Introduction to International Relations

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 07 October 2021
Friday 17 December 2021
20 September 2021


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA L900 International Development,
BA L901 International Development (Including Year Abroad),
BA L902 International Development (Including Placement Year),
BA L921 International Development (Including Foundation Year),
BA L250 International Relations (Including Foundation Year),
BA L258 International Relations,
BA L259 International Relations (Including Year Abroad),
BA L260 International Relations (Including Placement Year),
MPOLL268 International Relations,
MPOLL269 International Relations (Including Placement Year),
MPOLL370 International Relations (Including Year Abroad),
BA LR59 International Relations and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA LRF9 International Relations and Modern Languages,
BA VL12 Modern History and International Relations,
BA VL14 Modern History and International Relations (Including Placement Year),
BA VL18 Modern History and International Relations (Including Foundation Year),
BA VL1F Modern History and International Relations (Including Year Abroad),
BA LV21 Modern History and Politics,
BA LV22 Modern History and Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA LV28 Modern History and Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA LV2C Modern History and Politics (Including Year Abroad),
BA L200 Politics,
BA L201 Politics (Including Year Abroad),
BA L202 Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L203 Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA L2CH Social Sciences,
BA LFCH Social Sciences,
BA L903 Global Studies,
BA L904 Global Studies (including year abroad),
BA L905 Global Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA L908 Global Studies (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA L225 Politics and International Relations,
BA L226 Politics and International Relations (Including Year Abroad),
BA L227 Politics and International Relations (Including Placement Year),
BSC L222 Politics and International Relations,
BSC L223 Politics and International Relations (Including Year Abroad),
BSC L224 Politics and International Relations (Including Placement Year),
MPOLL234 Politics and International Relations,
MPOLL235 Politics and International Relations (Including Placement Year),
MPOLL236 Politics and International Relations (Including Year Abroad),
BA LR04 Global Studies and Modern Languages (Including Year Abroad),
BA L910 Global Studies with Politics,
BA L911 Global Studies with Politics (Including year abroad),
BA L912 Global Studies with Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA L913 Global Studies with Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA R104 Global Studies and Language Studies,
BA R105 Global Studies and Language Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA R110 International Relations and Language Studies,
BA R111 International Relations and Language Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA L212 Global Politics,
BA L213 Global Politics (including Placement Year),
BA L214 Global Politics (including Year Abroad)

Module description

This module will introduce students to the study of international relations, with a particular emphasis on two broad fields: international security and international political economy.

Topics in international security include state and non-state actors, the nature of power, the causes of war and peace, terrorism, international institutions, and human rights. Topics in international political economy include trade, finance, European integration, problems of underdevelopment, government responses to disasters, and foreign aid. Throughout the class, students are encouraged to apply theoretical concepts to real world events.

Module aims

The module aims to familiarise students with key insights, but also limitations, of research in International Relations. Students are encouraged to critically assess the validity of conflicting theoretical claims and arguments on the basis of appropriate empirical evidence

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will have a sound knowledge of International Relations theories and concepts. Specifically, students will become familiar with important academic debates in international security and international political economy

1. Thinking, discussing, and writing clearly and logically.
2. Understanding the linkages between empirical facts and abstract concepts.
3. Apply insights from International Relations theories to real-world events.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

