Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC1021: Key Concepts in Politics and International Relations

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.


NQF Level 4
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module will run during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Aneta Brockhill (Lecturer)





Available via distance learning


How and when did China, Russia, North Korea or Cuba become the “bad guys” in mainstream popular culture and the news? Why does mainstream news prioritize the US’ foreign policies over Brazil’s, for instance? What do we mean by realist, constructivist or idealist approaches in IR? Are such “old school” concepts still relevant in an increasingly globalized world where borders appear to be blurred? What other approaches has IR, as a discipline, shied away from and why is it important that we centre our analysis around them? Our global world, some would argue, is at an important historical juncture: the environment, sexual rights and space exploration have become major debates alongside increasingly populist states. How do we make sense of this variety? Who has the power to implement such analyses? Our module attempts to make sense of our world by drawing together classic and contemporary analysis in IR. We will draw on scholarly works whilst examining them in tandem with historical and current events.

No prior knowledge skills or experience are required to take this module and it is suitable for specialist and non-specialist students. The module is suitable for students studying Politics, History or International Relations.

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