International Relations and Anthropology BA

International Relations

Key information

Duration:
3 years full time
Typical A-level offer:
AAB
UCAS code:
LL26
Start date:
September 2018

Explore foreign policy and state power, and gain a deep understanding of global changes through the study of local cultures and societies.

Learn from experts whose research is making a difference to communities across the world – from human rights to gender inequality to the social impact of the Ebola crisis.

Sussex is a truly global community. Even the location enables me to know more about the world.”Lam Hon Sing (Benson)
International Relations BA 

Entry requirements

A-level

Typical offer

AAB

GCSEs

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Other UK qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with at least 45 Level 3 credits at Merit or above of which 30 credits must be at Distinction. 

 

Subjects

The Access to HE Diploma should be in the humanities or social sciences.

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

34 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma)

Typical offer

DDD

GCSEs

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Scottish Highers

Typical offer

AAABB

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced

Typical offer

Grade B and AA in two A-levels.

GCSEs

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

International baccalaureate

Typical offer

34 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

European baccalaureate

Typical offer

Overall result of 80%

Other international qualifications

Australia

Typical offer

Relevant state (Year 12) High School Certificate, and over 85% in the ATAR or UAI/TER/ENTER. Or a Queensland OP of 5 or below.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Austria

Typical offer

Reifeprüfung or Matura with an overall result of 2.2 or better for first-year entry. A result of 2.5 or better would be considered for Foundation Year entry.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Belgium

Typical offer

Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur (CESS) or Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs with a good overall average. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bulgaria

Typical offer

Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie with excellent final-year scores (normally 5.5 overall with 6 in key subjects).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Typical offer

High School Graduation Diploma. Specific requirements vary between provinces.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Typical offer

We usually do not accept Senior High School Graduation for direct entry to our undergraduate courses. However, we do consider applicants who have studied 1 or more years of Higher Education in China at a recognised degree awarding institution or who are following a recognised International Foundation Year.

If you are interested in applying for a business related course which requires an academic ability in Mathematics, you will normally also need a grade B in Mathematics from the Huikao or a score of 90 in Mathematics from the Gaokao.

Applicants who have the Senior High School Graduation may be eligible to apply to our International Foundation Year, which if you complete successfully you can progress on to a relevant undergraduate course at Sussex. You can find more information about the qualifications which are accepted by our International Study Centre at  http://isc.sussex.ac.uk/entry-requirements/international-foundation-year .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Croatia

Typical offer

Maturatna Svjedodžba with an overall score of at least 4-5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Typical offer

Apolytirion of Lykeion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Czech Republic

Typical offer

Maturita with a good overall average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Denmark

Typical offer

Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF) or studentereksamen with an overall average of at least 7 on the new grading scale.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Finland

Typical offer

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto with an overall average result in the final matriculation examinations of at least 6.5.

France

Typical offer

French Baccalauréat with an overall final result of at least 14/20.

Germany

Typical offer

German Abitur with an overall result of 1.8 or better.

Greece

Typical offer

Apolytirion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Typical offer

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades of 5, 4, 4 from three subjects including two electives. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hungary

Typical offer

Erettsegi/Matura with a good average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Typical offer

Standard XII results from Central and Metro Boards with an overall average of 75-80%. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Typical offer

High School Diploma and Pre-University Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland

Typical offer

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at H1 H1 H2 H2 H3.

Israel

Typical offer

Bagrut, with at least 8/10 in at least six subjects, including one five-unit subject.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Typical offer

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato with a Final Diploma mark of at least 85/100.

Japan

Typical offer

Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate is suitable for entry to our Foundation Years. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Latvia

Typical offer

Atestats par Visparejo videjo Izglitibu with very good grades in state exams.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lithuania

Typical offer

Brandos Atestatas including scores of 80-90% in at least three state examinations (other than English).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Luxembourg

Typical offer

Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Typical offer

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As well as various two or three-year college or polytechnic certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Netherlands

Typical offer

Voorereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO), normally with an average of at least 7.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Typical offer

You are expected to have one of the following:

  • Higher National Diploma
  • One year at a recognised Nigerian University
  • Professional Diploma (Part IV) from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology of Nigeria
  • Advanced Diploma

You must also have a score of C6 or above in WAEC/SSC English.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Typical offer

Norwegian Vitnemal Fra Den Videregaende Skole- Pass with an overall average of at least 4.5.

Pakistan

Typical offer

Bachelor (Pass) degree in arts, commerce or science.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Poland

Typical offer

Matura with three extended-level written examinations, normally scored within the 7th stanine.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Portugal

Typical offer

Diploma de Ensino Secundario normally with an overall mark of at least 16/20. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Romania

Typical offer

Diploma de Bacalaureat with an overall average of 8.5-9.5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Typical offer

A-levels, as well as certain certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovakia

Typical offer

Maturitna Skuska or Maturita with honours, normally including scores of 1 in at least three subjects.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovenia

Typical offer

Secondary School Leaving Diploma or Matura with at least 23 points overall.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Typical offer

National Senior Certificate with very good grades. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Typical offer

Spanish Título de Bachillerato (LOGSE) with an overall average result of at least 8.0.

Sri Lanka

Typical offer

Sri Lankan A-levels.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sweden

Typical offer

Fullstandigt Slutbetyg with good grades.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Typical offer

Federal Maturity Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Typical offer

Devlet Lise Diplomasi or Lise Bitirme is normally only suitable for Foundation Years, but very strong applicants may be considered for first year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Typical offer

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subject with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher). 

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.

If you are applying for degree-level study we can consider your IELTS test from any test centre, but if you require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for an English language or pre-sessional English course (not combined with a degree) the test must be taken at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)-approved IELTS test centre.

Find out more about IELTS.

Other English language requirements

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: Grade B or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirements. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

Admissions information for applicants

Transfers into Year 2

Yes. Find out more about transferring into Year 2 of this course. We don’t accept transfers into the third or final year.

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

Why choose this course?

  • One of Europe’s largest dedicated International Relations departments.
  • 94% for overall satisfaction for International Relations (National Student Survey 2016).
  • Ranked 6th in the UK for Anthropology (The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

Course information

How will I study?

