MA International Relations (Standard)
Year of entry: 2021
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Course unit details:
Borders, Identities, Citizenship
|Unit level||FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
This course aims to critically examine the political, social and cultural construction of borders in international relations. It will introduce students to key theoretical approaches and latest research on these issues in critical International Relations, Political Geography and International Political Sociology. The course will stimulate questioning of how determination of political space through borders shapes the production of identities and citizenship. The enquiry-based learning environment will encourage students to explore conceptual links between borders, identities, and citizenship through examining the governing logics surrounding immigration, population management, diasporic formations, border-crossings, and minority cultures. Throughout the course the students will gain a greater understanding of how political power works across the marginal sites through the dialogical logic of exclusion and inclusion along the markers of ethnicity, gender, class, race, religion, and culture. Empirically, the course will engage with the recent and historical examples from the US, Europe, and China.
: Students will be able to
• To understand, compare, and evaluate key theoretical approaches to borders in International Relations
• To understand and discuss conceptual links between borders, identities, and citizenship
• Have a robust knowledge and ability to critically analyse several empirical cases of border interactions across the world
• Have improved comparative and analytical skills
• Have improved independent research skills through preparation of a course essay
• Have enhanced communicative and team work through group presentation
Teaching and learning methods
This course will be taught via a weekly two-hour workshop classes. Assessment will be both formative and summative. The teaching and learning methods will focus on individual guided reading, enquiry-based learning, group work and student-led presentations and are aimed at developing advanced, systematic and critical understanding of theoretical and empirical issues pertaining to borders in international politics. Formative assessment will be provided in terms of: i) informal discussion in seminars between the convenor and students, ii) literature research and its critical interrogation, and iii) between students themselves about how their performance in seminars advances their learning and knowledge. Summative assessment will be in the form of one 3000 word essay and group presentations. The essay and presentation will provide students with an opportunity to study in depth a relevant area of their own choice in greater detail, and will develop their analytical, critical, and presentation skills.
Knowledge and understanding
The students will gain a greater understanding of scholarly perspectives on borders, identity, and citizenship; will be able to evaluate different paradigms and schools of thought; and will enhance their knowledge of relevant empirical and historical processes.
- Critical reading, questioning, and reflection
- Synthesis and analysis of material
- Individual research skills
- Group work
- Academic writing
- Oral presentation
Transferable skills and personal qualities
Research skills, independent learning, presentation skills, working to deadline, ability to work individually and as part of a team
|Written assignment (inc essay)||80%|
Weighting within unit
- Agnew, John (2003) Geopolitics: Re-visioning World Politics, 2nd Ed. London: Routledge.
- Salter, Mark B (2003) Rights of Passage: the Passport in International Relations. London: Lynne Reiner Publishers.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Elena Barabantseva||Unit coordinator|
Wednesday 9.00 - 11.00