International relations

Classical Political Theory & International Relations

Module code: L2014N
Level 4
15 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Lecture
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module will introduce you to the primary texts of authors such as Hobbes, Kant, Machiavelli, Marx, Mill, Thucydides, Vitoria and others who are commonly cited as precursors of contemporary international thought. It asks what relevance these authors have had for the establishment of International Relations as a discipline, and how far they can be used to analyse contemporary international politics. Finally, the module demonstrates how classical authors can also be read to provide a radical critique of contemporary international thought and practice.

Module learning outcomes

  • Develop an overview of the theoretical foundations of the IR discipline
  • Acquire an understanding of the intellectual problems associated with the analysis and interpretation of primary texts
  • Engage with the problems of evaluating the contemporary relevance of historical texts
  • Develop further the intellectual, practical and transferable skills encouraged by the mode of teaching