International Relations of South Asia

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 2 or Year 3
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Politics and International Studies

Module overview

International Relations of South Asia will give students a broad and comprehensive introduction to this subject. Beginning with conventional IR theory disciplinary frames, it will explore inter-state relations in the South Asian region including the history of conflict between India and Pakistan, the nature of Indian dominance/hegemony over the South Asian region, the place of Afghanistan in conceptualisations of ‘South Asia’, as well as the security perspectives of smaller states in the region including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Other topics in the module will examine non-conventional security issues including questions of economic and environmental security posed by the sharing of international rivers and climate change, as well as the human security issues provoked by ethnic and other forms of conflict in the region. The module will investigate key questions of international political economy including economic liberalization, intra-regional trade, and regional integration.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module


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

  • Identify and appraise concepts in International Relations relevant to the understanding of politics in South Asia
  • Analyse critically historical accounts of the development of inter-state relations in South Asia
  • Develop an appreciation for the ways in which non-state actors and identities can intervene in, and impact, the international relations of South Asia
  • Conceptualise and prepare in written form arguments based on the analysis of different problems in the international relations of South Asia
  • Develop specific research skills in areas of international politics and South Asian area studies
  • Identify core puzzles within the theory and practice of IR in South Asia




This module will be taught over 10 weeks with:

  • 1 hour lecture per week
  • 1 hour tutorial per week


Method of assessment


Assignment 1: Essay 40%
Assignment 2: Essay 60%



Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules