Forces of Change in Int Relations (GOVT6137)


This unit introduces students to some of the most important contemporary structural changes in the global political economy and power structure with special attention to non-state actors (including corporate ones) and global civil society. The unit begins with an outline of the dominant modes of thinking about international political and economic relations, surveys some of the main theoretical schools and then examines global politics and political economy in terms of those events and forces that have been or are capable of precipitating major change. The historical focus will be principally on the role of war (including the so-called War on Terror), globalisation, power shifts and ideological innovation (including American unilateralism and Islamic fundamentalism) in the post Cold War period. The new agenda of international politics will be explored in a theoretical perspective - including the climate change emergency and the issue of effective global governance; the struggle for global social and economic justice, and the global prospects of democracy. The unit is designed as an advanced introduction to international relations for students pursuing postgraduate studies.

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Further unit of study information


1x2hr seminar/week


1x3000wd Essay (40%), 1x1000wd Paper (10%), 1x2000wd Take-home exercise (30%), 1x Seminar participation (20%),

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Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.