PIM93-Worlding International Relations

Module Provider: Graduate Institute for Politics and International Studies
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

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 developments 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 implications 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
Lectures 20
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 125
    Preparation for presentations 10
    Essay preparation 40
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:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Two summative essays of 3,000 words each including footnotes and references but excluding the bibliography, each of which will contribute towards 50% of the overall mark.

Formative assessment methods:

Students will prepare one seminar discussion paper. Feedback on presentations will be given to students.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:


Reassessment arrangements:

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1. Required text books Approx. £ 32

Last updated: 15 May 2019


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