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IR3057   Armaments and International Relations

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 9

Semester: 1

Planned timetable: 3.00 pm Mon

The goal of this module is to introduce students to academic debates and theoretical frameworks that give insights into the impact of armaments (their development, characteristics and proliferation) on international relations. As IR scholars have long recognized, the availability of modern armaments is a key determinant of the international distribution of power. Some have even gone so far as argue that the technological characteristics of armaments fundamentally determines the nature of the international state system. Meanwhile, certain policymakers and NGOs contend that arms dynamics (e.g. arms races and the spread of light weapons) contribute directly to the outbreak of wars. This course will equip students with the analytic tools needed to critically examine both these issues and others. To accomplish this objective, the module will first (weeks 2-5) examine broad theories about how the development of distribution of armaments affects the international state system. Then, we will focus (weeks 6-7) on the particular issue of whether the 'excessive' production and/or availability of armaments can cause wars. Finally, in the three last sessions (weeks 8-10), we will examine how contemporary phenomena -the globalization and Europeanization of arms production - are shaping this particular domain. Ultimately, the understanding that students will gain through this course will enhance their development as political scientists and their ability to work in fields as diverse as: government, NGOs, international organizations, and the corporate sector.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 x 1-hour lecture (x 10 weeks), 1 x 1-hour tutorial (x 10 weeks), 2 consultation hours with Coordinator (x 12 weeks). 2 hours examination feedback in week 1 of following semester.

Scheduled learning hours: 22

Guided independent study hours: 278

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 3-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 50%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 50%

Re-assessment: 3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module teaching staff: Dr M DeVore