The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2018
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


Examines the institutions and processes shaping the international order and relations between states. It focuses on the development of this order, beginning with the dropping of the atomic bomb and the onset of the Cold War, and traces it through to the post-September 11 period. It discusses the role and significance of international bodies such as the United Nations, the International Criminal Court and the War Crimes Tribunals in the context of a newly emerging world order. The course also examines issues such as human rights, international justice, and the problem of terrorism in the wake of the events of September 11. It asks to what extent September 11, and its aftermath, has reshaped global power and the world order.

Availability2018 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2018

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Clear understanding of salient forces and principles of shaping international order and the relations between nation-states.

2. An awareness of the complexity of global institutions and their attempts to impose order on what is assumed to be an anarchical system of states.

3. Broad understanding of conceptual ideas underpinning the role of global institutions in their role of constraining and/or guiding the actions of nation states.

4. An awareness of the complexities of the global context in which nations conduct their affairs.

5. An awareness of and ability to assess critically the theoretical and methodological debates in international politics.

6. Develop an understanding of key Social Science concepts and theories and acquire research skills to enable critical evaluation of the reliability, validity and efficacy of information, opinions and arguments.

7. Provide an understanding of and practice in oral and written communication skills.


The course content will be drawn from but not restricted to:

  1. An examination of specific features structuring the nature of relations between nation-states.
  2. Structure, composition and political role of various international bodies (eg International Criminal Court, International Court of Justice, United Nations, World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund, World Bank).
  3. Contemporary issues in global politics (eg human rights, terrorism, international justice).
  4. Case studies of particular issues relating to the operation of the International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice.


This course has similarities to POLI2160. If you have successfully completed POLI2160 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

10 units in Politics at 1000 level or equivalent

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Research Summary Exercise and Group Presentation

Essay: Minor Essay

Essay: Major Essay

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Contact hours


Integrated Learning Session

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Students are expected to complete 4 hours of guided learning via online preparation, lectures, interactive workshops, tutorials, discussion groups or self-directed learning and an additional 6 hours of independent study per week.