The course aims to explore approaches to the study of contemporary international relations. It examines the international system since the end of the Second World War, and addresses major forces, trends, developments and events that have shaped and changed that system.
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
The module consists of a seminar each week, lasting two hours. Attendance at all seminars is compulsory. At each seminar, students will be expected to participate in small group discussions and to give an informal presentation as a group. To this end, each student will select a particular question in advance of the class. Each student will be expected to undertake some of the reading expected for that question. In the seminar, students will have time to discuss their readings in small groups, and each group will then report its findings to the class as a whole. There will then be the opportunity for discussion.
Lecture and discussion on Theory and International Relations
The aim of this seminar is to provide an introduction to some of the methods involved in the study of international history and international relations. Students will work in groups on key documents pertaining to the start of the Cold War as a way of addressing some of the problems and issues involved.
The aim of this seminar is to examine approaches to the study of the global Cold War. Two main debates in Cold War studies are the nature of the conflict between the superpowers, and the balance of the hostilities between focus in Europe, and in the wider world. To this end, we will examine debates about the Cold War in the world, looking in particular at the wars in Indochina (Vietnam) 1954-1975, as a defining conflict of the Cold War.
Students will work in groups on these questions:
We will draw upon the evidence presented to discuss the wider questions:
The aim of this seminar is to examine the explanations of the collapse of the Soviet bloc in Europe, the Soviet Union and so the end of the Cold War. At the same time, it aims to set the collapse of the Cold War in perspective, both of the social, economic and political forces since the late 1960s that combined to permit the end of the Cold War, and of the competing visions of the world that would come next.
The aim of this seminar is to examine the complex issues surrounding the use of military force between nation states in the contemporary international system. Since the end of the Cold War, the idea that military intervention should be used in cases of massive human rights abuses by states on their peoples. In this seminar, we will look at the foundations of these arguments, and at the intervention by the West in the wars in Bosnia 1992-5 and Kosovo, 1999.