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IR5401   Concepts in International Political Theory

Academic year(s): 2024-2025

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 11

Semester: 1

Planned timetable: Mondays 10.00am - 12.00 noon

This module begins by examining the concept of 'international theory' as it has developed within International Relations since 1945 and introduces students to the broader idea of international political thought. The main body of the module consists of close readings and analysis of classic texts in the field, including works by figures such as Aristotle, Augustine, Hobbes, , Rousseau, Mill, Nietzsche and Marx along with more contemporary figures such as Rawls, Connolly, and Agamben.

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 2-hour seminars.

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%

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


Module coordinator: Dr N E G Saunders
Module teaching staff: Dr Natasha Saunders

Intended learning outcomes

  • Understand and explain the ideas of classical and contemporary international political theorists.
  • Understand and explain the contextual meaning of key concepts such as: war, peace, authority, legitimacy, civilisation, humanity, justice, order, anarchy, empire, nation, balance of power, power politics, rights, rationality, progress.
  • Understand and explain differences and similarities between classical and contemporary international thought.
  • Critically assess competing interpretations of classical texts, thinkers and theories in the light of the wider history of IPT.