Applicants should note that optional modules are arranged on an annual basis. It is possible that a module may be modified in its content, suspended for a session, or discontinued. New modules may become available in any given year. The final decision on which module options a successful candidate will follow will be made by the Institute in consultation with the candidate before the start of the session. Below is a brief introduction to a selection of our modules:
Advanced Research Methods in Politics and International Relations
This module builds on the preceding one and allows more detailed exploration of certain methods. These include methods such as statistical analysis, within-case and comparative analysis, critical discourse analysis, and content analysis.
Conflict & Conflict Resolution
This module analyses internationally significant conflicts with special attention to intractable conflicts and their causes since the end of the Cold War. It examines alternative methods of conflict management and resolution, with some focus on international negotiation, and obstacles or challenges to making them effective; the important functions of pre-negotiation, second-track diplomacy and the post-agreement negotiation phase concerned with implementation and compliance. Other topics include the role of ethics and unconventional negotiations (e.g. bargaining with terrorists).
Conflict in the Middle East
This module explores the origins and nature of the conflict in the Middle East region, addressing issues such as the Arab-Israeli dispute, the role of superpowers in the region, the history of warfare in the Middle East and diplomatic efforts at conflict resolution.
This module is concerned with the nature and development of modern diplomacy since 1945. The course examines issues such as the extent to which a 'new' diplomacy has developed; changing diplomatic methods post cold war and the constraints and impact of diplomacy in a period of international instability. Individual parts of the course cover areas such as bilateral and multilateral negotiation; foreign policy and diplomatic strategies; negotiation in multilateral institutions e.g. UN Security Council WTO, IMF and environmental regulation; disaster and international emergency diplomacy and the effects of international terrorism on diplomacy. The concluding sessions consider a range of international disputes and the role of diplomacy in normalisation of relations. The course draws on a wide range of diplomatic practice, case examples, electronic material and practical exercises.
International Human Rights Law
The module examines the principal treaties, conventions and resolutions concluded under the auspices of the UN; enforcement and implementation measures of the various treaties controlled by the treaty-monitoring bodies; the interface between international law and international human rights law; the impact of international human rights law obligations on internal domestic law and equips students with the facilities to examine human rights violations in their own countries.
International Law and World Order
This module provides students with an introduction to theoretical and practical approaches to the separate disciplines of International Law and International Relations and to set students on the path towards the development of inter-disciplinary analysis of the two disciplines. It enables students to identify the basic theoretical underpinnings of both International Law and International Relations, identify and analyse practical issues of interest to each discipline and undertake rudimentary forms of interdisciplinary analysis of specific problems.
International Political Economy
The module is an introduction to International Political Economy (IPE), a branch of International Relations, which focuses on the interaction between states and markets, and between power and wealth in the international system. It covers the major theoretical approaches to IPE and applies them to study the politics of international trade, finance, production, development, and international sanctions as well as the effects of globalisation on social policy and environmental protection.
This module introduces students to the principal concepts and theories associated with the academic discipline of International Relations, in particular Realism and Liberalism and their latter-day variants.It also equips students with an understanding of the major issues and debates in contemporary world politics in the areas of peace and security, human rights, the environment, political economy and development.It is concerned with international relations since the establishment of the modern state system but concentrates largely on the period since the Cold War.
International Security Studies
This module introduces students to concepts and issues of security since 1945.It surveys different approaches to questions about the nature and objectives of security and its promotion.It critically examines concepts of 'international', 'global' and 'human' security:the nature of various threats to security; and ways in which states and other actors have sought and seek to tackle them.It provides a general understanding of the thinking and concerns about security during the Cold War, the traditional inter-state security agenda and current debates over the meaning and new boundaries of security studies.
Introduction to Research Methods in Politics and International Relations
This module introduces the basics of social science research methodology, as relevant to Politics and International Relations. It has three components, looking at principles of research design, qualitative research methods, and quantitative research methods.
The module is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of modern strategy. The course will facilitate an understanding of whatstrategy is and how it works, and why often it does not. Furthermore, this course is shaped to explain the multidimensional aspects of strategy and also the nature of the relations between strategy and policy, and among strategy, operations, tactics and technology. Historical topics are used to illustrate strategic behaviour.
Philosophical Issues in the Social Sciences
This module addresses the fundamental ontological, epistemological, and ethical issues raised by research in social science. It covers such issues as the nature of truth, the relationship between natural science and social science, the Kuhnian and post-Kuhnian interpretations of science, 'value-freedom', relativism, ideal and nonideal theory, and expertise and junk science.
