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IR3071   Realism in International Relations

Academic year(s): 2019-2020

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF Level 9

Semester: 2

Planned timetable: 2.00 pm Mon

This module traces the genealogy of realism both as a theoretical approach in IR and as an ethico-political response to the challenges of modernity in the 20th century. From the continental roots of realism in German thought to E. H. Carr's peculiar realism and from Hans Morgenthau's tragic realism, the ethical realism of the English School and the Christian realists to the scientific realism of Kenneth Waltz and the American rationalists up to the debates on the failure of realism to predict the end of the Cold war and the recent revival of classical forms of realist thought, this module explores the multiple genealogies of realism in the semantic, social and political contexts which made their emergence possible. The module critically evaluates the role, impact and appeal of realist thought in IR and seeks to highlight its diverse and protean nature as well as its continued relevance in contemporary world politics.

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 plus 1 x 1-hour tutorial. In order to ensure small groups for the tutorial discussions, the instructor will divide the class into multiple tutorial groups, each of which will meet each week during semester.

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 3-hour Written Examination = 40%, Coursework = 60%

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


Module coordinator: Dr V Paipais
Module teaching staff: Dr V Paipais