You learn about the importance of international relations in the modern world, and how anthropologists study humans. You explore the main areas of international relations, including:

  • different approaches to the study of international relations
  • the major events of modern international history
  • the role and purpose of theory and its relevance to major issues in international relations.

In your anthropology options, you explore specialist topics (including related subjects). And to help your skills development, you learn about the theory, methodology and applications of anthropology.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules


Customise your course

Our courses are designed to broaden your horizons and give you the skills and experience necessary to have the sort of career that has an impact.

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

How will I study?

You learn how to use the concepts, approaches and methods of international relations. This helps you develop an understanding of the contested nature of the discipline. 

You learn about areas such as contemporary international theory and global political economy, and choose options to suit your interests.

You’ll also receive training in research methods, techniques and skills used by anthropologists. In your anthropology classes, you study topics including:

  • political anthropology
  • forms of power
  • religion and ritual.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Options


Customise your course

Our courses are designed to broaden your horizons and give you the skills and experience necessary to have the sort of career that has an impact.

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you.

“My year abroad has instilled in me new confidence and enthusiasm. I feel better equipped for my final year.” Eva Brittin-SnellInternational Relations BA
Studied abroad at University of Ottawa Canada

Placement (optional)

A placement is a great way to network and gain practical skills. When you leave Sussex, you’ll benefit from having the experience employers are looking for. Find out more about placements and internships.

“Not only did I get to attend meetings at European institutions but I also improved my French. It made me a more confident and capable person.” Ioana BadeaInternational Relations BA
Research Executive, FleishmanHilliard, Brussels

How will I study?

In International Relations, you develop a high level of expertise in the specialised areas of your choice and pursue independent research – via a dissertation – under the supervision of a member of faculty. The size and scope of our Department means you have a very wide range of expert options to choose from.

To help you gain advanced anthropology knowledge, you can study areas such as: 

  • the anthropology of South Asia, Africa or Latin America
  • human rights
  • the anthropology of development.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Options

My book – In Good Company: An Anatomy of Corporate Social Responsibility was short-listed for the Society for Economic Anthropology annual prize 2012.”Dr Dinah Rajak
Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and International Development

Fees

Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. Note that your fees, once they’re set, may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

The UK Government has confirmed that if you’re an EU student applying for entry in September 2018, you'll pay the same fee rate as UK students for the duration of your course, even if the UK leaves the EU before the end of your course. You'll also continue to have access to student loans and grants. Find out more on the UK Government website.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Scholarships

Details of our scholarships are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018.

Careers

Graduate destinations

91% of recent Department of International Relations graduates were in work or further study six months after completing their degrees.

Students from the School of Global Studies have started jobs as:

  • programme and office assistant, Concern Universal
  • intern, The Postconflict Research Centre
  • graduate trainee business support officer, Poplar Harca.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

Develop communication, analytical and cultural awareness skills with an International Relations and Anthropology degree.

These skills mean you could go into graduate jobs at multinational companies, national and international organisations, and employers such as:

  • the Civil Service and government
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • charities and voluntary organisations.

You also benefit from career events where you can meet employers and find out more about UK and international graduate jobs.

Recent events have included advice sessions on the Civil Service Fast Stream graduate programme and NGO opportunities.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Introduction to International Relations

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module introduces you to the academic study of international relations. The module outlines the specific characteristics of International Relations (IR) as a distinct scholarly discipline, separate from other disciplines such as politics or sociology. The module considers what has defined IR as a discipline and what constitutes its core conceptual and methodological coordinates at the present time. The module approaches these questions through a consideration of the historical development of IR through a series of conceptual and methodological debates. Classically these debates are conceived of as tracing a path from idealism via realism to a pluralist methodological position. Understanding these debates, the circumstances that have given rise to them, and the methods they have generated will give you a good orientation in the disciplinary terrain of IR that will help them in contextualising the ideas they will encounter in the international theory courses in Years 1 and 2.

Key Concepts in Anthropology

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module provides an overview of the big questions that anthropologists have contributed to and the different theoretical paradigms and concepts that they have developed or adopted. The aim is to provide you with a rapid overview of the discipline. It begins with two weeks examining the concepts of Society and Culture and their varied conceptualisations, followed by weeks that take in turn the key characteristics and assumptions of

  • British structural functionalism
  • methodological individualism and agency
  • French structuralism
  • British structuralism
  • marxism, ideology and hegemony
  • poststructuralism
  • discourse and power/knowledge
  • poststructuralism
  • 'practice' and phenomenology.

The Anthropological Imagination

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

We aim to convey a sense of anthropology as an exciting, 'living' subject, alive to the concerns of different communities and populations living across the globe. You'll also experience it as cutting edge in terms of the research conducted by anthropologists at Sussex, as we actively engage with issues of social, cultural and global transformation.

The module structure revolves around five core themes considered central to the subject. These capture anthropological thinking about culture, identity and representation:

  • kinship, self and body
  • economy as culture
  • religion
  • politics
  • work on the global-local interface.

The Rise of the Modern International Order

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

Today we take it for granted that the peoples and governments of the world are linked in a single international system. Yet it was only during 'the long 19th century' that, for the first time in history, a truly 'world' politics began to emerge. This module examines how this came about by reviewing some major events and process of international history in the period from 1789 to 1914.

It begins with the international impact of the French revolution and the industrial revolution, and moves on to the formation of nation-states in Europe and outside. It analyses the role played by Great Britain in organising the Victorian international system, as well as the occupation of the non-European world by European imperialism. Finally, the module reflects upon the combination of factors that caused this 'long 19th century' to end in the carnage of the Great War. At the same time, by looking at some of the major controversies that historians have had about how to understand these events, the module also raises key questions about the nature of historical knowledge itself.

Classical Political Theory & International Relations

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

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.

The Anthropology of Exchange, Money and Markets

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module introduces you to how anthropologists conceptualise, research, and generate new understandings of the human activities that comprise economic life.

Studying economic life from an anthropological view requires us to rethink concepts such as work and leisure, poverty and wealth, gifts and commodities, money and markets, and the term 'economy' itself. Therefore, economic anthropology enables us to critique some of the universalisms of mainstream economics through which capitalism has become naturalised.

