Politics

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

Module codePL9011
LevelL6
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

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 codePL9074
LevelL6
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

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
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

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
Cerdits20

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
Cerdits20

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
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

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
Cerdits20

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 these different types of activities. For example, researching and writing a briefing document for a politician, think tank or lobby organisation, researching and writing a piece of political journalism and finally, constructing an academic research project with literature review and bibliography. This module will provide students with an awareness of the distinct analytical, presentational and writing skills required in conducting political research within these 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: 25%
  • Written assessment: 25%
  • Written assessment: 50%
Module codePL9208
LevelL5
SemesterAutumn Semester
Cerdits20

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: 40%
  • Written assessment: 60%
Module codePL9209
LevelL5
SemesterSpring Semester
Cerdits20

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, 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 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
Cerdits20

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
Cerdits20

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
Cerdits20

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: 40%
  • Written assessment: 60%