PO3WIR-Worlding International Relations

Module Provider: School of Politics, Economics and International Relations
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: PO2MIR Modern International Relations
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Andreas Behnke

Email: a.behnke@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module is directed to students interested in the history and current development of International Relations. It addresses the challenges formulated in diverse parts of the world to the Western dominance of the field of International Relations. Focusing on how central concept of IR are understood in different parts of the world, the module investigates how scholars from around the world think about central concepts such as sovereignty, the state, war, peace, religion and ‘the international’. Highlighting the conceptual differences in non-Western approaches, the module casts light on their implication for IR and the study of world politics.


  • Introduce students to developments in the philosophy, theory and practice of international politics beyond the West.

  • Enable students to develop their own critical and reflective stance on these issues

  • Encourage students to critically compare Western concepts and theories of IR with their alternatives in the non-Western world

  • Strengthen students’ critical and analytical skills through an engagement with a diverse and novel literature

  • Train the ability to give oral presentations in class, participate in seminar discussions, and to write essays on relevant topics.

Assessable learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of various non-Western theories and concepts related to international politics

  • Understand the relevant differences between these theories and concepts and their Western counterparts.

  • Understand the relevance of these theories and concepts in term of international political practices in the non-Western world

  • Critically evaluate these non-Western theories and apply them in explaining recent events and development s in international politics.

  • Organise material and analyse relevant data, synthesise data into coherent arguments in coursework essays.

Additional outcomes:

The module also aims to develop critical and reflective thinking, effective and independent use of a variety of sources, coherent and rigorous written and oral argumentation, and the ability to work with and learn from others.

Outline content:

The module will provide an introduction to the theories and concepts of international politics as they emerge in the non-Western world. For too long, the academic production of knowledge about international politics has been dominated by Western scholars, approaches and practices.

By charting global variation in the concepts used by scholars to think about international relations, the module focuses on important differences in non-Western approaches and the potential impli cations of such differences for the discipline of IR and the study of world politics in general.

Global context:

Module investigates the literature and thinking on international politics and the academic discipline of IR from a global perspective.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

A set of introductory remarks by lecturer; student presentations and directed discussions in weekly seminars; independent study; individual consultations with lecturers as needed. Together with essay writing these activities are designed to develop students' knowledge base as well as analytical skills.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 20
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 125
    Preparation for presentations 10
    Essay preparation 40
    Reflection 5
Total hours by term 0 200 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

There is no examination for this module.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

A summative essay of 3,000 words will be set in each of the spring and summer terms.  The topic for the essays will be provided by the course tutor.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

40% overall module mark

Reassessment arrangements:

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Thinking International Relations Differently: 1st Edition (Paperback) - Routledge (9780415781312) approx. £30

Last updated: 25 January 2021


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