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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: Politics Short Name: POLM023
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: DAVID M Dr (Politics)
Number of credits: 15 Number of ECTS credits: 7.5
Module Availability
Spring Semester (Semester 2)
Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark
( %)
Essay (3000 words)
Qualifying Condition(s)
A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Module Overview
As with Intervention (i), the module will examine, from both a theoretical and a practical perspective, the different kinds of international intervention in response to poverty, humanitarian crisis, abuses of human rights, state failure, and armed conflict. Students will be expected to draw on their knowledge of the specificities of various relevant cases in order to draw conclusions about where effective learning has taken place and to consider what remains to be done in order to reduce the occurrence of human suffering.
The module builds on Politics of International Intervention (i) by requiring students to deliver a critical analysis of the failures and successes of intervention in two respects:
i) To critique the theoretical literature on intervention in respect of its explanatory power. Students are thus required to explore the relative utility of varying analytical frameworks against the background of that which they seek to explain;
ii) To critique the practice of intervention. Students will develop the skills to compare and contrast intervention in different crises. They will also learn to evaluate the relative successes and failures and account for them.
Politics of International Intervention (i)
Module Aims
To develop
(i) Student understanding of key concepts and understandings of intervention;
(ii) Students’ ability to deliver a critical analysis of the literature in respect of its explanatory power and analytical frameworks.
To evidence and account for the successes in respect of attitudes to and policy on intervention.
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the module, students should have developed the skills to demonstrate the following:
Knowledge and understanding
·         Critical analysis of cases, from a range of ideological and philosophical perspectives
·         Capacity to compare and contrast cases and concepts
·         Good assessment of validity and reliability of theoretical literature
·         Identify gaps in knowledge and understanding of practice of intervention and account for them
Transferable and Practical Skills
·         Critical thinking and analysis
·         The ability to research independently and effectively
·         Good time-management and other organisational skills
·         Excellent communication skills – both oral and written
Reflective thinking – understanding of learning processes
Module Content
Designed to build on the themes and issues of Intervention (i), the module provides the opportunity for students to develop their understanding of the key concepts and considerations that underpin both the practice and analysis of intervention.
Topics covered will include but not be limited to:
·         IR theorising in respect of intervention and evaluation of its ‘fitness’ for purpose in respect of understanding crisis and intervention.
Key actors in Intervention including, states, IOs, NGOs, the media, wider society.
Methods of Teaching/Learning
·         Lectures
·         Seminars
·         Enquiry based learning
·         Presentations
Group exercises
Selected Texts/Journals
Breau, Susan (2005) Humanitarian Intervention: The United Nations and Collective Responsibility, London, Cameron May
Collins, Alan (ed) (2007) Contemporary Security Studies, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Paris, Roland and Sisk, Timothy D. eds. (2009) The Dilemmas of State Building: Confronting the Contradictions of Postwar Peace Operations Abingdon: Routledge.
Salmon, Trevor C, and Imber, Mark F (2007) (eds) Issues in International Relations (2nd ed), Abingdon: Routledge.
Viotti, Paul R & Kauppi, Mark (2007) (3rd ed.) International Relations and World Politics, New Jersey: Pearson
Weiss, Thomas G (2007) Humanitarian Intervention: Ideas in Action, Cambridge: Polity.
Welsh, Jennifer M (ed.) (2006) Humanitarian Intervention and International Relations Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wheeler, N. (2002) Saving Strangers: Humanitarian Intervention in International Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Last Updated
30 June 2010