FACULTY OF HUMANITIES
SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES
COURSE UNIT OUTLINE 2009/10
POLI20522 Questions about International Politics
Lecturer: Professor Maja Zehfuss
Room: 4.061 Arthur Lewis
Telephone: 0161-2754937 (Ext. 54937)
Office Hours: Book via SOHOL at
Tutors: Rebecca Ehata (Rebecca.Ehata@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk)
Jamie Johnson (Jamie.Johnsonemail@example.com)
Ronan O’Callaghan (Ronan.O'Callaghan@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk)
Kathryn Starnes (Kathryn.Starnes@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk)
Lectures: Tuesday 12-1, Schuster Bragg
Tutorials: Allocate yourself to a tutorial group using the Student System
Mode of assessment: 1,500 word book review (one third of total mark)
3,500 word essay (two thirds of total mark)
Administrators: Philippa Wilson and Julie Gandy, UG Office G.001 Arthur Lewis
***IMPORTANT INFORMATION – PLEASE READ***
Book Review hand in date: Monday 8 March, 2pm, Arthur Lewis Foyer
Essay hand in date: Monday 10 May, 2pm, Arthur Lewis Foyer
Communication: Students must read their University e-mails regularly, as important information will be communicated in this way.
Examination period: 17.05.10 – 11.06.10
Re-sit Examination period: 23.08.10 – 03.09.10
Questions about International Politics
There are many significant questions that intrigue students of international politics. This course aims to provide students with the opportunity to explore such questions in an analytically sophisticated way. It will do so by drawing on the ways in which scholars have already thought about these questions and examining the strengths and weaknesses of their responses. It will relate scholars’ responses to actual practices of international politics, thereby demonstrating opportunities to think critically not only about scholars’ analyses, but also the practices of international politics themselves. This course unit will show how such questions can and have been tackled, but will also stress that the important questions of international politics always remain open to an extent and are re-formulated, re-examined and challenged by each new generation of students.
On completion of this unit successful students will be able to:
Demonstrate an understanding of how to ask questions about international politics
Outline and discuss how significant questions about international politics are shaped by and related to analyses of and practices in international politics
Demonstrate the ability to think critically about questions, ways of tackling them and the implications of different strategies for doing so
Articulate their own views on how to ask questions about international politics with recourse to (and sometimes rejection of) the literature covered in the course
This course follows the approach of a particular textbook and each week one of the readings is taken from it. It is strongly recommended that you buy it.
Edkins, Jenny and Maja Zehfuss (eds.), Global Politics: A New Introduction (Routledge: London 2008).
Textbooks and how to use them
Textbooks are useful to give you a first introduction to new material and to provide you with some background and context. As such they are important, especially if you are new to this area or if you find reading scholarly texts difficult. Reading textbooks is however not enough at this level. You must also read the articles listed as required reading and explore the wider literature. Especially for your essay, you must find your own material. In order to get you started on the wider literature further reading is listed in three places: 1) there is a short list for each lecture topic; 2) there are very useful lists of further reading at the end of each chapter in the Global Politics textbook: these have not been replicated here; 3) there is more further reading, organized around approaches, at the back of this course guide. You must avoid relying on textbooks for your essays.
Textbooks other than the one used for this course are usually organized either around issues or around theories. You may find some of the following useful in giving you an introduction to the subject area that complements the one offered on this course.
Dunne, Tim, Milja Kurki and Steve Smith (eds.), International Relations Theories: Discipline and Diversity (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2007). [This gives good introductions to a range of theories and links these to issues in international politics through case studies in each chapter.]
Burchill, Scott et al., Theories of International Relations, 4th edition (Basingstoke: Palgrave 2009). [Gives a bit more detail on different theoretical approaches, but does not link the theories to issues or events in international politics.]
Griffiths, Martin (ed.), International Relations for the Twenty-First Century: An Introduction (London: Routledge 2007). [Chapters are quite short, but they offer very good introductions.]
Edkins, Jenny and Nick Vaughan-Williams (eds.) Critical Theorists and International Relations (London: Routledge 2009). [Offers introductions to the work of critical theorists whose work has influenced scholars in International Relations. This will be very helpful in following up on some of the thinkers introduced on this course.]
Tetreault, Mary Ann and Ronnie D. Lipschutz, Politics as if People Mattered, 2nd revised edition (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield 2009).
Other key texts
Booth, Ken, and Steve Smith (eds.) International Relations Theory Today (Cambridge: Polity Press 1995). [This is not written for students specifically, but it is useful nevertheless.]
Steans, Jill, Gender and International Relations: Issues, Debates and Future Directions, 2nd revised edition (Cambridge: Polity Press 2006).
Edkins, Jenny, Postructuralism and International Relations: Bringing the Political Back In (Boulder: Lynne Rienner 1999). [This is quite advanced but an excellent introduction to poststructuralism in IR.]
Weber, Cynthia, International Relations Theory: A Critical Introduction, 3rd revised edition (London: Routledge 2009). [This is a bit different: it uses films to elucidate IR theories.]
European Journal of International Relations
International Political Sociology
International Studies Quarterly
Millennium: Journal of International Studies
Review of International Studies