Introduction to International Relations - ARTS1810

Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

School: School of Social Sciences

Course Outline: School of Social Sciences

Campus: Sydney

Career: Undergraduate

Units of Credit: 6

EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)

Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 3

Excluded: INST1300

CSS Contribution Charge: 1 (more info)

Tuition Fee: See Tuition Fee Schedule

Further Information: See Class Timetable

Available for General Education: Yes (more info)

View course information for previous years.


Subject Area: International Relations

What does it mean to study 'international relations'? Where does power lie in global politics? Whose explanations about how the world works are valued and why? This course will equip you with some of the skills necessary to begin formulating your own answers to these questions. You will be introduced to the idea of 'International Relations' as an academic discipline, and to some of the key academic conventions and standards that are important to the discipline: the idea of evidence-based argument, for example, and the idea of ethical scholarship. We will also discuss the formation of the modern state system and interrogate the conceptualisation of the state that informs much contemporary theory and practice in global politics.

A substantial part of this course is devoted to the introduction of the main theories of International Relations. One of the central messages of the course is that different theoretical approaches generate different images of the world that build on particular assumptions. Therefore, while people may think they know what the current problems of global politics are and how to solve them, one of the aims of this course is to alert you to other ways of seeing things. This should allow you to make a more confident decision about your own stance towards particular issues and to analyse these issues more thoroughly, but it should also make you question both your own and others’ representations of the world.
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