Traditionally, economic anthropology has been concerned with systems of exchange, non-industrial economies, and livelihood systems. In addition to covering these topics, we will examine issues of contemporary concern such as:

  • class, money, debt and shopping
  • factories, fair trade, globalisation and bioeconomies
  • new strategies and practices of resistance.

The Short Twentieth Century and Beyond

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

Few periods in history have been more tumultuous than the 20th century, racked almost from start to finish by wars, revolutions and global ideological conflicts. In the same period, however, the international system also developed new mechanisms of stability and international organisation - the League of Nations and the United Nations, the 'Bretton Woods' institutions and, increasingly, European integration. This module reviews some major international events and processes of 'the short 20th century' (1914-1989), focusing on this theme of order and disorder in international history.

Worlds and Selves

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

Contemporary International Theory

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module examines the role this tradition plays in the development of contemporary international theory (post-1945) and the establishment of orthodoxy. Major approaches and debates in the discipline will be examined and evaluated, and placed in the more general context of what is problematic about developing cumulative knowledge of social relations. Varieties of realism, liberalism and the English school approach will be considered as well as more recent critical engagements coming from Marxism, feminism, constructivism, postmodernism and globalism.

Ethnographic Research Methods

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you are introduced to practical, theoretical and ethical issues surrounding ethnographic research in anthropology, and the social sciences more generally.

You explore methodological concerns around research design and implementation - through a series of workshops on epistemology, methodology, and ethics.

You are introduced to a range of qualitative research methods, including the research interview, participant-observation, and various participatory research methods. You also get an introduction to the analysis of qualitative data, and key issues of writing and representation.

For this module, you are assessed on a group research project. In this project, you design and conduct an independent piece of ethnographic research around a key anthropological theme, while reflecting on and applying the theoretical and practical insights gained through the module.

Introduction to International Political Economy

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

The intensity and scope of the relationship between politics and economics has become a central element of international relations. This module offers a distinctive perspective in terms of which traditional issues of international relations - such as war, trade, integration and international society - can be studied. It considers the central theoretical traditions of international political economy: liberalism, realism, Marxism, neo-institutionalism, and critical theory. It then applies these diverse theoretical traditions in an analysis of the evolution of the state system from the 16th to the 20th century, paying particular attention to the relationship between class and state power, on the one hand, and the capitalist world economy, on the other.

Religion and Ritual

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module is concerned with the explanation of religious and ritual phenomena.

It explores the key theoretical issues by examining ethnographic material that deals with - among other things - initiation, myth, witchcraft, symbolism and religious experience.

There is also some treatment of more 'secular' rituals such as carnival and Christmas.

The focus is as much on how people believe as on what they believe; on why they perform rituals as much as what these rituals look like.

It explores both classic texts and more recent accounts, to give students a sense of where particular arguments have come from and where they are going.

Politics and Power

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

You explore forms of power by drawing on political anthropology and social theory.

In Western societies the term 'politics' tends to imply a narrow range of activities and institutions, typically those focused around parties, government and the state.We use the term 'political' in a much wider sense, and link it to the operations of power.

Power is not a thing, but an aspect of a vast range of relationships from the most local to the global.

There can be no neat boundaries around this field of study. Instead our intention is to explore the way the analysis of power has widened and deepened over the last fifty years, and to suggest continuity with economic and cultural processes that you are studying in other modules.

Cities and Urban Lives

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you are introduced to literature and debates in the fields of urban anthropology and anthropology of the city.

You explore historical processes of urbanization, focusing on the spatial, cultural, political and social characteristics of the modern cities, as well
as looking at the experiences of everyday urban life in cities across the world.

You undertake a comparative analysis of the diversity of urban forms and experiences based on specific case studies, to engage with theories ascribing universal characteristics to modern urban society and culture.

Topics covered in this module include:

  • Urban Anthropology and Anthropology of the City: methodological and epistemological challenges
  • From Nomadism to Modern City: the long march of urbanization
  • Pre-modern cities: spiritual economies and cosmopolitan spaces
  • The Colonial and the Colonised City: the spatialization of hierarchies
  • Capitalism, (de)industrialization and the modern city: urban economies
  • Modern Urban Cultures: from street corner society to urban gangs
  • Modern Urban Politics: revolutions, revolts and protests
  • Globalisation, neo-liberalism and the city: the (re)making of class privilege and exclusion
  • Post-modern cityscapes: skyscrapers, shopping malls and slums
  • Materialities of urban life-worlds: crowds, traffic, leisure, etc.

Culture and Representation

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you focus on the anthropological master trope of 'culture' and on the political dimensions of representing culture or 'cultures'.

You consider how anthropological understandings of 'culture', as well as anthropologists' modes of analysing and representing it in anthropological work, developed over the 20th century, partially in conversation with other disciplines.

You also examine how 'culture' operates as a key idea in the public domain, used by politicians, community and human rights activists, artists, scientists, museum curators and others, in relation to a wide range of issues and debates when distinctions between 'ourselves' and 'others' are at stake.

Finally, you look at some activities within the cultural domain (such as music, dance, theatre, verbal artistry), which have a performative dimension. You consider how anthropologists have approached these activities to address questions about structure and agency, embodiment, experience, art and aesthetics, creativity, power and protest.

Development and the State

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module is concerned with the role of the state in development. It considers this subject matter theoretically (that is by exploring debates in state theory, and on the relationship between the state and development), empirically (by investigating a range of historical and contemporary state forms, and the impacts of these state forms on processes of development) and normatively (by posing questions about what the nature and role of the state should ideally be).

The module examines the main theoretical approaches to the state and historical state forms and their attendant development experiences, in the North and in the post-colonial South. Finally, the module moves to Development since the 1980s, exploring the impacts of state failure, neo-liberalism, democratisation and global governance on state forms and patterns of development.

Ethnographic Field Research

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

Globalisation and Global Governance

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This course complements Introduction to International Political Economy by applying a holistic, political and economic approach to an analysis of the changing character of the contemporary world. It examines the emergence and subsequent decline of the multilateral system and the rise of globalisation, especially the nature of global institutions such as the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the G8 meetings. We also cover the rise of a global offshore financial system and delve deeper into the changing nature of state, firm and society in the age of globalisation. The course examines the changing character of the development project, from decolonialisation and the decline of the formal empires to the emergence of the third world and the contemporary debates concerning the nature of development, economic growth, human welfare and the environment.

