POL111 International Relations (8)

This subject provides an introduction to the political study of international relations. It introduces the basic theories, concepts and ideas which shape the globalised world today. By critically examining the various ways international issues are practised, understood and debated (from security and trade, to climate change, terrorism and nuclear weapons etc.), this subject enables future professionals to make sense of the complexities of contemporary international relations questions, and Australia's place in the world.


Session 1 (30)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: POL111. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

Not to be taken by students who have done POL212.

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of what international relations is and how it is represented
  • be able to apply various approaches to the study of international relations
  • be able to identify key political actors and institutions in international relations
  • be able to communicate and debate international political issues
  • be able to develop a critical knowledge of key issues in contemporary international relations


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Introduction to International Relations and Concepts: A Historical Overview
  • Mainstream Approaches to International Relations: Realism and Liberalism
  • Critical and Alternative Approaches to International Relations: Marxism and Social Constructivism
  • Since the Cold War: Globalization of Peace or Disorder?
  • International Political Economy: The Interaction of Politics and Economics
  • Global Governance: Governing the Ungovernable?
  • International Security: Concepts and Debates
  • Political Violence, War and Terrorism
  • Nuclear Deterrence and Proliferation
  • The Global Warming of Politics?
  • From Poverty to Democracy? Debating Globalisation and Development

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of POL111 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Ir theory essay
Research essay
Short essays

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.