Students

POIR2030 – Theories of World Politics

2021 – Session 1, Fully online/virtual

Notice

As part of Phase 3 of our return to campus plan, most units will now run tutorials, seminars and other small group activities on campus, and most will keep an online version available to those students unable to return or those who choose to continue their studies online.

To check the availability of face-to-face and online activities for your unit, please go to timetable viewer. To check detailed information on unit assessments visit your unit's iLearn space or consult your unit convenor.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor/lectuer
Jonathan Symons
Contact via Email
Room 252, Level 2, 25B Wally's Walk
Thursday 10am-11am
Tutor
Karim Pourhamzavi
Contact via Email
Karim Pourhamzavi
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
40cp at 1000 level or above OR (10cp in HIST or MHIS or POL or POIR or MHIX or POIX units)
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit introduces students to the major theories of international relations, key debates that have shaped the discipline and interconnections between theory and the practice of international politics. The first chair of international politics was established after the First World War with the explicit goal of identifying the causes of war and peace. While war and great power conflict remain central concerns, the discipline has grappled with new challenges as de-colonisation and globalisation have created a densely interconnected global system of sovereign states. Students will engage with key themes including power, great power rivalry, nationalism, national interest, critical approaches, justice and cooperation under anarchy.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Collect information from self-selected sources to complete a prescribed research task.
  • ULO2: Demonstrate a critical understanding of the specific theories used in the study of international relations.
  • ULO3: Identify and analyse interconnections between international relations theory and contemporary international politics.
  • ULO4: Demonstrate capacity to apply the major analytic and theoretical frameworks in several subfields of international relations.
  • ULO5: Discuss theories of world politics in depth with peers.

General Assessment Information

Late Submission Penalty

“Unless a Special Consideration request has been submitted and approved, (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out of 100 will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline. No late submissions will be accepted for timed assessments – e.g. quizzes and the take-home exam unless prior arrangements have been made via email with the unit convenor.”

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Research essay and presentation 55% No Monday 17-May. 5pm
Quizzes based on weekly readings 20% No Tuesday 11pm. Weeks: 2,3,4,5,6,7,11 &12
Online discussion 25% No a) continuous b) turnitin Wed 11pm in allocated week

Research essay and presentation

Assessment Type 1: Essay
Indicative Time on Task 2: 40 hours
Due: Monday 17-May. 5pm
Weighting: 55%

 

Research essay requiring independent research. Essay questions and marking criteria will be provided on ilearn. Completion of task will require in-class or online presentation summarising essay's argument.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Collect information from self-selected sources to complete a prescribed research task.
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the specific theories used in the study of international relations.
  • Identify and analyse interconnections between international relations theory and contemporary international politics.
  • Discuss theories of world politics in depth with peers.

Quizzes based on weekly readings

Assessment Type 1: Quiz/Test
Indicative Time on Task 2: 15 hours
Due: Tuesday 11pm. Weeks: 2,3,4,5,6,7,11 &12
Weighting: 20%

 

Quizzes based on weekly readings – dates and details provided on ilearn.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the specific theories used in the study of international relations.
  • Identify and analyse interconnections between international relations theory and contemporary international politics.
  • Demonstrate capacity to apply the major analytic and theoretical frameworks in several subfields of international relations.

Online discussion

Assessment Type 1: Participatory task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 25 hours
Due: a) continuous b) turnitin Wed 11pm in allocated week
Weighting: 25%

 

Students will be assessed a) on their participation in the weekly discussion forums on ilearn (10%) and b) on their written submission responding to on one week's tutorial activity (15%). Details on ilearn.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the specific theories used in the study of international relations.
  • Identify and analyse interconnections between international relations theory and contemporary international politics.
  • Discuss theories of world politics in depth with peers.

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Learning Skills Unit for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

Delivery

Lectures: the lecture is scheduled for Tuesday 11am-1pm. In week 1 the lecture will be conducted via zoom (details on ilearn), so students can ask administrative questions. In other weeks the lecture will be recorded and available via ilearn/echo360.

External and OUA students are expected to participate actively in discussion on the iLearn discussion forums (further details are given in the section on Assessment). You are expected to make at least one post each week.

Required resources:

There is one required text for this unit:

Lawson, Stephanie. (2015). Theories of International Relations: Contending Approaches to World Politics. Polity Press: Cambridge. 

Access to this text will be necessary in order to complete the reading quizzes. Although the library will have a copy of this text, I recommend that you purchase a copy ahead of semester if possible. All other unit readings will all be available on ilearn or e-reserve.

Unit Schedule

Week 1 - Wed 24 Feb

Introduction: can theory might help us to understand world politics?

Week 2 - Wed 3 March

Classical realism (and its critics). First week of weekly reading quizzes - available on iLearn and must be completed by 11pm Tuesday - evening before tutorial. 

Week 3 - Wed 10 March

Liberal theories of world politics

- Weekly iLearn quiz due by 11pm evening before tutorial (Tuesday 11pm).

- Graded tutorial activity #1 (Students leading class this week must submit notes to turnitin by 11pm Wednesday).

NB: You should also nominate which research question you will address this week via the iLearn discussion forum. You are welcome to switch to another question if you change your mind.

Week 4 - Wed 17 March

Structural Theories: Neo-Realism and Neo-Liberal Institutionalism.

- Weekly iLearn quiz due by 11pm evening before tutorial (Tuesday 11pm).

Week 5 - Wed 24 March

Constructivism & the role of ideas in world politics.

- Weekly iLearn quiz due by 11pm evening before tutorial (Tuesday 11pm).

- Graded tutorial activity #2 (Students leading class this week must submit notes to turnitin by 11pm Wednesday).

Week 6 -  Wed 31 March

Marxism and World Systems Theory 

- Weekly iLearn quiz due by 11pm evening before tutorial (Tuesday 11pm).

- Graded tutorial activity #3 (Students leading class this week must submit notes to turnitin by 11pm Wednesday).

_______________________________

MID SEMESTER BREAK: 2 to 18 April 2021

Week 7 - 21 April

Feminist theories of world politics

- Weekly iLearn quiz due by 11pm evening before tutorial (Tuesday 11pm).

Week 8 - 28 April

Postcolonial and Decolonial Theories.

- Graded tutorial activity #4 (Students leading class this week must submit notes to turnitin by 11pm Wednesday).

Week 9 - Wed 5 May

Green Theory. No reading quiz for the next 3 weeks.

Week 10 - Wed 12 May - Essay Writing Week

This week's lecture will be replaced by an essay writing workshop on zoom.

Week 11 - Essay due date Monday 17 May. Tutorial Wed 19 May

Middle powers and foreign policy.

- Weekly iLearn quiz due by 11pm evening before tutorial (Tuesday 11pm).

- Graded tutorial activity #5 (Students leading class this week must submit notes to turnitin by 11pm Wednesday).

Week 12 - Wed 25 May

Normative International Theory

- Weekly iLearn quiz due by 11pm evening before tutorial (Tuesday 11pm).

- Graded tutorial activity #6 (Students leading class this week must submit notes to turnitin by 11pm Wednesday).

Week 13  - Wed 2 June

Conclusion

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit Student Policies (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/policies). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

To find other policies relating to Teaching and Learning, visit Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au) and use the search tool.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Changes since First Published

Date Description
13/02/2021 Titles of some weeks edited, and date of one class activity shifted