AZA1011 - Fundamentals of international relations - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit

South Africa School of Social Science


Mr Laurence Caromba

Unit guides


South Africa

  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


The purpose of the unit is to introduce students to the fundamentals of international relations, including the major traditions of international relations theory, as well as the key international issues of human rights, global power and the global economy, and international law. The unit also introduces the principal actors in international relations including states, inter-governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, transnational corporations, and global civil society.


Upon successful completion of the unit the student will be able to:

  1. understand the major concepts of international relations, including: the international system, balance of power, hegemony, conflict, human rights, cooperation, interdependence, global economy, dependence, regimes, equality, and justice;
  2. understand and critically evaluate the mainstream theories and approaches to international relations, realism and liberalism, as well as the critical perspectives: neo-Marxist, social constructivist, feminist, postcolonial and green politics;
  3. identify the key actors in international relations and understand how these actors interact to give substance to international relations;
  4. successfully undertake a variety of research and writing tasks;
  5. demonstrate improved oral and written communication skills, particularly in relation to the analysis and explanation of ideas and the development of an argument.


Within semester assessment: 60%

Exam: 40%

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