POLT08003 2017 Globalisation, International Relations and Human Rights

General Details

Full Title
Globalisation, International Relations and Human Rights
Transcript Title
IR and HR
N/A %
Subject Area
POLT - Politics
SOCS - Social Sciences
08 - NFQ Level 8
10 - 10 Credits
Start Term
2017 - Full Academic Year 2017-18
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Mary Clarke
Programme Membership
SG_HJOIN_H08 201700 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Joint Majors: Sociology and Politics SG_HJOIN_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Joint Majors: Sociology and Politics SG_HJOIN_H08 202100 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Humanities in Joint Majors: Sociology and Politics

In the 21st century, the Globalisation, International Relations and Human Rights agenda has broadened and deepened significantly to include a wide range of issues and actors concerned about climate change, population displacement, migration, poverty, health, privatisation, organised crime and international terrorism. There are also long-standing and on-going concerns about the use of force, military strategy, nuclear proliferation, energy systems, natural resources, intelligence, computer hacking and the distribution of resources.

Ever changing geo-political landscapes and International Relations influence change and innovation in education, in business and trade, in international organisations, in governments and in non-governmental organisations. There is a need to educate and train internationally oriented professionals in the knowledge and skills necessary to bring about and respond to this change. The examination and analysis of contemporary Globalisation, International Relations and Human Rights (HR) scenarios in this module will enhance learner capacity to understand and work in complex public, private and non-profit in Ireland and overseas.

The Globalisation and International Relations component of the module aims to provide learners with an understanding of contemporary international political ideology and practice. This knowledge will be explored through a selection of international case studies relating to trade, security, economy, society, energy, justice, freedom and peace. The HR component of the module analyses the promotion and protection of all people everywhere from political, legal, and social abuses, in particular: civil and political rights; rights of children, women, minorities and groups; environmental rights and social rights. United Nations (UN) HR treaties, agencies, regional arrangements and non-governmental organisations will be examined. Due consideration will be given to the nature, origins and future of knowledge about international relations and HRs and the contestation of the Western centric viewpoints.


Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


To provide a critical assessment of key political thinkers and theories of Globalisation, International Relations and HR in historical and comtemporary contexts.


Integrate theoretical knowledge and evaluate some contemporary world issues in relation to trade, security, economy, society, justice, freedom and peace.


Evaluate the foundations, implementation, challenges and the world view of HRs today and present a comprehensive view of the origins, mission, organisational stucture, processes and present day controversies about UN in respect of International Relations and HR.


Carry out an investigation of a major International Relations issue and present findings in seminar format with supporting research evidence.


Select an area of concern regarding a current Human Rights abuse and design a persuasive and authoritative evidence-based argument to contribute to recommendations and decisions on the topic through participating in round table discussions.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Critical thinking, independent learning and innovation will be emphasised. Managing research projects and collaborative team leadership and participation on key themes will be required on an ongoing basis to support learning and transferable skills development.  Enquiry based learning and problem solution approaches will be used in this process leading to the integration of theory and practice in seminar and Model UN conference roleplays.

Module Assessment Strategies

Throughout the course, the emphasis will be placed on providing students with methodological tools and theoretical concepts that have relevance beyond the topics analysed in lecture and seminars.  This will be achieved by requiring learners to initiate enquiry and report on research findings on key topics and present in written and/or oral format in seminars and round table discussion involving other learners.  In some instances information communications technology may be used in this process.

The two assessment projects will be allocated 50% per project, ie, International Relations case study and seminar 50% and the HR Model UN conference 50% giving a total of 100% continuous assessment work.

Model UN (MUN) informs learners about diplomacy through country role-play and simulation. MUN members simulate the United Nations by assuming the roles of diplomats attending meetings/conference. At these conferences, students debate global issues, conduct speeches, draft resolutions, form political alliances, and resolve critical international problems. This develops self-confidence and transferable skills of debating, public speaking, and research while expanding their knowledge and interest in international political issues.

