Politics

Mae'r cynnwys hwn ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.

Learn more about the modules study abroad students can take at the Department of Politics and International Relations.

Module codePL9011
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

Intercommunity relations have occupied the minds of thinkers from the earliest written records, and form an important heritage in the study of modern international relations. The aim of this module is to demonstrate that contributors to international thought are in search of a criterion of conduct by which they may evaluate the conduct of states, or provide principles by which they are to be guided. Anyone thinker struggles in his or her own mind with the merits of each. This module attempts to conceptualise international thought into three related traditions; Empirical Realism; Universal Moral Order; and Historical Reason. Each prioritises a particular way of understanding international relations. Among the theorist discussed will be Thucydides or Herodotus; Machiavelli or Hobbes; Cicero and the Stoics; Pufendorf or Christian Wolff; Edmund Burke or Rousseau; Hegel or Marx.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 40%
  • Written assessment: 60%
Module codePL9022
LevelL5
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

This course provides the historical and theoretical foundations for critical examination of a range of issues and conditions in the global political economy today. The course starts by addressing the centrality of colonialism to the formation of the global political economy, and providing a historical and theoretical overview of the relationship between transatlantic slavery, colonialism, and the development of capitalism. The course then examines the roots and form of the post-war development project and the origins and function of international organisations such as the World Bank and IMF. The final section of the course considers theoretical responses to and critiques of ‘development’ and neo-colonialism.

Building on the introductory IR courses provided at first year, the course examines in greater depth the historical and theoretical significance of colonialism and its legacies for the study of international relations, with a particular focus on questions of global political economy and the project of ‘development’. In doing so the course provides a historical and theoretical foundation for a range of more specialist options at third year in areas such as global political economy, the global politics of development and environment, colonialism, postcolonialism and the global south, global justice, and the politics of international aid.  

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 20%
  • Written assessment: 80%
Module codePL9023
LevelL5
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

The increasing centrality of digital technologies in global politics is raising questions beyond the technical. Issues such as cyber-security, Internet governance, and online human rights are challenging traditional concepts in International Relations. While other disciplines like law, sociology and computer science have engaged closely with the Information Age, international relations scholars have yet to bring the full analytic power of their discipline to developing our understanding of what digital technologies mean for concepts like war, peace, security, cooperation, human rights, equity and power.

The module consists of four sections, each of which builds on the previous one to help students develop a broad overview of the key debates that are animating the nascent scholarship on digital technologies and global politics. Teaching will also include five evenly spaced seminars in which students will work in small groups to develop the themes taken up in lectures. Assessment for the module will be one essay midway through the semester followed by a final exam.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codePL9024
LevelL5
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

This module provides an introduction to the study of global governance. Global Governance is one of the core subfields of International Relations, and has been key in shaping its theories, institutions and practices. But what is global governance? How can we understand and analyse it? Who are the major actors involved? These questions have been the subject of contentious debates in the last twenty-five years. This module provides you with an overview of global governance approaches from both traditional and critical perspectives.

Global governance takes place simultaneously at different levels, in different settings and involves a variety of actors including state and non-state. Their interaction raises questions about cooperation and collective action as well as conflicts. The course studies a series of concepts that allows us to understand different elements of global governance and we apply these to address issues concerning environmental governance, international political economy and security, broadly understood.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 40%
  • Class test: 20%
  • Written assessment: 40%
Module codePL9074
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

This module provides a comprehensive introduction to US Government and Politics. It examines the core institutions of the American political system, examining the rationale for their design and contemporary debates regarding their performance. The module also focuses on key political processes and actors within the political system including voting and the electoral system, political parties, interest groups and the media. The module then shifts to focus on key debates within contemporary public policy in areas including the economy, social welfare and healthcare, law and order and foreign policy.

 

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 40%
  • Written assessment: 60%
Module codePL9076
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

The aim of this module is to explore how ethical constraints on the actions of states have been understood from Ancient Greece to the present day. Universal principles which stand outside of the state and which act as a criterion by which to judge its actions have been derived from Natural Law, Natural Rights, and Human Rights. It will be demonstrated that these universal principles, far from liberating individuals and states from oppression, have actually been used as instruments in colonial and imperial expansion. Particular emphasis will be given to the colonisation of the United States, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 40%
  • Written assessment: 60%
Module codePL9088
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

This module provides a broad introduction to the institutional context of contemporary government and politics in Wales, contextualising Welsh politics within the broader framework of within UK and European politics, as well as historically and sociologically. In addition to the impact of devolution on policy and broader governance, particular attention will be given to discussions over future of Wales’ devolution settlement and the dynamics of partisan competition in Wales.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 40%
  • Written assessment: 60%
Module codePL9090
LevelL5
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

Has the relationship between the EU, member states and the peoples of Europe ever been more relevant to political debate? Within a framework of the theories of European integration this module examines the current structure of the European Union, its key policies and challenges. Important themes from the current academic discourse are assessed including: how decisions are made at the EU level; the position of key policies such as the single market and the common agricultural policy; democratic accountability, the aftermath of the Euro crisis, and the rise of Euroscepticism.