Assessed by a 3,000-word essay.

Security and Insecurity in Global Politics

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

Security is central to the issue agenda of international relations. Traditionally security has been understood to comprise the question of the protection of sovereign territory through armed force. Security has thus examined issues such as arms races, war and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Traditionally these issues were addressed through a realist lens that regarded the state and its survival as the central conceptual maxims. However, contemporary scholarship concerning security has broadened this agenda considerably. New sources of insecurity have emerged outside the traditional state form, as can be seen in the rise of issues such as terrorism as well as wider 'complex emergencies' on the international security agenda. Moreover, the conceptual lenses for examining these questions of (in)security have also multiplied, giving rise to new referent objects of security and a wider security agenda encompassing issues such as identity, genocide, and the environment. This module introduces you to the broad issue agenda that shapes the contemporary study of (in)security. Each week it will focus on a different issue that defines the agenda of International Security.

Assessed by a 3,000-word essay.

The Politics of Foreign Policy

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

Who acts in international relations, and why? All too often, in international relations theory the answer seems to be states, or other collective actors, with their interactions determined by the logic of broad systemic forces. However, this leaves out that actors may have choices and how they arrive at such choices. Foreign policy making is a political process with domestic implications, and concepts such as 'the national interest' are by no means as clear and uncontested as foreign policy elites would like to make out. The module draws on classical and critical literature in foreign policy analysis to explore the broad tension between agency and structure (domestic and international) in international politics. It asks how decision-making in international politics may be less than rational, for a variety of reasons; how lobby groups and (perhaps) public opinion may influence foreign policy; and whether foreign policy still matters in an age of globalisation. The module will conclude with a look at the contemporary foreign policies of selected states.

This module will be assessed by a 3,000-word essay.

Visual Anthropology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you become familiar with theories and applications of visual anthropology.

You have the opportunity to study complex legacies of visual representation in anthropology as well as contemporary, activist visual work. You explore cross-overs between anthropological and other relevant visual epistemologies in the social sciences.

You also undertake visual research projects.

Anthropology of Fertility, Reproduction and Health

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

The module uses social and cultural perspectives to examine academic and policy work in the area of reproduction, sexuality and health. It draws on the insights of medical anthropology, especially in relation to the body, gender and power, to critically reflect on reproduction, sexuality and health issues across the global North and South. A particular concern is with the existence and experience of sexual and reproductive inequalities in diverse social and cultural settings. Contrary to popular belief, reproduction is a process which is as much about men as it is about women, and is studied in the context of, for example, male fertility/infertility, masculinity, fatherhood and male sexual health. The module builds upon the theoretical perspectives introduced in the second year on kinship, procreation, social reproduction, sexuality, personhood, reproductive technologies, human rights and applied anthropology.

Anthropology of Migration

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you engage closely with the anthropology of migration.

You cover topics such as:

  • migration, development and modernity
  • transnationalism and diaspora
  • belonging and home
  • multiculturalism and cultural identity
  • refugees and asylum seekers
  • borderlands and the state.

And through these topics, you explore the ways in which anthropologists have critically engaged with debates surrounding migration - from early work on the South African Copperbelt, to contemporary work which interrogates the nature and politics of mobility and immobility.

Anthropology of the Body

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module explores the body from an anthropological perspective and considers how different societies and cultures conceptualise and experience the human body. In recent years, anthropologists and other academics have become increasingly interested in the body, including authors such as Foucault and Bourdieu. Some draw upon Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological approach with its emphasis on the senses, while others attempted to resolve the tensions between experience and agency. The module asks how the body represents a challenge for anthropological research, and explores recent ethnographic contributions to this field. We consider the body as a site on which social and cultural processes are inscribed, where power relations converge and are articulated and as a site where agency is performed. Materials are drawn from both non-Western and Western societies.

This module will be assessed by a 5,000-word essay.

Contemporary Issues in the Global Political Economy

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

The central theme running through this module is how the architecture of existing capitalism has to be adjusted or brought into balance with the needs of expanding markets. We begin by looking at attempts by global governance institutions like the WTO (World Trade Organisation) to create a largely deregulated world market. We then examine how financial systems are expanding and how the stock market has become a key institution of modern capitalism. We discuss then the changing nature of multinational corporations and the state as they reorient themselves towards a global market. We examine empirically the post-Cold War expansion of capitalism into Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East. Finally, we analyse the most recent developments in world affairs from a political economy perspective, looking at the increasing military bias of foreign policy of major capitalist states, as well as at the changing nature of anti-capitalist protest in the wake of 9/11.

Current Themes in the Anthropology of Latin America

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you develop a framework for understanding current social, cultural and political issues in Latin American.

Throughout the module, you engage with anthropological understandings of a number of key ideas including:

  • indigeneity
  • race
  • gender
  • colonialism
  • nation states
  • the environment.

Each week is centred on ethnographic pieces that offer interesting reflections on contemporary issues as well as anthropological theory.

You begin with a basic history of the continent that sets up some of the key issues that underpin the current cultural and social diversity of the region.

This includes both the dichotomy between the European 'conquerors' and indigenous groups, as well as the introduction of African slaves and notable distinctions based around urban and rural living, and nation states and their peripheries.

In doing this, the emphasis is on including both European-based understandings of events and ideas - but also local, alternative understandings of the world, particularly in the form of Amazonian cosmology and ideas of perspectivism.

This cultural and historical knowledge then gives you the foundations from which to look at key contemporary issues including:

  • race and identity
  • rural to urban migration
  • cities, slums and current attempts to 'pacify' and control them
  • music and festivals
  • the Latin American diaspora and the creation of transnational cultures and communities.

Throughout the course, the heterogeneity of Latin America is emphasised, while you explore some basic ideas and theoretical approaches to the continent and its people. This allows you to find a topic or idea that interests you and that can form the core of your own 5,000 word essay.

