Concepts of International Society

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Iver Neumann CLM 6.06


This course is compulsory on the BSc in International Relations and BSc in International Relations and History. This course is available on the BSc in Environment and Development. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

An examination of the theories and concepts designed to explain the nature of contemporary international relations.

1. The modern international system and the emergence of the academic study of international relations; realism, idealism and the 'English School'; contemporary theories. 2. State-centric international relations: power and statecraft, the balance of power, and war. 3. International organisation: The UN System, regional organisations, international regimes, 'global governance'. 4. The politics of the world economy: globalisation, 'north-south' relations. 5. Global social movements and the new agenda of international relations.


10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 4 hours of classes in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students are required to write three essays of approximately 1,500 words as well as one in-class, timed essay in the last class of LT. They will also be required to give at least one class presentation.

Indicative reading

A full course description and guide to reading will be provided: relevant course texts include J Baylis & S Smith (Eds), Globalisation and World Politics, 2nd edn, (Oxford UP, 2001); C Brown, Understanding International Relations, 2nd edn (Macmillan, 2001); R Jackson & G Sørensen, Introduction to International Relations (OUP, revised edn., 2003).


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Sample papers are included in the full course description.

Student performance results

(2010/11 - 2012/13 combined)

Classification % of students
First 10.3
2:1 50
2:2 34
Third 4.6
Fail 1.1

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2012/13: 135

Average class size 2012/13: 13

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information