The central objective of this course is to extend students’ grasp of the purpose and application of theoretical paradigms in international relations. Theories provide frameworks to understand the behaviour of actors in a complex and dynamic global environment. Distinct theoretical paradigms make central assumptions about primary factors that drive human action with implications for how we understand, explain, and predict issues and interactions in the international arena. Such factors range from scarcity and a drive for control (e.g., classical realism, neorealism, game theory); to a drive to cooperate for absolute gains (e.g., neoliberal institutionalism, liberalism), constructed identities based on historically-contingent meanings and values (e.g., constructivism), and unequal power relations that underpin a drive for autonomy, agency, and empowerment. (e.g., critical theories, feminist theory). The course teaches all theoretical paradigms with a focus on how they can be applied to better understand political issues and challenges in the contemporary global environment.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- identify and describe the main elements of the most significant theoretical approaches to the study of international relations;
- recognise and interpret key texts that have shaped the development of international relations theory;
- apply different theoretical approaches to the analysis of events in international affairs; and
- critically appraise theoretical works in the field of international relations.
- Tutorial participation (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- 600 word research proposal (10) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- 2800 word essay (40) [LO 1,2,3,4]
- Examination 2 hours [in formal examination period] (40) [LO 1,2,4]
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130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures, and 12 hours of tutorials; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
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