Units of Study

GOVT6147 - Foundations of International Relations

Semester 2, 2012  |  Credit Points: 6

Coordinator: Colin Wight


Why do states behave the way they do? Using a historical perspective, this unit explores the ways in which the different theories of international relations account for what shapes the international system - who are its main actors, what are its determining forces and structures. It examines both how these theories have vied with one another within inter-paradigm debates and how they developed in relation to specific historical events. These theories include realism, idealism, neorealism, neoliberal institutionalism, Marxism, the English school, constructivism, poststructuralism, feminism, post-colonial approaches. While no prior study of international relations is required, a willingness to engage with theoretical thinking and grapple with complex questions of ontology and epistemology is essential.


2x2000wd essays (60%), 1x2hr exam (30%), tutorial participation (10%)


1x2-hr seminar/week

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