Environmental Anthropology

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you consider the cross-cultural study of relations between people and their environment.

Like the focus of many environmental movements, much recent work in ecological anthropology has been crisis-driven.

Whilst covering this literature, the focus of this module will be broader, taking a wider perspective, including the context in which the research itself is being done. Current work on the human dimensions of deforestation, or global climate change, for example, can be informed and strengthened by an understanding of the century-old intellectual lineage of the underlying issues.

Therefore, in this module you cover the evolution of environmental anthropology, using ethnographic exemplars that relate to contemporary environmental issues, whilst at the same time probing debates such as:

  • the Nature-Culture trap, and beyond
  • Ecology and Social Organisation
  • the Politics of Natural Resources and the Environment (including environmental anthropological contributions to mining, resource conflict etc.)
  • knowing (and the limits to knowing) and researching the environment.

Gender and (Global) Politics: Subjects Practices and Institutions

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Learn a critical way of analysing (global) politics.

Historically, politics has been thought of as a discrete activity taking place in the public sphere, which was the exclusive domain of men. It was assumed that women were incapable of participating in this sphere and less interested in politics than men. These assumptions that perpetuated the relative exclusion of women from political life. This actual and symbolic marginalisation rests on gendered assumptions about what politics is, where it is located, and who 'does' politics. Our gendered assumptions affect not only the real lives of 'women' and 'men' but conceptions of politics and political subjects as such. 

During the module, you examine how an understanding of gender helps us ask critical questions about the spaces, institutions and practices of politics. It introduces you to prominent theories of gender (biological, psychological, social constructivist etc.). It surveys the theorisation of masculinity, and the historical evolution of feminism as critical theory and practice. From such theoretical bases it then examines:

  • the gendered nature of central political institutions, such ast he state and law
  • political practices such as democratic participation, acts of citizenship, acts of protest and resistance, development
  • the gendering of political subjects such as human rights holders, soldiers, and the expendable subjects of neoliberalism.

Marxism and International Relations

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module enables you to engage systematically with the Marxist tradition of theorising about international relations. 

You gain an introduction to Marx’s thought, using selections from primary texts. Then, you examine how later Marxist writers have applied and developed these ideas across a range of themes in international studies, including:

  • imperialism
  • the Cold War
  • international political economy and globalisation theory.

Mercenaries, Gangs and Terrorists: Private Security in International Politics

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

The module looks at the nature of security in international politics from the non-traditional perspective of private actors who are willing to use force to advance the objectives that (for better or worse) they place a high value on. The first section of the module provides a theoretical context that will enable you to develop your ideas about: what 'security' is and how it relates to other values; why sovereign states are often treated as the starting-point for the study of global security; the ways in which the private use of force can be conceptualised as both a problem and a solution to security dilemmas; and the ways in which actors in the global South face security challenges that are often unique from the challenges of those in the North.

In the second section of the module, you will have the opportunity to study particular actors, issues and cases, including private military companies, gangs, political insurgency movements and transnational terrorist groups. you will be challenged to think through the assumption that the private use of force automatically constitutes a threat that needs to be dealt with by sovereign actors, particularly at the international level. By the end of the module, you will demonstrate your theoretical and empirical understanding of the nature and significance of private security in international politics through a case-based research essay.

The assessment for this module is a piece of coursework (weighted 10%) and a long term paper of 6000 words (weighted 90%). The teaching mode is a one-hour lecture and a two-hour seminar each week.

Political Economy of the Environment

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module you: 

  • develop an in-depth knowledge of the key debates in climate change and environmental degradation
  • carry out advanced and independent research on a political economy of the environment topic
  • critically review relevant literature on a specific topic.

Topics include:

  • capitalism and the environment
  • sustainable consumption
  • cultural political economy
  • environmental economics
  • ecological economics
  • private environmental governance
  • climate change denial and case studies on China and India.

Religions in Global Politics

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

During this module you will explore the implications of the 'return' of religions, both for world politics and for thinking about international relations.

Many sociologists and philosophers have interpreted this return as 'the end of modernity' or the 'de-secularisation of the world'. You will primarily focus on the renewed centrality of religious identities as strategic frames of reference for politics in the post-Cold War world.

Against the background of the growing multicultural nature of contemporary international society resulting from what Hedley Bull has aptly termed the 'revolt against the West', the module will encourage you to:

  • consider the implicit and predominant reading of religion in international relations as the ultimate threat to international order and stability (especially in the forms of the identity politics of the 'new wars' and the terrorist attacks of religious fundamentalists)
  • engage critically with Huntington's thesis of the 'clash of civilisations'
  • discuss the implications of this 'return' for the future of foreign policy and the normative structure and world order of contemporary international society.

Sex and Death in Global Politics

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Sex and Death in Global Politics explores the multiple connections between gender and violence in contemporary international politics. Whilst war and other forms of collective violence seem to be everywhere in world affairs, it has often been commented that the many manifestations of gender are less visible, even invisible, in the realms of high politics. Today, some issues of gender (sexual violence in war, the inclusion of homosexuals in the military, 'cultural' forms of misogyny) enter public and policy debate. But many others (such as media representations of gender violence, the continuum between 'peace' and 'war' violence or the connection between armies and prostitution) are neglected by both practitioners and scholars of international relations.

This module will examine a broad range of these issues in theoretical and historical perspective. Topics will include: gender in war and society; imperial gender violence; military masculinity; women at war; wartime sexual violence; sex industries and human trafficking; homosexuality and military culture (including queer theory perspectives and recent debates about 'homonationalism'); feminism, anti-feminism and gender studies in the academy; and gender violence in popular culture.

This module is assessed by a single piece of coursework (10% of the final grade) and an essay of 6,000 words (90% of the final grade). We meet each week for a three-hour seminar combining mini-lectures, group work, analytical exercises and open discussion.

The Anthropology of Africa

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you are introduced to contemporary anthropological approaches in culture and society in Africa.

The guiding thread of the module is an exploration of the relationship between macro and micro levels of analysis in understanding of African society, through a selection of thematic lenses such as:

  • economy
  • politics
  • religion
  • health
  • gender
  • conflict
  • power.

The assessment for this module is a 5,000-word essay.

