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POLS540 International Relations Theory

2021 information for papers will be published in early September. 

The basic theories and debates in the international relations theory literature. Theories covered include: realism, liberalism, constructivism, Marxism.

Paper title International Relations Theory
Paper code POLS540
Subject Politics
EFTS 0.2500
Points 30 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,713.25
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,512.50

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Limited to
Teaching staff
Dr Nicholas Khoo
Paper Structure
  1. Realism
  2. Liberalism
  3. Constructivism
  4. Marxism
  5. The Cold War: Ancient History or Timely History Lessons?
  6. U.S. Foreign Policy and the Post-Cold War Order: Can the Liberal Order Survive? Should It?
  7. China's Role in Contemporary World Politics: Return to Power?
  8. Nuclear Weapons: Still Relevant?
  9. Regionalism: A Viable Alternative to the State?
  10. Alliances: Redudant or Vital?
  11. The State and Globalization: A boost to State Power or its nemesis?

There will be no course reader for POLS 540. Readings available from Library short loan desk.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
The student will be able to have:
  • The capacity to analyse and evaluate the issues and debates in the international relations theory literature.
  • The ability to conduct independent and self-directed research.
  • The ability to synthesise and integrate information from many sources into an original text.

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 10:00-11:50 9-12, 20