International relations

Militarism and its Discontents

Module code: 761M9
Level 7 (Masters)
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay

This module seeks to revitalise the concepts of militarism and the world military order as fruitful means of understanding and explaining organised violence and its preparation in contemporary international politics.

Historically, we will examine colonial and Cold War legacies, and theoretically we will address the problem of Eurocentrism and questions around how to conceptualise the world military order, drawing on theoretical resources from within and without the discipline of IR as we do so.

Empirically, we will challenge the new wars and failed/fragile states argument through cases such a Sudan and the DRC, explore the gendered distinction between war and domestic violence through a focus on the gender dynamics of gun violence, and re-read the War on Terror through the international politics of drone warfare in the Middle East.

Through these and other cases we will seek to connect up seemingly disparate cases of violence and weaponry in a single analytical frame of militarism and the world military order.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate advanced theoretical and conceptual knowledge and understanding of militarism and the world military order
  • Conduct advanced empirical research into militarism and the world military order.
  • Complete an empirically and theoretically sophisticated written analysis of militarism and/or the world militay order.