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Theories and concepts

This is a module framework. It can be viewed online or dowloaded as a zip file As taught in Autumn Semester 2009/10 The War on Iraq and the US and British invasion of the country in 2003 has led to huge tensions in geopolitics. At the same time, the supposed ‘threat' of international terrorism and continuing financial turmoil in the world economy have both brought to the fore the global politics of co-operation and confrontation. Whilst it might be possible to agree on the significance of these events, the explanation and/or understanding of them is dependent on prior theoretical choices. The purpose of this module is to make students aware of the diversity of approaches to international theory. Within International Relations (IR) theory there exist highly divergent interpretations and applications of key concepts (e.g. power, the state, agency, structure, and world order) as well as contested views about the practical purpose underpinning theories of world politics. The overall aim of the module is to provide students with a solid theoretical and conceptual grounding of this diversity. As a result, it will be possible to recognise not only how international theory informs policy-making and practice but also, perhaps, how truly contested the underlying assumptions of world politics are. Suitable for Postgraduate Level Dr Adam D. Morton, School of Politics and International Relations Dr. Adam D. Morton is Associate Professor of Political Economy within the Centre for the Study of Social and Global Justice (CSSGJ) in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham. His research specialises in the themes of political economy, state theory, historical sociology and development in relation to the making of modern Mexico. His next book is Revolution and State in Modern Mexico: The Political Economy of Uneven Development (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011) and he has published peer-reviewed journal articles on various dimensions of the political economy of Mexico in Third World Quarterly (2003); Bulletin of Latin American Research (2003); New Political Economy (2005); Journal of Peasant Studies (2007); and Latin American Perspectives (2010). He has also published in many of the major peer-reviewed journals in International Relations and International Political Economy (IPE), including European Journal of International Relations (2001); Review of International Political Economy (2003); Review of International Studies (2005); and International Studies Quarterly (2008). Email:


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