Political Integration in Europe
The module explores the history and development of the EU. It examines the origins and institutional structure of the Union, along with competing recent issues and policy choices that will shape the future of the Union and its member states.It aims to encourage mastery of a body of knowledge pertaining to integration theory and government and politics of the EU.
Skills and Resources in Military History and Strategic Studies
The module deals with the range and nature of the source materials potentially available for the study of Military History and Strategic Studies and encourages students to think critically about their use. Moreover, it aims to provide students with the necessary methodological, bibliographical and archival skills to undertake a substantial piece of independent historical research. It covers issues connected to the choice and refinement of a research project, and the different methodologies which may be deployed together with an assessment of their respective value. Practical skills required for the location of bibliographical and historical material, including the use of electronic means of bibliographic searching and information retrieval and storage, are included, together with training in the use of local and national archives and libraries.
This module explores the most important works of theory in Strategic Studies. The works covered range from the classical theories of Sun Tzu and Clausewitz, through to those ofthe information age. The intended learning outcome is to use these works of theory to uncover and understand key concepts in Strategic Studies. Furthermore, an analysis will be made of the various forms that war can take and the attendant challenges of using military force in the pursuit of objectives.
Terrorism in a Globalising World
This module aims to convey a sense of how terrorism relates to world politics, the individual, and everything in between. It proceeds by examining competing definitions of terrorism and the theoretical and practical implications; past, present and future trends in the history of terrorism; terrorists' motivation and the incentives to choose terrorism as a behaviour; terrorist methods; counter-terrorism options; regional patterns; and historical case studies.
Themes and Issues in Military History and Strategic Studies
This module introduces students to important case studies (and the specialists within the university on them) in the context of which strategic concepts are introduced and discussed analytically. The methodological, bibliographical and archival skills acquired in the Skills & Resources Core Module are applied. After the discussion of the theory of history and the nature of Military History and Strategic Studies, we address the questions of historiographical development and specialised methodologies which will be explored in the following seminars. Over the course as a whole, students will analyse primary sources, secondary literature, and methodological and theoretical material. Topics include issues of definition, the Classical Heritage, a Medieval dimension, the quest for eternal principles, evolving factors such as the financing of wars, debates about changes in early modern warfare and warfare around the time of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, Naval/Maritime Warfare, Airpower, major wars and small wars.
The Origins and Causes of War
Scholars in many disciplines have been preoccupied with society's worst disease, war. Biologists have tried to ascertain whether humans are the only species to fight wars; paleoanthropologists have tried tofind historical evidence for the first occurrence of war; psychologists enquire into the minds of those who wage it; anthropologists study culturally diverse attitudes to war; while historians generate and political scientists analyse the greatest data bank on wars and conflicts. Is aggression a biologically programmed part of human nature? Is organised violence an intrinsic part of any human society? Is it a function of how societies are organised, and of their acquired values and ideals? This course draws on literature from all of these disciplines and examines examples drawn from all of human history.
The Practice of Strategy in History
This module has as initial assumption that strategy is a very pragmatic undertaking.It will show what which features of strategy endure through the ages and which do not. The course has as its focus real practice by real people, and its consequences. It examines through a series of case studies both the positive and the negative evidence of how strategy is done in the real world.
The UN Humanitarian Intervention and Contemporary Warfare
This module introduces students to the principles and practice of humanitarian and military intervention since the end of the Cold War.It explores the norms and rules governing the regulation of the use of force in the international system; several of the key institutional actors and the problems that they face or create in the course of intervening.It also surveys the principles underlying humanitarian action and the range of challenges that are posed by state failure, the Global War on Terror and the securitisation of assistance strategies.It examines a range of case studies; including the UN intervention in the Democratic Republic of Congo; the NATO and UN interventions in Afghanistan and the US/UK invasion of Iraq in 2003.
War, memory and the politics of national identity
National identities have been forged in war, and wars have been used by opinion-formers to reaffirm and remodel collective identities. Going back to the early nationalism of England, Scotland and France (symbolised, for example, by the battles of Agincourt, Bannockburn, and Bouvines), this has become a large-scale phenomenon from the French Revolution onwards. With nationalism, the pattern spread of people constructing their national identities from myths of past endurance, sacrifices, victories and defeat - in wars. Wars, and individual battles, were imbued with mythical dimensions in politically-motivated narratives, which fuelled the drive to establish 'nation-states', usually against equally fierce opposition. Students will learn about the classical literature on nationalism, and will explore case studies.