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    Key elements of modern international relations. Origins and dynamics of the Cold War system, regional developments, the emerging post-Cold War world, perennial international issues and contending analytical perspectives.

    The aim of this paper is to introduce students to the field of post-war international relations. Strictly defined, the subject of international relations is concerned with the study of relations among the world's national governments and non-state actors. But such relations cannot be understood in isolation from the context of the international system where they are formed.

    The focus, therefore, will be on the rise and decline of the bi-polar system, the emergence of the new post-Cold War order and the persistence of certain international issues throughout the period in question. It is hoped not only to equip students with an enhanced awareness of what has happened in the international arena, but also promote an understanding of how and why these events have occurred.

    About this paper

    Paper title International Relations - Introduction
    Subject Politics
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    The study of Politics at 100-level does not require any specific previous study. An interest in national and international affairs is an advantage.
    Teaching staff
    Professor Robert Patman
    Paper Structure
    The paper is divided into five parts dealing with the international stage, the Cold War system, regional conflicts, enduring Issues, and the evolving post-Cold War era.
    Teaching Arrangements
    The paper is taught through formal lectures and interactive tutorials.

    There is no single textbook that covers the entire paper. However, a number of texts collectively provide much of the essential general reading. Recommended books included Joshua Goldstein and Jon C. Peverhouse "International Relations", and Andrew Heywood "Global Politics".

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    Students will gain:
    • The ability to critically assess arguments put forward by international relations scholars
    • The capability to relate arguments to evidence in an international context
    • The capacity to analytically compare opposing arguments on international questions and develop reasoned, independent perspectives
    • Obtain intellectual grasp of the major contours of international relations since 1945


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 11:00-11:50 9-13, 15-22
    Tuesday 11:00-11:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    A1 Wednesday 14:00-14:50 10-13, 16, 20-22
    A2 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 10-13, 16, 20-22
    A3 Wednesday 16:00-16:50 10-13, 16, 20-22
    A5 Thursday 12:00-12:50 10-13, 16, 20-22
    A6 Tuesday 14:00-14:50 10-13, 16, 20-22
    A7 Tuesday 15:00-15:50 10-13, 16, 20-22
    A8 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 10-13, 16, 20-22
    A9 Wednesday 12:00-12:50 10-13, 16, 20-22
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