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Department of Politics and International Studies

Comparative and international politics

Course Code:
Course Not Running 2015/2016
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 1
Taught in:
Full Year

This course is a first-year compulsory and core course for single-subject Politics students.

The international politics element, taken in the first term, examines the processes of modernisation and globalisation and their impact on nation states. It also looks at the war on terror and the idea of American empire, and examines the different perspectives that the theory of international politics makes available to us to deal with and understand these issues.

The comparative politics element in this course is taken in the second term. It begins by exploring definitions of the subject and different approaches to it. The main institutions of modern states, and the relationships between them, are then examined, followed by a survey of the roles of non-state political actors.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

On completion of the course students will have:

  • An understanding of the main political institutions and non-state political actors in modern states, their functions and performance
  • Familiarity with the basic concepts and questions, scholarly traditions and debates in the study of international politics
  • The ability to identify the most important parts (and weaknesses) of political theories and arguments, and to communicate them in a clear and organized manner
  • The ability to apply theory to empirical material

Method of assessment

Assessment is 20% coursework and 80% unseen examination – the resubmission of coursework regulations do not apply to this course