Law, Empire, and War in World Politics
This module offers students a critical perspective on the role and origins of international law, exploring how laws and institutions have been entangled with structural inequalities and hierarchical cultural and political orders. It imagines international law as a product of both progressive moral development and practices of violence and domination. Starting with the role of international law in the construction and maintenance of Empire and colonialism in 19th, it traces and explores how legacies of exclusion and feature in contemporary rules, institutions, and practices. The aim is to provide students with the opportunity to explore how notions of culture, civilization, and hierarchy have been generative forces in different issue areas, including international criminal justice, humanitarian intervention, and the war on terror.
Human Rights, Humanitarian Intervention, and Global Justice
This MA module considers some of the fundamental questions and dilemmas underpinning the practice of humanitarian intervention in international society, such as ‘why’ do interventions occur, ‘how’ do they unfold, and ‘what’ happens afterwards. The module takes a consciously interdisciplinary approach, weaving together law, politics, and ethics to make sense of the normative commitments that underpin the idea of ‘saving strangers’, as well as the politics and legal architecture surrounding the use of force. Theoretical exploration will help students to place the practice of humanitarian intervention within the broader context of global order and the relationship between state sovereignty and human rights. Conceptual mapping is used to identify different forms of intervention, considering types of UN (peacekeeping) missions, doctrines such as the Responsibility to Protect, and actors involved. Students will also be introduced to the basic relevant legal frameworks, the complex relationship between legality and legitimacy, and the emergence of international criminal justice institutions.
Introduction to International Relations
This course offers an introduction to the study of International Relations (IR). The aim is to lay some of the conceptual and historical groundwork necessary for the study of politics at the global level, and to offer a systematic introductory overview of the field. Students will gain a broad understanding of the debates and issues that are key to IR. In addition to exploring fundamental concepts such as sovereignty, anarchy, power and global governance, the module encourages students to take a critical look on world politics, considering themes such as race, gender (in)equality, and colonialism. Students will learn to apply concepts, understand the history and evolution of international order and become familiar with some of the current global challenges related to human rights, climate change, and the rise of non-Western powers. They are also be introduced to the main theoretical approaches that are used to make sense of world politics.
Moralities of War and Peace
This course explores some of the fundamental issues in the morality (justifications and conduct) of war and intervention. The module invites students to grapple with and apply the three elements of just war theory (jus ad bellum, jus in bello and jus post bellum) and considers how they relate to the international legal regime governing the use of force. Contrasting perspectives on war and ethics are explored in both theory and practice, considering both the UN Charter provisions surrounding the use of force and international humanitarian law. The module then moves to look at the normative dimension of new forms of violence, including terrorism and the emergence of new weapons technologies.
The International Criminal Justice Project
This project based module allows a small group of students to