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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Politics

Undergraduate Course: Theories of International Relations (PLIT10053)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe discipline of international relations is a relatively young academic subject, only emerging as a distinct field within political science in the aftermath of World War I. To differentiate itself from the disciplines of international law and history, its intellectual predecessors, international relations has developed a number of theories of the nature of the international and its constituent parts, which seek to explain, understand, judge and even predict international behaviour. These theories are heavily indebted to previously established traditions in political philosophy and social theory and the ways in which they conceive of the nature of the state and decision makers, history, social scientific explanation and the relationship between politics and morality.
Course description The course is designed to introduce students to some of the major theoretical and conceptual traditions of international relations as a way to make sense of the complex issues, developments and events constituting the international. The key objective of the course is to introduce students to the most significant orthodox and critical theoretical approaches within international relations and to offer them key analytical tools to compare and engage with theories that are the heart of their curriculum. A critical assessment will be made of the principal propositions and arguments of the theories drawn from the diverse traditions of classical realism, neoliberalism, constructivism, poststructuralism, feminism and gender, neo-Marxism and post colonialism.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Introduction to Politics and International Relations (PLIT08004) OR Politics in a Changing World: An Introduction for non-specialists (PLIT08012)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students who have not taken Introduction to Politics and International Relations (PLIT08004) OR Politics in a Changing World (PLIT08012), but have taken a similar course, should contact the Course Organiser to confirm if they are eligible to take this course.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 4 Politics/International Relations courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, it is expected that students will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge of key theories of international relations.
- Exhibit a strong understanding of competing analytical and ideological approaches for understanding the international system.
- Evaluate alternative explanations for particular developments and events in global politics.
- Develop a personal assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the principal theories of international relations.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements This course has a quota. Preference will be given to Politics and IR students.
Additional Class Delivery Information Plus 1 hr tutorial per week
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Katarzyna Kaczmarska
Tel: (0131 6)51 1740
Course secretaryMr Daniel Jackson
Tel: (0131 6)50 2309
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