Foundations of International Relations

Course code POLI3150Units 10Level 3000Faculty of Business and LawNewcastle Business School

Foundations of International Relations examines the fundamental principles of international relations. The course will provide students with an understanding of the origins and evolution of the key concepts and theories that have been developed to explain the relations between modern nation-states. This will include detailed analysis of concepts such as idealism, realism, neo-realism, social constructivism, collective security, multilateralism, unilateralism, and the idea of the just war as well as analysis of approaches to statecraft, security, and diplomacy. These analyses will be situated in the context of significant international events such as colonialism and decolonization, the two World Wars, the Cold war, the post-September 11 reconfiguration of political relations, and the emerging doctrine of pre-emption.

Not available to students who have already passed or are currently enrolled in POLI2150.

Available in 2014

Callaghan CampusSemester 1
OurimbahSemester 1
Previously offered in 2011, 2009, 2007, 2005
ObjectivesOn successful completion of this course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a clear understanding of the various theoretical concepts and ideas that feature in the explanations of the relations between states.
2. Apply critically theories of international relations to explain international events.
3. Identify the complexities of the global context in which nations conduct their affairs including ethical and intercultural issues.
4. Assess critically the theoretical and methodological debates in the field of international relations.
5. Explain key Social Science concepts and theories and critically evaluate the reliability, validity and efficacy of information, opinions and arguments.
6. Demonstrate oral and written communication skills.
ContentThe course content will be drawn from but not restricted to
1. Debates about the development of the Western system of relations between states from the Treaty of Westphalia to the present.
2. Detailed analysis of core theoretical concepts such as idealism, realism, neo-realism, multilateralism, unilateralism.
3. Discussion of the role of war (and terrorism) as an extension of politics and the role of diplomacy and statecraft.
4. Analysis of the role of ethics and justice in international relations.
5. Introduction to issues such as human rights, war crimes and a consideration of the role and justification for the use of weapons of mass destruction.
6. Introduction to core security issues and concepts.
Replacing Course(s)Not applicable.
TransitionNone needed
Industrial Experience0
Assumed Knowledge10 units in Politics at 1000 level or equivalent
Modes of DeliveryInternal Mode
Teaching MethodsLecture
Tutorial
Assessment Items
Essays / Written AssignmentsEssays.
Essays / Written AssignmentsReviews and tutorial papers.
Contact HoursLecture: for 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Tutorial: for 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Timetables2014 Course Timetables for POLI3150