The Political Economy of Latin American Development

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module provides a long-term historical account and analysis of Latin America's formation and integration into the modern world system.  You will investigate patterns of growth and distribution of wealth over different periods of time and between countries.  In particular, the module investigates how these patterns have influenced and have been shaped by three interrelated factors - domestic social structures, state formation and integration to the evolving world system. 

Key issues covered include: the Iberian political economic lethargy; attempts at constructing cohesive state structures and state-led economic development; the influence of rural and urban social movements on the politico-economic structures of different countries; responses to globalisation, including the attempt at creating blocs across the region; and a discussion of the extent to which the current 'pink tide' (or red wave) constitutes a realistic alternative political-economic trajectory for the mass of the continent's population. 

The Politics of International Trade

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module aims to equip you with an understanding of the modern international trading system and the theoretical traditions and political practices that have helped to shape it. The first section examines the core theories around trade and trade liberalisation, particularly those of liberalism, economic nationalism and neo-Marxism, in order to explore different understandings of the relationship between free trade, protectionism, and development.

The second section of the module examines the evolution of a liberal trade regime in the world economy from its collapse in the interwar period to its resurrection and extension in the form of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1947 and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1995. Core elements of, and controversies within, the global trade system will be scrutinised and situated within this historical context. These will include the recurring threat and changing forms of protectionism, the increasing fragmentation of the trade system engendered by regional trade agreements, the role of emerging powers, and the differential impact of the trade system on developed and developing countries. This survey will establish the empirical and theoretical resources to move in the third section towards an assessment of the deadlocked WTO Doha Round and the ongoing negotiations of a Transatlantic Free-Trade Agreement (TAFTA).

The aim of this section is to understand the main actors and areas of contention and to assess the potential for a more equitable and ethical trading system.

The module is taught through a weekly three-hour seminar that normally consists of a combination of `mini-lectures' and seminar discussions on the week's topics. The assessment for this module is a research exercise (weighted 10%) and a long term paper of 6000 words (weighted 90%).

The Reign of Rights in Global Politics

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Proponents and opponents alike would today concur that human rights are becoming the world's secular religion (Eli Wiesel). This course systematically interrogates the rise of human rights to such prominence. Early on, the module examines the history and evolution of rights within the history of western liberalism and introduces the prominent ways of defining and understanding human rights. It then explores new theorisations of rights as practices of governing and forms of subjectification in global politics. Moreover, the course discusses well-known critiques of the universality of human rights and their Western-centric conception of the human.

Following these initial sessions, the module analyses the challenges that rights present to state sovereignty and examines the violent global politics associated with human rights, such as the emergence of human rights wars (Beck) and the more recent, often racist, trade-off between rights and security within the ensemble of practices we call the 'war on terror'.

Finally, the course reflects on the link between human rights and power: how might we make sense of the apparent tension between human rights as essential to both the sustenance of hegemony and to the politics of resistance? Moreover, it investigates the use of rights in our practices of resistance, analysing how rights delegitimise other paths of action whilst inciting rights-holders as appropriate political subjectivities (Foucault). It discusses the expansion of human rights into emergent areas such as women's rights, indigenous rights, economic rights etc (you will be able to select specific cases for further research and presentation to suit your particular interests) and explores the ways in which human rights talk becomes the hegemonic register in which to articulate and legitimate dissent and social/political action. The module concludes by discussing problems of human rights advocacy by NGOs and poses the philosophical and practical question of who can speak on behalf of sub-altern others (Alcoff).

The assessment for this module is a research plan due in week 7 (weighted 10%) and a long term paper of 6,000 words (weighted 90%). The teaching method is a three-hour seminar, though this includes a 50-minute talk by the convenor each week.

What is War

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

You will gain an advanced understanding of the place of war in the political world. What is war and how, if at all, is it different from other forms of violence? What is the relationship between war and politics? We will ask what war is and then investigate its relation to the fields of ethics, gender, sexuality, and culture. You will then use this knowledge to investigate specific forms of warfare, including genocide as a war of annihilation, insurgency/guerrilla warfare, and counterinsurgency. We conclude by addressing anti-war activism and related forms of civil disobedience as alternatives to war. You are provided with an advanced knowledge and analytical skills that will help you to think, talk, and write in an informed and critical manner about war.

Anthropology Thesis

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn & Spring Teaching, Year 3

During your final year you are required to undertake an individual project based on original research, which culimates in a ten thousand word dissertation. Whilst some of you may wish to conduct fieldwork for your dissertation (which we anticipate would be done during the spring / summer of Y2), others may choose to work on secondary sources. In order to prepare for this work, you will have been given methodological training in the module 'Ethnographic Methods' (TB1, Y2). By the end of TB1, Y2, you will be allocated a supervisor, who will help them prepare for their research, and supervise their project as they write it up over a course of regular meetings during Y3.

Anthropology of Islam and Muslim Societies

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The module introduces you to anthropological debates concerning Islam and Muslim societies. Focusing on the complex and diverse experiences of being Muslim in different ethnographic contexts, it explores intersections between religious practice - Islamic knowledge, authority, prayer, ritual and piety and political, economic, social and cultural processes. On the basis of ethnographic studies, the module questions whether 'Islam' can be considered as a unified experiential and analytical category, and how anthropologists have participated in the production of Islam as a specific field of study. The module considers actual instances or expressions of religiosity and how these are the ground of everyday contestations and, at times, conflict between different sects and groups.

Capitalism and Geopolitics

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This multi-disciplinary module is designed to examine the relations between capitalism and geopolitics and how their interaction has shaped different political communities and world orders from the 17th century up to the 21st century. It explores the major theoretical traditions and debates, old and new, on the nexus between capitalism and geopolitics and combines these theoretical perspectives with in-depth interrogations of the historical material the key events, processes, actors that shaped this turbulent international history of war and peace; crises and revolutions; conquest and exploitation.