While some basic knowledge of the workings of the EU would be an advantage there is no requirement for students to have studied the EU prior to taking the module.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 40%
  • Written assessment: 60%
Module codePL9203
LevelL5
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

This is a text-based module intended to provide students with a deep knowledge of a small number of major 19th century thinkers, starting with Karl Marx and ending with Friedrich Nietzsche.  The module focuses more on depth than on breadth, in order to encourage sustained engagement with a relatively small number of difficult texts and their ideas about politics.  Important political concepts such as liberty, equality, the ends of politics and human nature are all examined in the writings of these texts.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 60%
  • Written assessment: 40%
Module codePL9206
LevelL5
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

Researching politics and political issues is central to a range of distinct types of research activity both within and beyond academia. This module will introduce students to the conduct of political research by inviting them to engage with different forms of producing knowledge about politics. We will explore how to do research in practice, what different forms of research are out there (e.g. political briefings, research projects, dissertations), what it means to do good research and how to design a small scale research project. This module will provide students with an awareness of the distinct analytical, presentational and writing skills required in conducting and critiquing political research within different contexts. In addition, the module will introduce students to the key methodological and theoretical issues that need to be considered in the development and design of a research project, for example, the selection of research methods and approaches.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codePL9208
LevelL5
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

This module provides an introduction to the study of international security. Security Studies is one of the core subfields of International Relations, and has been key in shaping its theories, institutions and practices. But what is security? How can we understand and respond to threats? What are the effects of these responses? These questions have been the subject of contentious debates in various sites, including universities, governments, organizations and the media. This module provides you with an overview of international security theories from both traditional and critical perspectives. We will study the key controversies in security studies and the major methodological approaches. We will then investigate a range of contemporary security issues, including failed states, migration, transnational crime, terrorism, private security, the environment, health and technology. You will learn how to use different theoretical frameworks and conceptual tools to analyze how these international security problems are understood and responded to. The module will provide you with important foundational knowledge and the relevant skills to critically examine current international threats and security issues.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codePL9209
LevelL5
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

The primary aim of this module is to introduce students to international law and explore its development in an ever-changing world system. Ever Since the 20th century, international law which was initially conceived as the law of nations, has today expanded to also encompass rights and duties of international and transnational organizations, such as Intergovernmental Organisations (IGOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), as well as individuals. Further, it has moved from a law regulating mainly Western States to one regulating both Western and Non-western States. In addition, it has increasingly had  to deal with new challenges in the changing world. This module aims therefore to explore the impact of the changing world on certain traditional conceptions of international law.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 30%
  • Written assessment: 70%
Module codePL9301
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

Global International organisations, such as the United Nations and its predecessor, the League of Nations, have been linked with significant events impacting on world politics. The module examines the League of Nations and the United Nations. It covers issues such as, the role of international law and politics in the establishment of the League of Nations and the United Nations, the nature of these global international organisations in the international system, the institutional framework of the United Nations and its crucial role in important areas affecting international society, such as maintenance of international peace and security,  protection of human rights and the environment, international criminal justice, terrorism and disarmament. The module also looks at the shortcomings of the United Nations and current attempts to reform it. Are the reforms far-reaching enough to ensure that the United Nations is effective?

This Module aims to make students understand of the role of global International Organisations in International Relations, using two global international organisations (the League of Nations and the United Nations) as case studies. It identifies the legal, institutional and decision-making framework of these global international organisations and seeks to determine how the framework along with other factors has contributed to the failure, shortcomings and/or success of these organisations.

 

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 30%
  • Written assessment: 70%
Module codePL9307
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

This module will introduce students to the main elements of electoral politics, and examine how elections are studied. The module will first cover the history of modern electoral politics in the United Kingdom, before going on to examine major 'macro' influences on election outcomes, such as electoral systems. The focus will then shift to examining 'individual-level' understandings of elections, by exploring the formation of public opinion and theories of individual voting behaviour. Finally, students will be introduced to the practical tools of election analysis, such as large-N option surveys, small-N focus groups, and how to analyse data using the computer programme SPSS.