Repeat Assessments

The repeat assessment will require the learner to complete a 3,000 word academic essay on a theme relating to the learning objectives and a selection of essay titles will be available to the learner to choose from.

Indicative Syllabus

The historical context: the evolution of international society; modern total war; end of empire, war; world economic crisis; global environment issues; gender in global politics; the Bretton Woods system global governance – myth or reality; a borderless world and contemporary cases studies on USA, Europe, Russia, Africa, East Asia and the Middle East. 

Theoretical underpinnings: realism; liberalism; contemporary neo-realism and neo-realism; Marxism, neo-Marxism and critical theory; social constructivism; poststructuralism; Feminism; green politics; post-colonialism; cosmopolitanism and international ethics.

International Relations structures and processes: the changing character of war and global security; international political economy; gender and world politics; international law and regimes; UN; North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO; transnational actors and international actors in international politics.

Contemporary International issues: environmental issues, climate change and the Sustainability Development Goals 2015-2030; terrorism, counter-terrorism and nuclear proliferation; nationalism; culture in world affairs; regionalism in international affairs; global trade and finance; poverty development and hunger; human security; globalisation and the transformation of political communities; the challenges of global interconnectedness; and HR and humanitarian intervention in world politics.

Global and international justice: HR fulfilment; the proper use of force, military intervention and its aftermath; war and just conduct; humanitarian intervention; pacifism; global economic justice, global gender justice; immigration and population displacement; environmental justice; global health justice; natural resources, energy and global justice; responsibilities, authority and public policy in a global context.

HR: the existence and grounds of HR; human agency, morality and political conceptions of rights; civil and political; rights of children, women, minorities and other groups; environmental and social rights; protection of human HR and challenges to HR; conditions for humanitarian intervention and assessment of effectiveness of intervention; universal HR in a world of diverse beliefs and practice; historical outline of International law and organisations and the consideration the future directions in these areas.

Evaluation of the UN role and the role of other allied organisation as a source of research in the development of role plays, case studies and conferences, etc:

v the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice and the UN Secretariat.

v Key official documents of the UN: United Nations Charter; The Universal Declaration of HR; the Convention on the Rights of the Child; Statute of the International Court of Justice, etc.

v UN Programmes and Funds include: the UN Development Programme (UNDP); the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF); the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD); UN Women (UN Women); UN Habitat (UN-Habitat) and others.

v UN specialised agencies include: the World Bank; the International Monetary Fund (IMP); the World Health Organisation (WHO); the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO); ;the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and others. Related organisation include the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and others.

v Non-governmental organisations linked to the UN include: Amnesty International; Medecin sans Frontiers and many other civil society organisations.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 International Relations seminar Continuous Assessment Project 50 % Week 5 1,2,4
2 Model UN Conference Continuous Assessment Practical Evaluation 50 % Week 13 1,3,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Problem Based Learning Flat Classroom Lecture and seminar activities 4 Weekly 4.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 4.00 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Agyeman, J. Bullard, R.D. & Evans, B. (2003) Just Sustainabilities: Development in an Unequal World , London:Earthscan

Barnett, M. N. & Finnemore, M. (2004) Rules for the world: international organizations in global politics, Cornell University Press Ithaca.

Barrientos, S. (July 2011) 'Labour chains: analysing the role of labour contractors in global production networks’, University of Manchester, Brooks World Poverty Initiative.

Baylis, J. Smith, S. & Owens, P. (2011) The globalisation of world politics, 5th edition, Oxford University Press.

Blowfield, M. (2005) Corporate social responsibility: reinventing the meaning of development?, International Affairs 81, p 515-524, Wiley Online Library.

Brown & Ainley, (2009) Understanding international relations, 4th edition, Palgrave Macmillan.

Castles, S. & Miller, M. J. (4ed), (2009) The age of migration ‑ international population movements in the modern world, Palgrave Macmillan.

Craig, D. and Porter, D. (2006) Development beyond neo‑liberalism? Governance, poverty reduction and political economy. London: Routledge.