The terms 'capitalism' and 'geopolitics' have made a remarkable comeback in the public discourse and in academia. Until very recently both terms were regarded as almost obsolete, if not 'beyond history', given the relative absence of major inter-state wars since WWII and the apparent achievements of social market economies in the advanced capitalist countries. The sudden resurrection of both vocabularies in 21st century debates across a wide range of disciplines (IR/IPE, sociology, political geography etc) indicates a return to a harsher social and international climate. This calls for a critical re-examination of their origins and co-development as real historical phenomena and associated discourses, and a closer inspection of these two fundamental dimensions of the world we inhabit.

However, in conventional literature, 'geopolitics' and 'capitalism' tend to be treated as two separate phenomena. 'Geopolitics' is conceived as the sphere of strategic conflicts between states over space and resources, conceptualised primarily at the level of inter-political relations. 'Capitalism' is seen as the sphere of conflicts between social actors over chances of reproduction, sometimes simply seen in the economic literature as the market-mediated allocation of resources, and conceptualised primarily at the level of society. In this module we challenge this persisting dualism and opposition by probing their inter-relation across various historical periods and diverse theoretical registers. This specific research course is at the center of the emerging sub-fields of International Historical Sociology and the Political Economy of Geopolitics.

The first part of the module starts with an overview of the three classical traditions that have most centrally informed this discourse:

  • The writings of Max Weber and Otto Hintze that assert the primacy of military competition for geopolitical orders and that have - since the mid-1980s inspired a Neo-Weberian turn in Historical Sociology and IR
  • The works of Fernand Braudel and Immanuel Wallerstein, updated and extended by neo-Gramscian IR Theory, that stress the rise of commercial exchange and the construction of successive world hegemonies
  • The ideas of Karl Marx that, although short on specific arguments on geopolitics, have more recently led to intense debates within the Neo-Marxist literature on how to conceptualise capitalist social relations and class conflict in their effects on inter-state conflict and co-operation across the centuries.

Against this theoretical setting, the second part of the module examines sequentially a number of different historical geopolitical orders (dynastic-absolutist, 19th century British Hegemony, imperialist, fascist, liberal and contemporary) and the transitions between them on the basis of divergent and contested interpretations deriving from the three classical traditions. The aim is to provide a set of theoretically-informed and empirically-controlled analyses of the ways in which capitalism and geopolitics have shaped each other and constituted varieties of territorial orders in historical perspective.

The assessment for this module is a long term paper of 7000 words. The teaching method is a three-hour seminar each week.

Development and Geopolitics in East Asia

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The aim of this module is to understand the rise of East Asia through examining the interconnections between regional development and geopolitical contestation in the Cold War and contemporary eras. The module will adopt a historical approach, beginning with an examination of the legacies of European and Japanese imperialism in East Asia and an analysis of the establishment of post-war US hegemony in the region and its implications for subsequent economic development. The module examines the divergent experiences of Northeast and Southeast Asia and the rise of China. We then examine the implications of the decline of Cold War geopolitical rivalry and the rise of globalisation and its role in explaining subsequent trends such as the East Asian financial crisis, East Asian regionalism and the changing nature of US-China relations. Within this historical context varying analytical frameworks and debates concerning late development will be examined, such as neoclassical versus structural institutionalism, Marxist vs. dependency theories, international/regional vs. domestic factors etc. Such theories are examined critically both in terms of their analytical purchase and their origins and role in geopolitical rivalry itself.

The assessment for this module is a long term paper of 7000 words. The teaching method is a three-hour seminar each week.

Development, Business and Corporate Social Responsibility

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module explores the role of business in development and the rise of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) movement.

In recent years, the private sector – transnational corporations (TNCs) in particular – have become increasingly important players in the development process. The business and development movement has emerged as part of the dramatic rise of CSR over the past decade – providing a new vision for the role of business in society as 'corporate citizen'. Development institutions (such as DFID and the UN, as well as global NGOs) have become increasingly interested in mobilising businesses, not only as donors, but as partners in development. At the same time, ethical trading initiatives, the fairtrade movement and pro-poor enterprise models offer different opportunities for harnessing the power of the market in the service of development.

We will explore a number of key questions concerning the role of business in development and the rise of the CSR movement, from the perspective of both its proponents and opponents.

Ethics in Global Politics

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The module will cover conceptual and normative questions about ethics in global politics. It introduces you to the academic study of global ethics by exploring its origins within contemporary political philosophy in the Anglo-American tradition, and within the IR sub-field of ‘normative International Relations’. In particular, the module explores the inter-relationship between normative, conceptual and practical questions in international relations.

You will explore the substantive areas of international distributive justice and international human rights, which are thought by many to constitute the core of the subject of global ethics. This is followed by the more cutting-edge areas of agency, responsibility, judgement and authority. Several sessions are devoted to bridging the theoretical concerns of global ethics with particular areas of contemporary practical and policy relevance, including:

  • the responsibility to protect human rights
  • international criminal justice
  • acting on obligations to distant strangers.

By taking this module, you will explore some of the following questions, among others:

  • Are the obligations that we have to those inside our national communities different from obligations to outsiders?
  • Do we all have ‘human rights duties’, or do these fall only on states?
  • Would action to curb global climate change place an unfair burden on developing countries?
  • Should political leaders be indicted by international courts for humanitarian atrocities, even if doing so could prolong civil conflict?
  • What is the best way to understand the relationship between ‘security’ and other values (for example, in the context of contemporary debates about humanitarian intervention, torture, or privacy)?

The assessment is a 7000-word term paper.

Global Resistance: Subjects and Practices

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you explore the 'global movement' of opposition to neoliberalism, capitalism and imperialism.

You learn about the global summit protests of the early 21st Century, the Zapatista movement in Mexico, international trade unionism and the most recent anti-austerity protests in Europe.

You look at:

  • the history of global resistance
  • the main concepts and theories used to make sense of resistance – including Marxist, post-structuralist, decolonial, feminist and anarchist approaches
  • political groups who have been hailed as responsible for revolutionary movements, for example the anti-globalisation movement
  • the politics of resistance
  • campaigns against multinational corporations. 

Human Rights

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module focuses less on human rights rules and laws, and more on the assumptions of human rights, and the historical context and issues around their operation and implementation.

