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First Year Modules on the
BSc in International Politics

IP1002 Theories of Global Politics (2)


This module continues the theoretical debate, begun in IP1001 Theories of Global Politics (1), by adding the international political economy, historical sociology and post-positivist approaches. The two modules, IP1001 and IP1002, raise the theoretical questions that underlie understanding and analysis of all aspects of International Politics.

Educational Aims

The lectures and classes will present a broad menu of information and concepts for understanding the nature of global political systems. The debate between Realism and Pluralism, in module IP1001, is supplemented by adding class-based analyses, both through international political economy writers and through historical sociology. This is compared and contrasted with feminist challenges to what is and is not considered to be international politics. Finally, students are introduced to critiques of positivism.

Learning Outcomes: Subject knowledge and understanding

On successful completion of this module, a student will be expected to be able to

Indicative Content

The module starts by re-visiting the discussion in IP1001 on theorising, as a process of simplifying our understanding of the world. The concept of the state is elaborated, by comparing its use in international law and diplomacy with its use in international political economy and historical sociology. The concept of class is introduced and elaborated by discussion of transnational class relations. This is compared and contrasted with other social categories, notably ethnicity and gender, and their transnational relations.

International political economy is introduced as the study of the impact of institutions upon markets. Mercantilism is outlined as a variant on Realism and Liberal IPE is compared and contrasted with Pluralism. Marxist-based approaches are presented as having a different analytical focus on classes and global capitalism, along with an empirical focus on dependency and development. Debates about the nature of globalisation are located within the different theoretical approaches to global politics in general and IPE in particular.

Similarly, different feminist approaches are introduced as challenging the premises of Realism, through egalitarian questions about the subordinate roles of women in society, and through Marxist and socialist questions about class and gender. Analysis of the social construction of gender is used to introduce the post-modern critique of positivism.

Module Relationships

Module IP1001 is a pre-requisite for this module.

Indicative Reading list

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Centre for International Politics, School of Social Science, City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB.
Page maintained by Peter Willetts

Page produced on 8 August 2005
Updated on 8 August 2005