Deardorff, D. K. (2008) International competence: a definition, model and implications for education abroad, in Savicki, V. (Ed) Developing intercultural competence and transformation: theory, research and application in international education (pp. 32‑52) Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Fosu, A. K. (January 2011) Growth, inequality, and poverty reduction in developing countries recent global evidence, UNU World Institute for Development Economics Research, Working Paper No. 2011/01.

Freedman, R. (2014) Failing to protect: The UN and the politicisation of Human Rights. Hurst, London: Hurst and Company.

Hale, S. (2006) ‘Politics and the real world: a case study in developing case-based learning’, European Political Science 5 (1): 84–96.

Heywood, A. (2011) Global politics, Palgrave Foundations.

Holder, C. & Reidy. D. (2013) Human Rights: the hard questions. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

Holsti, K. J. (1967) International politics – a framework for analysis, 5th edition, Prentice-Hall International, Inc.

Hulme, D. & Thankom, A. (2009) Microfinance a reader, Routledge

Keohane, R. O. (1984) After Hegemony: Cooperation and Discord in World Political Economy, Princeton University Press.

Keylor, W. R. (2008) A world of nations – the international order since 1945, 2nd edition, Oxford University Press.

Koremenos, B. (2001) (ed) ‘The Rational Design of International Institutions’, 55 IntlOrg 761–1103.

Leonard, L. and Allen. K. (2011) Irish Journal of Sociology special issue on civil society, Manchester: Manchester UP

Lewin, K. (2009) Access to education in sub‑Saharan Africa: patterns, problems and possibilities. Comparative Education, 45920, 151‑174.

Little, R & Smith, M. (2006) Perspectives on world politics, 3rd edition, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.

Lobell & Mauceri, (2004) Ethnic conflict and international politics – explaining diffusion and escalation, Palgrave Macmillan.

Mansfield, E. D & Snyder, J, (2005) Electing to Fight: Why Emerging Democracies Go to War MIT Cambridge.

Martinez‑Alier, J. (2002), The environmentalism of the poor ‑ a study of ecological conflicts and evaluation, Cheltenham/Northampton: Edward Elgar.

Mearsheimer, J. J. (2001) The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, Norton New York. 

Mukherjee, D. (2011) Principles of effective transnational networking for global social work education: a case study, Journal of Global Social Work Practice, vol 4, no 1, May/June.

Neary, M. and Winn, J. (2009) ‘The Student as Producer: Reinventing the Student Experience in Higher Education’, in L. Bell, H. Stevenson and M. Neary (eds.) The Future of Higher Education: Policy, Pedagogy and the Student Experience, London: Continuum, pp.192–210.

Nyamu‑Musembi, C & Cornwall, A. (2004) 'What is the Rights Based Approach all about? Perspectives from International Development Agencies'.

Obendorf & Randerson (2013) Evaluating the Model United Nations: Diplomatic Simulation as Assessed Undergraduate Coursework, Eur Polit Sci (2013) 12: 350.doi:10.1057/eps.2013.13.

Ovey, C & White, R (2006)'European Convention on Human Rights. Oxford; OUP

Pettys, G. L., Panos, P.T., Cox, S.E. & Oosthuysen, K. (2005) Four models of international field placement, International Social Work, 48(3), 277‑2881

Smith, R & Van den Anker, C. (2005) International Human Rights in Context: Law, Politics, Morals'. Ox ford University Press,

Talbot, E. & Rodgers, M. (2011) Leadership and international community collaborations to impact education and human trafficking prevention, Journal of Global Social Work Practice, vol 4, no 1, may/june.

Walby, S. (2009) Globalisation and inequalities complexity and contested modernities, Sage.

URL Resources

Contemporary websites on International Relations and HR and international journals in this discipline are essential for learners. Library access to this range of materials and journal databases especially for international journals is a requirement.

Other Resources

Access to technology to use for Model UN communications and assessment work, eg, cameras, microphones, flags, recording equipment and materials for generation of conference and record of same for analysis and research.