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PLT3950 - International Ethics in A Divided World

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: TBA


Not offered in 2007


The claim that international relations has something to do with ethics and morality is widely held to be an oxymoron. This unit attempts to show that such a claim does not bear critical scrutiny. In particular, the subject establishes the way in which our understanding of ethics is bound up with a variety of other beliefs about world politics such as whether we are disposed to accept a liberal, realist or emancipatory view as our general conceptual framework.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. A better understanding of the way in which politics and ethics are intertwined with one another in a variety of contexts.
  2. A greater understanding of why there has been increasing interest in ethics in the discipline of international relations.
  3. A better understanding of the different modes of conceiving the relation of ethics and morality.
  4. An ability to apply some key theoretical ethical concepts to empirical case studies.


Oral presentation of topics (equivalent to 500 words): 10%
Essay (2000 words): 40%
Examination (2 hours): 50%
Compared with second-year students, third-year students will be invited to demonstrate wider reading and a deeper understanding of the unit.

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week


A first-year sequence in Politics or permission.