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IR4577   Order and Crisis in World Politics

Academic year(s): 2024-2025

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: 2

Planned timetable: 11.00 am Mon

This module explores important moments in the development of international political thought through the lens of the interrelation between the concepts of order and crisis in modernity. Contemporary debates about the crisis of 'Liberal World Order' often obscure the fact that modern politics have congenitally been constructed around a dialectical, constitutive relationship between order and crisis that explains why modernity has been vastly more dynamic than any previous type of social order. In this module, we will examine a series of modern crises such as those of: power politics, war and peace, revolution and reaction, capitalism and imperialism, liberalism, colonialism, neoliberalism, secularism, and populism. These topics will be approached through the international political thought of thinkers as varied as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, Burke, Marx, Lenin, Schmitt, Gandhi, Fanon, Habermas, Foucault, and Agamben, Laclau, and Mueller.

Relationship to other modules

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

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 lecture (x11 weeks), 1 tutorials (x10 weeks)

Scheduled learning hours: 43

Guided independent study hours: 267

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 Vassilios Paipais

Intended learning outcomes

  • The objectives of the module are to promote critical thinking on a wide and intellectually demanding range of ideas and theories, and the ability to articulate such an approach clearly and concisely in both the written and spoken word.
  • By the end of the module, students should be able to: Understand and explain the ideas of classical and contemporary theorists of modern international political thought.
  • Understand and explain the contextual meaning of key concepts such as: power politics; war and peace; revolution and reaction; capitalism and imperialism; liberalism; colonialism; Marxism; biopolitics; populism.
  • Critically assess rival interpretations of classical modern texts, thinkers, and theories.
  • Critically assess rival interpretations of contemporary texts, thinkers, and theories.
  • Develop independent arguments about the strengths and weaknesses of different international theories in relation to real world issues and problems.