It draws from a new and growing literature on the sociology and anthropology of human rights that seeks to move beyond the assumptions of legal positivism (rights as being 'read off' from lists of human rights covenants) in order to develop the 'legal realist' argument. This argument focuses upon the living law of the operation of courts, the police, and the everyday understandings that citizens give to notions such as truth, justice, and morality.

Race, Ethnicity and Identity

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module focuses on theories of race, ethnicity and identity. You will apply diverse approaches to race, ethnicitiy and identity to historical and contemporary ethnographic contexts.

As well as examining the ways in which racial and ethnic identities have been constructed across time and space, we interrogate these constructions with specific reference to:

  • the development of anthropology
  • slavery and colonialism
  • scientific racism
  • postcolonial political regimes
  • postcolonial feminism
  • conflict and genocide
  • identity-based mass violence
  • diaspora, transnationalism and the Black Atlantic
  • contemporary understandings of race and racism in its myriad forms
  • multicultural lives and hybridity.

You are assessed by a 7,000-word dissertation.

Russia and the Former Soviet Union in Global Politics

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module explores the international politics of post-Soviet Russia and the former Soviet space. After a period of relative decline in the 1990s, Russia has more recently been described as 'rising Great Power' and developments in the CIS have returned to the news - from 'gas wars' to the conflict between Russia and Georgia, from the 'democratic revolutions' in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan to the apparent erosion of democracy in Russia and talk of a "new Cold War" between Russia and the West.

These are developments with implications for Western Europe and beyond, touching on traditional and new security issues alike, and shedding light on the implications of Western democracy promotion and the role of norms and identity in contemporary global politics.

The module will investigate the background for and current development of international relations in the region - in particular Russia's status as great power, the 'colour revolutions' in Ukraine and Georgia and the 2008 war between Georgia and Russia, NATO and the US in the former Soviet space, the question of Europe's 'energy security' and its relations with Russia, and what has been called the 'new Great Game' between Russia, China and the US in Central Asia. In doing this, it will introduce relevant theoretical concepts related to foreign policy analysis and constructivist explanations of the role of norms and identity in the international politics of Russia and the FSU.

The Anthropology of Europe

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Anthropology is generally thought to be the study of non-European societies, but actually has a long and significant history of research on societies within Europe. This module examines this European tradition, focusing particularly on how anthropologists have tried to understand the sociocultural transformations of Europe since World War II. The guiding theme is an exploration of the relationship between macro and micro levels of analysis in our understanding of European society: what are the relationships between Europe and its constituent regions, nation states, communities? How do broader trends within European society and politics impact upon the everyday life of Europeans today?

The Global Politics of Health

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The Politics of Terror

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module offers an advanced-level introduction to terrorism and political violence in modern societies. Through attention to case studies, academic literatures and a variety of media and other primary sources the module focuses on:

  • The conceptual and analytical challenges of defining and understanding terrorism and political violence
  • Terror as a political instrument
  • The relationship between state and non-state terror
  • The historical development of terrorism and counter-terrorism
  • The organisational, ideological and strategic dynamics of terrorist organisations
  • The policy dilemmas faced and principle methodologies employed by democratic and other states in countering terrorism
  • The role of media, mass communication and 'public discourse' in political violence

The curriculum is roughly divided into two sections. The first, 'Studying Terrorism: Historical and Conceptual Issues', offers a thematic exploration of terrorism considering its historical development in modern societies; relation to other forms of organised violence; some of the animating ideas historically associated with the use of terror for political purposes; the phenomenon of 'suicide terrorism' and the ideas, organisations and practices used by states in their efforts to counter terrorism. The second section, 'Cases and Contexts', situates terrorism and political violence within the changing context of state power, international and global politics, exploring the historical and contemporary relations between them. The course concludes by looking at how terror campaigns end.

The assessment for this module is a long term paper of 7000 words. The teaching method is a three-hour seminar each week.

The United States in the World

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

As the 21st century begins, the United States is still the world's only superpower: no other nation possesses comparable military and economic power or has interests that reach the entire globe. To understand the place and power of the US in the contemporary world, it is vital to understand how its geopolitical strategies function, militarily and economically. Yet because US power is also secured through cultural and discursive strategies, it is equally important to analyse how US cultural/discursive products and processes participate in the construction of the US in all the varied ways it imagines itself. The aim of this module is to analyse how US cultural/discursive strategies participate in imagining the US in the world, either by being embedded within traditional geopolitical strategies or by sitting alongside them. Rather than taking an historical approach, the module is organised around specific theoretical and cultural/discursive themes and practices.

These include:

  • architectural theory and the building of embassies abroad
  • design theory and designing the nation through everyday objects
  • film theory and screening the nation through popular film
  • remediation theory and virtually remediating the nation
  • entertainmentality theory and exhibiting the nation in museums
  • performance/performativity theory and re-enacting the nation though historical re-enactments as well as song
  • advertising theory and advertising the nation to US citizens.

Along the way, significant foreign and domestic policy debates from Cold War politics to the 'War on Terror' to the US domestic 'War on Illegal Immigration' will be considered through political, cultural and discursive theories (eg Said's notion of orientalism, Foucault's notion of governmentality, Butler's notion of performativity and Ranciere's notion of the birth of the nation). 

Understanding Contemporary India

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module introduces you to some key contemporary debates in the study of South Asian societies, with a focus on India.

Starting with an interrogation of anthropological representations of South Asia, the module will explore debates about caste and hierarchy, leading to a discussion of everyday experiences of caste and its changing meaning and importance in contemporary India. It will question why bonded labour, patronage, inequality and poverty are so persistent in one of the world’s fastest growing regions. It will explore how neoliberal policies and ideologies are reshaping South Asian subjectivity and society.

The module will then turn to the politics of identity as shaped by class, caste and religious affiliations. It will explore the rise of the middle classes and its links with consumption, urban restructuring and the new enterprise culture, as well as its implications for growing inequalities of class and wealth. It will look into religious and communal identity formation and conflict, and will explore the nature of popular religion in South Asia. Finally, the module will look at the role of the state and politics in the making of contemporary South Asia. The state will be considered as a key actor in the shaping of neoliberal policies and ideologies, as a terrain of patronage and politics, and as the deliverer of new social welfare policies.

This module will be assessed by a 7,000-word dissertation.

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