American Studies Dissertation
The American Studies dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module for American Studies students only, which runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching on the American Studies degree. The topic must fall within staff research and teaching interests.
Contemporary Wars and Conflicts
This module introduces and critically explores contemporary warfare and conflict, from post WWII up to the present War on Terror. It considers the de-colonization/independence wars; the Cold War proxy conflicts; post-1990 New Wars and the War on Terror.
The Aftermaths of War
A peace-accord is no guarantee for the absence of violence or armed conflict in the future. This module will look into the crucial post-war phase and discusses the major challenges that have to be tackled to consolidate the peace. The module is divided into three blocks; the first block starts with the cessation of the fighting, discussing how ceasefires and peace-accords are negotiated and how nations then deal with the disarmament and demobilisation of often large numbers of fighters. The second block will discuss the various challenges in rebuilding a post-war country, the reconstruction of its infrastructure (eg roads, schools, hospitals) as well as the rehabilitation of its soft infrastructure (educational and vocational training, government services, etc). The last block will look at how the state and its affected population will deal with the legacy of the war.
War, Identity and Society
This module is the companion module to HUPM03. It takes a pluri-disciplinary approach to understanding the impacts of war on society and vice-versa. The module evaluates the ways in which conflict changes and reshapes society and analyses the problems of war, its representations and its social outcomes. 'War' in thus not viewed solely in terms of military history, but rather through a broader context of changing social, economic and cultural trends both as a motor for change and as part of those broader changes.
The module is taught over a ten week period. The weekly two hour sessions include at least an hour of seminar style `teaching¿, to make sure that there is ample time for discussions, questions, student presentations, etc. Hence, it is expected of all students to read the compulsory reading for each session beforehand, so that meaningful discussions can take place.
War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
In this module you will examine the history of the international system from the end of the Second World War to the present day. It will provide an examination of the origins of the Cold War, how the two superpowers managed their relationship during the Cold War and an analysis of some of the key features of the post-Cold War world. We begin by assessing the rise of the USA and USSR and the emergence of deterrence. The failure of the US policy of containment in Vietnam and the emergence of tripolarity and detente in the 1970s then follows. By the beginning of the 1980s the superpowers relations had worsened and it was the time of the Second Cold War. Yet within ten years the Cold War that had dominated international relations since 1945 would be over. Why did it end, and who won will be questions for you to answer. The module will then examine the challenges facing the international system in the aftermath of the Cold War. Challenges ranging from failed states and military intervention to the rise of China and the re-emergence of Russia, and we conclude by asking, in the post 9/11 era, are we facing a clash of civilisations?
The Empire Strikes Back: War, Strategy and the Use of Force in the Post Cold War Era
The module can be divided into two main parts. The first part concerns strategy and war. The module touches upon classics of strategic thoughts such as Clausewitz and Sun-Tzu, it explores the nature of war and the constraints on war and analyses key debates within strategic studies including nuclear weapons and revolutionary warfare. The second part of the module explores uses of forces in the post-Cold War era mainly by `the West.¿ The module discusses humanitarian intervention, the `war on terror¿ and the militarisation of space. The sub heading is "Strategy and the use of force in the post Cold War era".
Subject to the approval of the Departmental Dissertations Tutor, students will choose their own area for research. They will be given guidance on research skills and techniques and supervised by a specialist research topic supervisor during the research for, and writing of, their dissertation. Dissertation word length - 8000 words.
Researching Politics 2
This module offers students a valuable experience of both individual and collective research - as well as the opportunity to study in depth an important aspect of Politics and International Relations. Students extend and deepen the research undertaken in PO-396 Researching Politics 1 and continue to meet regularly in order to share ideas, opinions and sources. In these meetings, students evaluate, criticise and analyse issues concerning the topic under investigation. Minutes of the meetings are kept and the meetings are conducted with a view to arriving at a common position that will serve as the basis for producing a collectively authored report and presentation. Each student in the group also produces a shorter individual report on their own experience of Researching Politics, in the course of which they reflect on their individual contribution to the groups output. This self-assessment is validated by the other members of the group.
Individual research based, under the guidance of appointed supervisor.
Critical Security Studies: Issues and Approaches in Contemporary Security
This MA module will offer students an opportunity to explore a multiplicity of new approaches to the study of international security, and analyse a number of pressing issue-areas within this subject area. The module allows students to engage theoretical debates over the meaning and definition of the concept of security itself and various theoretical approaches to the study of security. The module starts with a traditional understanding of security as `military security,¿ by looking at strategic studies. The module then explores the debate regarding the broadening and deepening of security. The first theoretical part of the module also includes: the Copenhagen School, the Welsh School of Critical Security Studies, post-structuralist approaches and feminist approaches. In the second part, the module will use these theoretical lenses to debate prominent security issues increasingly seen to form part of the broadened security agenda, such as the environment, migration, identity, gender and human security.
Popular Culture and World Politics
This module introduces students to the study of popular culture and world politics. Working within a tradition of critical International Relations (IR), it encourages students to critically engage with the cultural artefacts that permeate our lives and that we encounter on a day-to-day basis. The module is structured in two parts. The first, The Politics of Culture, is designed to introduce students to the ontological, epistemological and methodological underpinnings of the study of popular culture and explore why and how popular culture directly affects the everyday aspects of politics, our engagement with politics, and the political realities that we bear witness to. The second part of the module, The Culture of Politics, works with specific cultural artefacts from cinema, television, and music, to allow students to analyse them from the perspective of international politics. Using cultural artefacts such as films and episodes from television shows throughout the course will allow students to perceive the effects that these cultural artefacts can have on political perceptions and realities.