International Relations: Key Questions

Subject POLS20025 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Thirty contact hours per semester. 2 x one hour lectures and 1 x one hour tutorial per week. The lecture and tutorial programs are staggered and cover the 12 weeks of semester.
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Completion of at least 12.5 points of first year Politics and International Studies, or one of the Faculty of Arts' Interdisciplinary Foundation (IDF) subjects.
Corequisites: none
Recommended Background Knowledge: First year Politics and International Studies
Non Allowed Subjects:

Any of the following subjects:

166-302 Global Politics: Key Questions

166-029 Global Politics: Key Questions

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Prof Ralph Pettman


Prof. Ralph Pettman

Subject Overview:

Global politics is one fundamental way of talking about human life on earth. This subject asks, and seeks systematically to answer, a wide range of related questions like: Who governs? Who provides? Who am "I"? Who owns all this stuff? Who makes it? Whose idea was this anyway? Where are all the women? What"s wrong with warmer weather? How reliable is rationalism? Who talks about the Beyond? Who behaves accordingly? In the process this subject discusses the balance of inter-state power, global guerrilla strategies, the energy issue, democracy as a world ideal, patterns of global property possession, world production chains, people smuggling, the role played by norm entrepreneurs, feminism and environmentalism, the globalisation of the modernist project, and where god has gone.


Students who successfully complete this subject should...

  • have an understanding of the causes of violent conflict.
  • have an appreciation of the contending theories and approaches in international relations and international security.
  • have the background to think critically about these theories.
  • have the ability to apply a variety of theoretical approaches to understand and make sense of contemporary international relations.
  • improve their criticial thinking and analytical skills.
  • improve their writing and oral skills.
Assessment: Essay of 2,000 words (50%) due mid-semester, and a 2-hour exam (50%) held during the examination period.
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available for purchase from the University Bookshop.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject should

  • be able to research a topic through the competent use of the library and other information sources, and be able to define areas of inquiry and methods of research in the preparation of essays.
  • be able to conceptualise theoretical problems, form judgements and arguments and communicate critically,creatively and theoretically through essay writing, tutorial discussion and presentations.
  • be able to communicate knowledge logically and economically through essay writing and tutorial discussion.
  • be able to manage and organise workloads for recommended reading, the completion of essays and assignments and examination revision.
  • be able to participate in team work through small group discussions.
Notes: Available as a Breadth subject to non-Bachelor of Arts students.
Related Course(s): U21 Certificate in Global Issues
U21 Diploma in Global Issues
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: International Studies Major
Political Science Major
Politics && International Studies
Politics and International Studies
Politics and International Studies

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