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.
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?
Introduction to International Relations
This course introduces students to the study of international relations(IR) focusing on especially on the evolution of international actors and systems. Next to studying key IR concepts, terms and theories of International Relations discipline such as the state, nation, anarchy security, international organisations, international economy and globalisation, the module will also elucidate both rational and critical approaches to IR ¿ particularly Liberalism, Realism, and Marxism; but also IR¿s newer theoretical schools ¿ particularly Constructivism and post- structuralism. Secondly, the module aims to improve students¿ practical academic skills, including research, reading, presentation, referencing and academic writing skills ¿ all tailored to the study of International Relations
Researching Politics 1
Researching Politics (RP) provides students with the skills that underlie the process of conducting and communicating cutting-edge research in Politics and International Relations.
RP works by creating topic groups, each comprised of 8-10 students. Each group will follow a bespoke course set out by their topic tutor, guiding them through the literature in a substantive research area. Students are invited to select a list of preferred options in the first teaching week of the term. This list is then used to assign students to topics and group sessions run from the second week of teaching onwards.
Alongside the topic-specific teaching, there is a general lecture series focusing on discovering, analysing and presenting complex information. The lecture series also focuses on dealing with the ups and downs of working as part of a team.
Researching Politics 2
Researching Politics 2 (RP2) is the follow-on module from RP1 and it acts as the culmination for the subject knowledge and transferable skills developed in that module. RP2 puts the creative emphasis in the hands of the students, with the module convenor and topic tutors giving guidance and feedback to facilitate the realisation of research conceived, developed, executed and presented by students. In this way, it tries to approximate the worlds of further study and work into which students will be progressing following the completion of their degree schemes.
It is a module where all of the summative assessments are comprised of group work, although individual marks can be varied depending on each student¿s performance. Students are also required to submit an individual self-assessment, detailing what they have learned about their own strengths and weaknesses on the basis of the sustained group work.
In RP2, you will extend and deepen the research undertaken in RP1 and continue to meet regularly in order to share ideas, opinions and sources in your groups. These meetings will include several where the topic tutor provides guidance and feedback as well as those where the meetings are student-led.
Individual research based, under the guidance of appointed supervisor.
Approaches to International Relations
The module explores a variety of approaches to the study of internation relations. It focuses on key issues which have become central to the sunject, notably the changing states system and the emergence of major non state actors, economic globalisation and security studies. It also examines key theoretical approaches, notably realism, liberalism and Marxism; Neo-realism and neo-Liberalism; and reflectivist critiques of rationalism, including constructivism, critical theory, post-structuralism and feminism.
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.
Theories of War
This interdisciplinary module provides a survey of the range of perspectives in and approaches to War Studies.
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.