International relations

The International System Today: Powers and Regions

Module code: L2009
Level 4
15 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Workshop
Assessment modes: Essay

This module enables you to engage with the idea of the ‘international system’ by critically reflecting on hegemonic powers and key regions in their colonial and postcolonial contexts. The powers and regions we will focus on are:

  • Southeast Asia
  • South Asia
  • China
  • the Middle East
  • the Horn of Africa
  • Brazil
  • the United States
  • Russia
  • Europe.

The module is issue- and event-oriented. It draws on a range of sources in addition to theoretical academic literature. These include:

  • newspaper reporting
  • key policy texts
  • output from think-tanks
  • film
  • literature
  • music.

Module learning outcomes

  • Evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to understanding the international system today, including critical approaches (such as de-colonial theory) and traditional approaches (such as realism and liberalism).
  • Communicate the results of their study/work accurately and reliably, and with structured and coherent arguments.
  • Apply theoretical knowledge about the constitution of the international system to contemporary global issues and events.
  • Analyse the positions and roles of specific powers and regions in the world today.