Course code EDS381

EDS381 Feminist and Critical IR Theory

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2020 - 2021 .

Course responsible: Kirsti Stuvøy
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Landscape and Society
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Biannually, even years. The course is not offered in 2020.
First time: Study year 2014-2015
Preferential right:
M-IR students; M-DS students.
Course contents:
This course addresses theoretical perspectives that gained ground in the study of international politics as the cold war came to an end. It seeks to understand the theories in conjunction with change and continuity in international relations during this period. For that purpose, this course engages themes such as gender (in)security and the making of a global policy agenda; the turn to ethical foreign policy and its role in humanitarian intervention/war; geopolitical change and Russia´s post-cold war foreign policy agenda in conjunction with (lack of) democratization; urban security and migration. These themes direct attention to a key challenge that feminist and critical IR theories address: where are people in international political practice and its theorization? The course develops methodical and analytical techniques aimed at capturing the interconnection of local experiences and contexts with global policy agendas. 
Learning outcome:

In this course student develop a solid understanding of feminist and critical approaches to IR by learning how they can use the theories to understand, critique and question post-cold war international politics and contemporary developments. The selection of readings is conceptual, analytical and empirical, and to be supplemented by student¿s independent search for sources on contemporary global politics. Through this course, we will strive to achieve that students have the following learning outcomes:

Knowledge and competence:

  • The student can give an overview of key international political issues in the post-cold war era and how these are assessed in critical IR theories
  • The student can explain the development of the women, peace and security agenda in international politics and discuss critical assessments of this development
  • The student can explain key aspects in the core IR literature on feminist and critical approaches and apply these perspectives in scholarly discussions with peers as well as in writing assignments
  • The student has training in communicating in writing and orally, to peers, the complexities of global politics, challenges to sovereignty, security, etc.
  • The student can reflect critically on new thinking and ways of approaching global political change and solution to global challenges

Writing skills and oral presentations:

  • The student has in written assignments applied feminist and critical IR theory and discussed their contribution to understanding global political developments in the post-cold war era
  • The student has attended team work and conducted a presentation of contemporary global political developments using IR theory and reflected on relevance for developments of global political community in the years ahead
  • The student can use peer-to-peer methods to give feedback on the written assignments and oral presentations of other students and to improve own work 
Learning activities:

Organisational Form: The course is organised into three parts that build upon each other. During the first part (three weeks), there is a combination of one weekly lecture (2x45min) and one seminar (2x45min). This provides overview of main concepts, theories and key changes in international politics in the post-cold war era. The fourth week is a project week (part two). The project week is completed with an oral presentation day (week after submission of paper to be completed during project week). In the following six weeks, there are two weekly meetings (2x2x45min). Before coming to these meetings students use the course literature to prepare for discussion on assigned topics (provided in course outline at the beginning of the semester). Preparation is key to focused and interesting discussion from which we all will benefit. At the end of this course, a summary lecture with discussion is organised. 

In sum, the learning activities in this course include lectures, seminar, oral presentation, self-study and active participation.

Teaching support:
Office hours and procedures are established at the first class meeting. A course outline is handed out at the same time.
Will be updated.
General knowledge of international relations theory, and/or undergraduate courses in relevant social sciences.
Recommended prerequisites:
This course is designed for master students in international relations and development studies and students involvement lie at the core of this course. This implies responsibilities, but also opportunities for students. You must come prepared to each weekly class. When you do, we all will benefit from focused discussion and can learn from one another.
Mandatory activity:
Assignment  Seminar presentation of assigned reading. Sign-up at the beginning of course.

The exam is divided into two parts: Exam, part I (40%): Week four of this course is a project week with teamwork. Groups of 2-3 students define a topic and apply feminist and critical perspectives in the analysis. At the end of the week, the group submits a paper, of 6000 words. The group also prepares an oral presentation, using suitable images and technology. A project-presentation day is organised the week after. All groups present topic and result of analysis, as well as provide feedback to fellow students. Feedback is also provided orally from course convener. Paper is graded at the end of course (together with exam, part II).

Exam, part II (60%): Individual termpaper of 6000 words. Further details regarding topic are announced during course. 

Nominal workload:

300 hours.

In sum, the learning activities in this course include lectures, seminar, oral presentation, self-study and active participation. 

Entrance requirements:
General knowledge of international relations theory, and/or undergraduate courses in relevant social sciences.
Reduction of credits:
Type of course:
Lectures and seminars comprise in the first three weeks a weekly lecture (2x45min) and a weekly seminar (2x45min). Week four is a project week and students self-manage their time. Week five is for presentation of the projects, for which one day will be allocated. Week six-twelve comprise one weekly lecture (2x45min) and one weekly seminar (2x45min). 
Internal examiner grades both parts of the exam (group and individual term paper). External examiner grades a selection of both these exam parts.
Examination details: Term Paper: A - E / F