Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitSchool of Arts and Social Sciences, Malaysia
OfferedMalaysia First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Helen Nesadurai


This unit introduces students to key concepts and theories in the discipline of International relations with the aim of exploring how these help explain events and developments in world politics. Students will examine how material power and interests as well as norms, culture, and ideas/theories shape outcomes in the international system, considering theoretically their role in inter-state conflict and war, prospects for peace and cooperation, as well as broader governance questions pertaining to human rights, development and the environment. Drawing also on cases, developments, events and skills encountered in other International Studies subjects, a key aim of this unit is to consider whether it is possible to secure broader normative and humanitarian goals in a state-centric international system that still appears to take seriously the preservation of state sovereignty.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. Identify key concepts and theoretical perspectives in International Relations and explain the differences between these theoretical models;
  2. Compare how different theoretical perspectives in International Relations explain events, the behaviour of key actors and structural developments in the international system;
  3. Apply the various theoretical perspectives and conceptual tools studied in this unit to analyse contemporary issues in world politics;
  4. Evaluate key debates in International Relations, especially as they apply to contemporary world issues and conflicts; and
  5. Present and defend verbal/written arguments on contemporary issues in International Relations, including by reflecting on key sources and references used to develop these positions.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.


ATS2570, ATS3570