Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE International Relations since 1945

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT International Relations

DESCRIPTION This study unit reviews the major characteristics of the international system that emerged following the end of the Second World War, and looks at the onset of the Cold War and the resulting world order, the attempt by the two Super Powers to extend sphere of influence, and the nuclear arms race and détente. It examines the main causes and effects of the emergence of the ‘Third World,’ the collapse of communism, the 'end' of the Cold War, the dominance of liberalism, the rise of new states, and the growth of militant nationalism and religious extremism in international relations.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit seeks to highlight the most significant developments in the international system since 1945. The focus is on the main variables underlying the key international, political and economic, transformations during the past decades, in terms of some of the major notions and arguments of the most prominent theories of IR. Topics of study include the balance of power, the North-South divide, the distribution of wealth, the economic gap between different countries and regions, and the political upheavals, civil unrest and violence in a number of case studies.

The aim to assist the student in learning from a variety of perspectives about global issues including war and poverty, migration, role of nationalism and religion, and the impact of modern technology, globalization and global economy.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Benefit from a basic, multi-disciplinary knowledge that draws from history, geography politics and economics, on the major dynamics of the transformations in the international system since 1945;
- Compare different notions, perspectives and approaches to processes of global change;
- (Better) understand the main theoretical and analytical issues in the study of international relations.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Apply core concepts, assumptions and theories of IR to social and economic changes in a number of case studies, integrate many points of view;
- Analyse how the past has influenced the present;
- Make attempts to predict some of the main effects and consequences of more recent international developments and events;
- Form own views on some of the major issues and challenges in the international sphere and foreign policy.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Alshinawi Arsalan (2010) The Continuous relevance of the Nation-State. Lambert Publishing, Germany
- Walker Martin, (1994) The Cold War, Vintage, London
- Geddis John Lewis, (1998). Now We Know. Rethinking Cold War History, Clarendon Press, Oxford
- Lundestad, Geir (2010) East, West, North, South: Major Developments in International Politics since 1945. - Sage Publications (6th Edn.)
- Morris, Ian (2010) Why the West Rules - For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future. Farrar, Straus and Giroux (1st Edn.)
- Crockatt Richard, (1995) The Fifty Years War. The United States and the Soviet Union in World Politics, 1941-1991, Routledge, London
- Walker Martin, (1994). The Cold War, Vintage, London
- Hobsbawm Eric, (1994) Age of Extremes. The Short Twentieth Century 1914-1991, Michael Joseph, London
- Calvocoressi Peter, (1998) World Politics since 1945, Longman, London


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Classwork Yes 15%
Examination (1 Hour) Yes 85%

LECTURER/S Isabelle Calleja Ragonesi

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.