A Postcolonial International Relations?

Subject POLS40014 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (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: A 2-hour seminar per week. If enrolments exceed 30, the 2nd hour of the seminar may be split into 2 or 3 small classes.
Total Time Commitment: 10
Prerequisites: Admission to the Postgraduate Certificate/ Diploma in Political Science or International Politics, or Fourth-year Honours in International Studies or Political Science, or the Master of International Politics, or the Master of International Relations.
Corequisites: none
Recommended Background Knowledge: Politics and International Studies at Undergraduate level.
Non Allowed Subjects:

Any of the following subjects:

166-543 A Postcolonial International Relations?

Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this course are articulated in the Course Description, Course Objectives and Generic Skills 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: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Assoc. Prof. Phillip Darby

Subject Overview:

This subject introduces major postcolonial concerns such as the ethnocentricism of the Euro-Atlantic international system, the need to elevate Third World interests and perspectives, the appropriateness of universal prescriptions such as democratisation and neoliberalism, the making and unmaking of nations, ethnicity and violence, and questions about resource distribution. In parallel, it examines disciplinary international relations to see how far such concerns are presently addressed or might be addressed without foundational change. It also raises the possibility of whether, instead of staying within the confines of international relations, we would do better to range more widely and take in other discourses about the international such as globalisation and development. On completion of the subject, students should have an imaginative understanding of the issues at stake, and be able to decide for themselves how these might best be pursued in the context of contending knowledge formations.

  • be able to relate postcolonial concerns to disciplinary international relations.
  • be able to evaluate the argument that international relations is fundamentally Eurocentric.
  • be able to engage with grassroots approaches to the international such as Subaltern Studies.
  • be able to identify potential points of connection between critical security studies and postcolonialism.
  • be in a position to take postcolonialism in new and exciting directions.
  • be ready to commence research for a postgraduate thesis in international politics.
Assessment: A class paper of 1000 words (25%) due during the semester, and a research paper of 4000 words (75%) due at the end of semester.
Prescribed Texts:

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

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to apply research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;
  • be able to develop persuasive arguments on a given topic;
  • be able to communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively and articulately.
Related Course(s): Master of International Politics
Master of International Relations
Master of International Studies
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: International Politics
International Politics
International Studies
Political Science
Political Science
Political Science

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