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    A World of Whose Making? Politics, Economics, Technology and Culture in International Studies
    LIBS A301
      More information: Course Guide
    A World of Whose Making? Politics, Economics, Technology and Culture in International Studies

    Course Coordinator: Ronald Yeung, BSSc (CityU of HK); MA (Essex) / Dr Eddie Cheung, BCom (Sydney); MSc (LSE); PhD (ANU)

    Course Developer: The Open University, UK, Course Team

    This course offers an innovative, interdisciplinary perspective on contemporary international studies. How can we best understand and analyse international developments such as the role of the World Trade Organization, the power of the USA, or global contests over religion, culture and rights? What are the main forms of international order and disorder, and how are they changing? This course provides the tools of political and economic analysis needed to answer these questions as well as a historical and conceptual understanding of states and security; the contested place of religion, culture and norms at an international and global level; and the role of technology, inequality and networks. The course concludes with a review of models of world order and debates about how world order is changing.

    The course aims to:

    • Provide students with an understanding of basic elements of the conceptual apparatus of economics and politics as applied to the international arena;

    • Develop students’ ability to apply the concepts and theories of economics and politics to concrete international issues;

    • Facilitate students’ understanding of three central aspects of the international system: states and the states-system; culture, rights and justice; and technology, inequality and networks;

    • Invite students to participate in the debates about the nature of international order and the analysis of change and transformation.

    The course is divided into two parts. The first part examines the basic concepts and theories of politics and economics that bear on international affairs. This involves a serious engagement with the theories, formal models and, at times, simple numerical examples used by economists and political scientists to understand international economics and politics. It also encompasses an appreciation of the range of different standpoints from which knowledge of the international system is produced and evaluated.

    The second part examines the political dimensions of the international system, focusing on the role of states and the workings of the states-system, followed by the global and international questions of cultural difference, and universal ideas of rights and justice. This part also considers the changing international distribution of technological capabilities and the role of technology in shaping international interactions and networks. It concludes with a critical examination of contemporary theories of world order.

    Learning support
    There will be regular two-hour tutorials and day schools throughout the course.

    There will be five assignments and an examination. Students are required to submit assignments via the Online Learning Environment (OLE).

    You will need access to a CD player and a computer.

    Set book(s)
    There are no set books for this course.

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