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First Year Modules on the
BSc in International Politics

IP1004 Global Political Issues in the Twenty-First Century


This module introduces students to contemporary global politics. The three main policy domains of development, global environmental change and human rights are covered. A fourth major policy domain, conflict resolution and peace-keeping, is covered in module IP1005 on the United Nations.

Educational Aims

The lectures and classes will present basic information on the patterns of change in the major policy domains that dominate contemporary global policy-making. To conform to the aims of the International Politics programme, the three topics will not be taught with a chronological approach to historical events, but as examples of the problems of understanding and analysing global political structures and processes of change. It will be shown how the three domains of development, the environment and human rights have been integrated into the concept of sustainable development.

Learning Outcomes: Subject knowledge and understanding

Indicative Content

The module will have a brief introduction on the nature of the concepts of interests and values. Then equal attention will be given to the study of development, global environmental change and human rights. The conclusion will show how these three domains have been integrated in the United Nations, as the "three pillars" of sustainable development.

It will be emphasised that each of these policy domains involves politics within countries, between countries and at the global level, particularly in the United Nations. In each case, a state-centric analysis will be compared with analysis of a diversity of actors pursuing a variety of issues, based on different value preferences.

Learning and teaching methods

Acquisition of knowledge and understanding is promoted through a combination of lectures and interactive classes. Students are encouraged to undertake extensive reading and independent study in order to understand the topics covered in lectures and classes and to broaden and deepen their knowledge of the subject.

Students also receive feedback on their coursework to encourage them to reflect on what they have produced.


Each students will produce one essay of up to 2,000 words, give a class presentation and answer two questions in an unseen examination. In order to pass the module, the student must gain an average mark of at least 40%. The module average is calculated from the exam mark weighted at 70% and the coursework weighted at 30%.

For degree programmes where this is a compulsory module, compensation is not permitted for failure. If the Assessment Board requires a resit, each component for which a mark of less than 40% has been achieved will be resat or a specific assessment activity will be required.

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