A Postcolonial International Relations?

Subject POLS40014 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

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:






Recommended Background Knowledge:

Politics and International Studies at Undergraduate level

Non Allowed Subjects:

166-543 A Postcolonial International Relations?

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: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Assoc Prof Phillip Darby


Assoc. Prof. Phillip Darby pgcd@unimelb.edu.au

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.

A class paper of 1000 words (25%) due during the semester, and a research paper of 4000 words (75%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed.Students who fail to meet this hurdle requirement will be deemed ineligible to submit the final piece of assessment for this subject.Regular participation in class is required.

Assessment that is submitted after the due date and up to 10 working days late without an approved extension will be marked on a pass/fail basis only. Assessment that is submitted later than 10 working days will not be accepted or marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

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 Relations
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: International Politics
International Studies
Political Science
Political Science
Political Science
Politics and International Studies

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