Strategic Aspects of International Relations

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Christopher Coker CLM 5.09


This course is available on the BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics, BSc in International Relations, BSc in International Relations and History and BSc in Politics and International Relations. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Also open to students from the other University of London institutions by arrangement with the teacher.

Course content

Analyses various perspectives on strategy and war, the way war is conducted by states and within states and focuses on the way different cultures understand strategic outcomes. The attempt to humanise war; the western way of warfare; non-western ways of war, including Asian/Middle East; asymmetrical warfare; Globalisation and Security; Clausewitz and the western way of warfare; war and the risk society, war in the developing world; war and genocide, terrorism, the 'end of war' thesis. The discussion classes combine a discussion of these topics with their application by states in the international system.


10 hours of lectures and 8 hours of classes in the MT. 6 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the LT.

The classes are compulsory. Students will be expected to contribute to class discussions and present papers each week. Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6 in line with departmental policy. 

Formative coursework

Students will be required to write three essays (c. 1,500 words each) in the course of the year, in MT and LT.

Indicative reading

Daniel Pick, The War Machine; Martin van Creveld, War and Technology; Charles Gray, Post-Modern War; Martin van Creveld, On Future War; John Keegan, A History of Warfare.


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

Key facts

Department: International Relations

Total students 2016/17: 60

Average class size 2016/17: 11

Capped 2016/17: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication