IR462      Half Unit
Introduction to International Political Theory

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Christopher Brown CLM 5.08


This course is available on the MSc in China in Comparative Perspective, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in Global Politics (Global Civil Society), MSc in Human Rights, MSc in International Relations, MSc in International Relations (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in International Relations (Research), MSc in International Relations Theory, MSc in Political Theory, MSc in Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. This course is not available as an outside option.

All students are required to obtain permission from the Teacher Responsible by completing the Student Statement box on the online application form linked to course selection on LSE for You. Admission is not guaranteed.

Course content

The background to International Political Theory; the moral standing of the state; international human rights; critiques of human rights and universal values; the ethics of war and violence; international humanitarianism; international law and international politics; global social justice. Watch a short introductory video on this course:


18 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

1 x 800 word book report 1 x 2,000 word essay

Indicative reading

Appiah, K.A. Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers (Allen Lane, 2006); Armstrong, D. et al International Law and International Relations (Cambridge UP, 2007); Brown C. Sovereignty, Rights and Justice (Polity, 2002); Beitz C.R. Political Theory and International Relations (Princeton UP, 1979/2000); International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty The Responsibility to Protect (Ottawa, 2001); Jackson, R. The Global Covenant (Oxford UP 2003); Rawls J. The Law of Peoples (Harvard University Press, 1999); Walzer M. Just and Unjust Wars (Basic Books, 3rd ed 2000).


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 17.9
Merit 46.3
Pass 29.3
Fail 6.5

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2012/13: 19

Average class size 2012/13: 7

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information