Undergraduate Module Descriptor


POC2065: Spies, Secrets and Lies

This module descriptor refers to the 2017/8 academic year.

Overview

NQF Level5
Credits15 ECTS Value7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module will run during term 1 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

(Convenor)

Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

Available via distance learning

No

When should prime ministers and presidents deceive the public? When should they deceive each other? Alternatively, should statesmen act openly and honestly with the public and each other? What are the political, as well as ethical, implications of these acts of openness and deception for real life?

This module encourages you to examine the ethics and politics of openness, secrecy and deception in politics, with particular reference to issues of security, foreign policy and international relations, and to the issues raised in liberal democracies and by western political thought. In the first half of the module we will investigate how different approaches to openness and deception in international relations have emerged out of the history of political thought and the history of government. In the second half of the course, we will reflexively consider how these perspectives can be applied, or are in some cases already embedded in, the scholarly analysis of contemporary issues. Topics include: propaganda, the democratic oversight of the intelligence services, the use of transparency as a foreign policy tool, and the ethical and political implications of ‘leaking’. The module is formally assessed through a portfolio activity and a critical reflection of your own contribution to, and experience of, the seminars.

No prior knowledge skills or experience are required to take this module and it is suitable for specialist and non-specialist students. Some knowledge of western modern political thought and International Relations, and a familiarity and enthusiasm for current affairs, will be an advantage.

Module created

21/07/2014

Last revised