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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Advanced Issues in International Relations (PGSP11593)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAdvanced Issues in International Relations enables students to undertake advanced analysis of contemporary issues in International Relations.

2021-2 Topic
This year, the course will engage with questions of terrorism and counterterrorism. What is terrorism? What causes groups to engage in terrorist activities? And how can terrorism best be fought? This course draws on a range of case studies to address these and related questions. Case studies include international terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS, as well as domestic organisations such as the IRA, Boko Haram and the Red Army Faction.
Course description 2021-2 Topic
The course examines issues related to terrorism and counterterrorism, which have (re)emerged as prominent issues in international relations. It aims to develop students' ability to critically understand and assess a variety of challenges associated with terrorism and their implications for counterterrorism measures. The course addresses debates surrounding the definition of terrorism, the history of the concept and possible causes. Other topics include issues such as gendered terrorism and state terrorism. Different counterterrorist strategies, such as war models, criminal justice models, prevention, and de-radicalisation efforts, are analysed to evaluate ways of addressing terrorist threats. The course will make extensive use of case studies that represent a diversity of issues and questions. The course will not only explore global terrorism and responses to it, but will also engage with domestic and regional actors (e.g. IRA and Boko Haram) that require different responses.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  31
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Policy brief (1500 words) 40%
Essay (2500 words) 50%
Seminar participation 10%
Feedback The policy brief is the first assessment of the course and provides an alternative to traditional academic essays. It allows students to engage with the course's main issues in a different manner by asking them to apply largely academic/theoretical debates to concrete examples.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an advanced critical understanding of the principal International Relations theories and concepts related to the chosen topic
  2. Conduct advanced analysis of the chosen topic through the application of theories and methods within International Relations
  3. Develop original and creative responses to problems and issues associated with the chosen topic
  4. Communicate through empirically grounded and theoretically informed written work and discussions, their understanding of the chosen topic.
Reading List
Blakeley, Ruth (2009) State Terrorism and Neoliberalism, Routledge

Jackson, Richard, Marie Breen Smyth and Jeroen Gunning (eds.) (2009) Critical Terrorism Studies - A New Research Agenda. Routledge

Nacos, Brigitte L. (2016) Terrorism and Counterterrorism, Routledge

Silke, Andrew (ed.) (2018) Routledge Handbook of Terrorism and Counterterrorism, Routledge
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills By the end of the course students should have strengthened their skills in:
- Critical analysis and evaluation of evidence.
- Ability to effectively formulate and articulate a line of argument.
- Ability to identify and critically engage with arguments in scholarship and public discourse.
- Effective written communication skills.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Andrea Birdsall
Tel: (0131 6)50 6974
Course secretaryMrs Casey Behringer
Tel: (0131 6)50 2456
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