Assessment

  • Presentation: 25%
  • Written assessment: 25%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codePL9914
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

This module examines in depth the main arguments for free speech (truth, autonomy, and democracy) as well as a number of key issues that are becoming increasingly prominent in the debates on free speech in contemporary Western societies, including but not limited to offensive and blasphemous speech, hate speech, and pornography. Although the course is principally text-based, some attention will be given to specific case studies that are especially useful for contextualizing the theoretical and normative debates in real-world terms.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 60%
  • Written assessment: 40%
Module codePL9920
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

This course aims to provide students with an interdisciplinary understanding of international nuclear politics from the advent of the atomic bomb project in 1941 to the present day.  Roughly one half of the course will be devoted to an episodic study of the history of nuclear politics during the Cold War, with the aim of showing how the danger of atomic and nuclear war decisively shaped the conflict between the US and the USSR—and how it determined its ending.  The other half of the course will examine the role played by the nuclear revolution in post-Cold War international politics:  we will analyse key features of nuclear power politics today and major theoretical attempts to understand them.  

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codePL9921
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

The aim of this course is to explore African modes of and contributions to international thought and practice. These contributions necessarily centre around, though are not limited to, the experiences of colonialism, anticolonial struggle and the postcolonial condition. Colonialism and imperialism were among the most significant forms and experiences of international relations over the past few centuries. African thought and practice thus provides a rich and important source of insight and critique, albeit often overlooked by many disciplinary imaginations.

The course will address some of the central problems and modes of critique which have been articulated as a result of African experiences of and struggles against colonialism and its legacies. These include problems of race and culture and their role in colonial oppression and anticolonial struggle; the question of the nation and the idea of pan-Africanism; sovereignty, international law and international order; the challenge of ‘decolonising the mind’. In exploring these questions we will engage with the thought of figures such as WEB Du Bois; George Padmore; CLR James; Leopold Senghor; Kwame Nkrumah; Frantz Fanon; Amílcar Cabral; Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o; Ama Ata Aidoo; Ifi Amadiume; VY Mudimbe; Achille Mbembe; Mahmood Mamdani; Siba Grovogui; and others. Our final session will explore the long-standing relationships of political practice, identity and belonging in and between Cardiff and Africa.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 10%
  • Written assessment: 90%
Module codePL9922
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

This module focuses on the problematisation of global environmental issues, identifying the multiple actors, activities and arenas in which international environmental problems are rendered ‘meaningful’ and ‘treatable.’ The module aims to introduce key ideas and approaches in global environmental politics, and to provide a forum in which students can explore how and by whom international environmental issues are governed in today’s world. This forum will include active role play of intergovernmental meetings and negotiations, and group discussion and presentations of different issue areas, including climate change, biodiversity loss, ozone depletion and sustainable development. This hands on approach aims to unpack:

 

  • The social, political and economic causes and constraints in the production and problematisation of environmental degradation;

  • The place of individuals in generating and responding to these issues;

  • The intergovernmental mechanisms established for addressing environmental problems;

  • The practices of science and knowledge informing collective response to the global environmental crisis, particularly climate change;

  • Transnational environmental activity, including that through social movements, non-governmental organisations, and corporate actors.

The module will be organised around five themes of the environmental problematique: The construction and problematisation of environmental degradation; Environmental governance; Environmental security; Civil society and transnational actors; and Critical debates on justice, development and political economy.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 50%
  • Written assessment: 20%
  • Written assessment: 30%
Module codePL9923
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Credits20

Intelligence influences national policy-making and international relations to a considerable extent but often remains shrouded in secrecy. The aim of this module is to give students an understanding of the central ideas and issues in the study of intelligence. This aim is achieved by studying the historical development of intelligence as a factor in national politics and international relations, and analyzing the contemporary issues that affect intelligence services in the contemporary world. Espionage, covert action and other intelligence-related activities are often represented in fiction, and the module will also consider such accounts.

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 60%
  • Written assessment: 40%
Module codePL9924
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Credits20

This module examines the key debates surrounding the Northern Ireland Troubles, a conflict that lasted between 1969 and 1998, but which continues to provoke debate across Ireland and the UK today. The British Army’s military operations against various loyalist and republican paramilitary groups, entitled Operation Banner, remains their longest campaign to date following the Second World War. The Troubles also remains a feature of our daily news in the United Kingdom and across the island of Ireland, since many events during the Troubles are still being re-examined in inquiries and law courts today. Furthermore, many features of current UK counter-terrorist measures were created during the Troubles. In addition, the relative success of the peace process has led to governments, politicians and insurgent groups elsewhere studying the conflict to provide ideas for conflict resolution. The Troubles continues to interest researchers in historical, social scientific and political studies.

This module will provide students with the background knowledge of events and key debates concerning the Troubles to enable them to understand Northern Ireland’s (and also the Irish Republic’s) history and contemporary politics. It also ensures that students understand the contemporary debates concerning Northern Ireland, and that they have investigated a key case study used in debates surrounding whether ‘talking to terrorists’ can contribute towards peace. The module will be valuable for students pursuing careers in government, the civil service, diplomacy, the military, law, journalism, international organizations and agencies, and research (social science, politics, law and history). 

Assessment

  • Written assessment: 70%
  • Written assessment: 30%