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.
The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Identify key issues, events, developments and trends that characterise the contemporary international environment
2 Name and explain basic concepts and theories relevant to the global issues, events, developments and trends discussed in the module
3 Identify and explain the status and role of states in shaping key issues, events, developments and trends in contemporary international politics
4 Identify a limited range of political science tools that can be used to study and analyse the issues, events, developments and trends discussed in the module
5 Describe, study and analyse global political issues, events, developments and trends from multiple perspectives
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Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
- ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
- The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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