- The evolution of IR during the twentieth century
- The impact of key historical events on the development of the discipline, including the Peace of Westphalia, European Imperialism, and the First World War
- Changes to the international system since end of the Cold War
- The history of globalization and its influence on the evolution of the discipline’s main theories and concepts
- The meaning of anarchy and systems in IR’s understanding of the world
- Some of the similarities and differences between mainstream approaches to IR – particularly Liberalism, Realism, and Marxism
- Alternative theories of world politics presented by some of IR’s newer theoretical schools – particularly Constructivism, Post-colonialism, and International Political Economy
- The difficulties implicit in defining and limiting war between and within states
- The contentious place of peace in international society
- The role and responsibilities of the state as one actor amongst many in the international system
- Our changing understanding of international power
- The impact of globalization and the end of the Cold War on actors’ definitions of security
- The difficulties of global governance in an anarchic international society
- The likely impact of Asia’s (especially China’s) rise on the units, processes, and structures of the international system.
If you complete the course successfully, you should be able to:
- Describe the evolution of International Relation as an academic discipline
- Explain the relevance of key terms in International Relations
- Identify the strengths and weaknesses of IR’s various theoretical approaches
- Analyse contemporary and historical international events from a variety of theoretical viewpoints.
Unseen written exam (3 hr).
- Baylis, J. and S. Smith (eds). The Globalization of World Politics: an Introduction to International Relations. 5 th Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2010
- Griffiths, M. T. O’Callaghan and S.C. Roach. International relations: the key concepts. Abingdon: Routledge, 2007. Second edition [ISBN 9780415774376].
- Galtung, Johan ‘Violence, Peace and Peace Research’. Journal of Peace Research (6:3). 1969. Pp. 166-91.
- Hirst, Paul. ‘The eighty years’ crisis, 1919-1999 – power’. Review of International Studies (24:5). 1998. Pp. 133- 148.
- Hobbes, Thomas, and Edwin Curley. Leviathan: with selected variants from the Latin edition of 1668. Vol. 8348. Hackett Publishing, 1994.
- Human Security Report Project. Human Security Report 2009/2010: the causes of peace and the shrinking costs of war. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. [ISBN 9780199860814].
- Medcalfe, R & R. Heinrichs. Crisis and Confidence: major powers and maritime security in Indo-Pacific Asia. Double Bay, Australia: Longueville Media, 2011. [ISBN 9780987057051]
- Xiang, L. ‘China and the “Pivot”’, Survival 54(5) October-November 2012, pp. 113-128.
Course information sheets
Download the course information sheets from the LSE website.