Block 1: Culture, Negotiation and Policy Formation
You will engage with the politics of policy making with consideration of political culture and including aspects of diplomacy, legislation, leadership, doctrines, governance, staffing and the role of the media. You will gain an understanding of how government policy formation occurs and the context in which it takes place.
You will have the opportunity to engage directly with policy making practitioners at the local, national and international levels. The module also draws on research expertise and direct experience of the academic team to underscore the links between policy making theory and practice, via specific examples such as anti-racism. Through simulation exercises, you will gain practical experience of political negotiation and policy formation, utilising intercultural skills and global awareness.
Assessment: Throughout the module you will work on a position paper and reflective account relating to a simulation exercise (65%) and a policy briefing paper (35%).
Block 2: Theory and Practice of International Relations
You will critically engage with the key approaches and perspectives informing the theorising of international relations - you will apply theoretically informed thinking in real-life cases in contemporary world politics covering a broad breadth of issue areas: state-/nation-/ region-building processes, inter-state relations and foreign policy, power, order, security, populism and democracy, politics beyond the nation-state, state-society and state-economy relations, social movements, gendered, racialised, and classed processes in global politics.
You will also examine the contemporary theoretical innovations and alternative paradigms emerging within/beyond international relations such as global historical sociology, international political sociology, and international political economy. In the module, special attention will be paid to improve your independent research and academic writing skills through engaging with conducting a literature review, constructing a theoretically-informed argument, and applying theory to practice.
Assessment: Throughout the module you work on a literature review essay (35%) and reflective pieces applying theory to the key issues and challenges examined in the module (65%).
Block 3: Global Political Economy and Development
You will examine the political, sociological and cultural underpinnings of the contemporary global economy, in order to understand how it has come about and why it has taken the particular form it has. Global capitalist development will be placed in historical context, drawing on global histories, post-colonial theories and feminist approaches to shed light on gendered, raced and classed inequalities in the global economy and how these shape contemporary everyday lives.
You will engage with the key theories and concepts from approaches to global political economy, such as power, ideas and institutions, as well as studying the key features of the contemporary global economy, such as finance, trade, production, social reproduction and development. We will ask how these can help us in addressing the key global challenges faced today such as poverty and inequality, gender and development, food security, and work and precarity. In the module, we will pay particular attention to experiences of development in the Global South, examining the role of development institutions as well as alternative approaches to development and possibilities for resistance and transformation.
Assessment: The presentation is based on a group project focusing on a key issue/challenge and apply to a specific case study. It can take the form of a pre-recorded presentation, blog or podcast. (100%).
Block 4: Global Transformations: Space, Society and Livelihoods
This module takes a bottom-up approach to examine the complexity of global challenges as they are experienced at the local level in everyday lives. Increasing neoliberalisation, austerity, and precarity, both in the Global South and Global North, have been creating ‘other’ everyday lives for the majority of people living in villages, towns, cities or megacities (city-regions). The belief that modernisation and economic growth will improve people’s life-chances in the capitalist market by ensuring a successful integration into the public life of civil society has been challenged by inequities and precarities encountered in everyday living that increasingly connects the local with the global through the circulation of ideas, policies, money, goods and services. This module aims to provide conceptual tools and case studies to help you untangle and assess the complexity that global challenges pose to local and everyday living and policymaking (and vice versa).
Using an interdisciplinary approach that borrows from urban politics, governance, sociology and gender and decoloniality, the module will underline the different parallel lives and alternative strategies to capitalist economies, which have been unable to include -through the universality of its infrastructure, housing or waged labour- the prosperity originally envisaged. In analysing these strategies, other challenges and insecurities will be considered, in thinking how to build alternative governance arrangements and structures to help achieve more just places to live.
Assessment: Portfolio to include an essay (50%) and a case study report (50%).
Block 5 and 6: Dissertation
You will complete a project entailing independent study and the use of appropriate research techniques and source materials. It may consist of a critical evaluation of literature, of a reassessment of evidence, of an evaluation of particular approaches or techniques, or of a limited piece of original or applied research. It will build on the foundation provided by the taught modules on the MA programmes for which it is the dissertation module and may involve either the fuller development of subject matter and techniques encountered in the taught programme or the exploration of new areas and techniques appropriate to the overall programme of study.
You will be encouraged to identify and use appropriate research methods and skills. A major aim of the dissertation is to encourage you to relate concepts and frameworks to empirical evidence and to encourage the critical appreciation of both techniques and evidence. The first two weeks of the module will contain a taught element in which students investigate how to formulate a research problem, define research aims and objectives, design a research project and formulate and utilise appropriate research methodologies and ethical approaches. This forms the basis of the research proposal. The rest of the module consists of self directed study as students under the supervision of an allocated supervisor undertake an individual research project.
Assessment: Proposal (20%) and dissertation (80%)
Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.
See pre-Education 2030 version of this course.