One one-hour lecture and one class weekly


  • Rogowski, Ronald. (1987-12) 'Political Cleavages and Changing Exposure to Trade', in The American Political Science Review. vol. 81 (4) , pp.1121-
  • Gourevitch, Peter. (1978-9) 'The second image reversed: the international sources of domestic politics', in International Organization. vol. 32 (04) , pp.881-
  • Steinwand, Martin C. (2015) 'Compete or Coordinate? Aid Fragmentation and Lead Donorship', in International Organization. vol. 69 (02) , pp.443-472
  • Pevehouse, Jon C.; Goldstein, Joshua S. (2017) International relations, Boston: Pearson.
  • Abdelal, Rawi. (2006-02) 'Writing the rules of global finance: France, Europe, and capital liberalization', in Review of International Political Economy. vol. 13 (1) , pp.1-27
  • Pevehouse, Jon C.; Goldstein, Joshua S. (2020) International relations, [Hoboken, New Jersey]: Pearson.
  • Dietrich, Simone. (2013-12) 'Bypass or Engage? Explaining Donor Delivery Tactics in Foreign Aid Allocation*', in International Studies Quarterly. vol. 57 (4) , pp.698-712
  • (1996) Free trade: the repeal of the Corn Laws, Bristol: Thoemmes Press. vol. no. 10
  • Cohen, Benjamin J. (2003-09) 'Can the Euro Ever Challenge the Dollar?', in JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies. vol. 41 (4) , pp.575-595
  • Martin Feldstein. (no date) 'The Failure of the Euro: The Little Currency That Couldn't', in Foreign Affairs: Council on Foreign Relations.
  • Marx, Karl; Engels, Friedrich. (no date) Manifesto of the Communist Party.
  • Acemoglu, Daron; Robinson, James A. (2012) Why nations fail: the origins of power, prosperity and poverty, London: Profile.
  • Power, Samantha. (no date) Never Again.
  • Gaddis, John Lewis. (1986-21) 'The Long Peace: Elements of Stability in the Postwar International System', in International Security. vol. 10 (4) , pp.99-
  • Schmidt, Vivien A. (2006-08) 'Procedural democracy in the EU: the Europeanization of national and sectoral policy-making processes', in Journal of European Public Policy. vol. 13 (5) , pp.670-691
  • Gutting, Raynee; Steinwand, Martin C. (2017-03) 'Donor Fragmentation, Aid Shocks, and Violent Political Conflict', in Journal of Conflict Resolution. vol. 61 (3) , pp.643-670
  • Thies, Cameron G. (2002-11) 'A Pragmatic Guide to Qualitative Historical Analysis in the Study of International Relations', in International Studies Perspectives. vol. 3 (4) , pp.351-372
  • Mynott, Jeremy; Thucydides. (2013) The war of the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Putnam, Robert D. (1988-6) 'Diplomacy and domestic politics: the logic of two-level games', in International Organization. vol. 42 (03) , pp.427-
  • Hennessy, Alexandra. (2013) 'Informal Governance and the Eurozone Crisis', in Journal of Contemporary European Studies. vol. 21 (3) , pp.429-446
  • Waltz, Kenneth N. (1997-12) 'Evaluating Theories', in American Political Science Review. vol. 91 (04) , pp.913-917
  • Walt, Stephen M. (2005-06-15) 'THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THEORY AND POLICY IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS', in Annual Review of Political Science. vol. 8 (1) , pp.23-48
  • Wendt, Alexander. (1992-3) 'Anarchy is what states make of it: the social construction of power politics', in International Organization. vol. 46 (02) , pp.391-
  • Moravcsik, Andrew. (no date) 'Preferences and power in the European Community: A liberal intergovernmentalist approach.', in Journal of Common Market Studies. vol. 31 (4) , pp.2-
  • Parsons, Craig. (2002-2-1) 'Showing Ideas as Causes: The Origins of the European Union', in International Organization. vol. 56 (1) , pp.47-84
  • Eichengreen, Barry. (1986) The Political Economy of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff.
  • Doyle, Michael W. (1986-12) 'Liberalism and World Politics', in American Political Science Review. vol. 80 (04) , pp.1151-1169

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Online Quiz 1 (Moodle)    20% 
Coursework   Online Quiz 2 (Moodle)    20% 
Coursework   Essay  17/01/2022  60% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Mrs Ireen Litvak-Zur, email: i.litvak-zur@essex.ac.uk.
Ms Ireen Litvak Zur
Module Supervisor: Ms Ireen Litvak Zur (il20207@@essex.ac.) / Module Administrator: govquery@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 391 hours, 10 (2.6%) hours available to students:
381 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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