Courses - Faculty of Arts


Politics and International Relations

Stage I

POLITICS 106
15 Points

Global Politics

An introduction to the study of international relations. The focus is on how international organisations, states and non-state actors raise and address global challenges such as security and human insecurity, humanitarian intervention, global trade and finance, development and poverty, environmental degradation, warfare, and respect for human rights. The course is informed by and introduces a range of international relations theories.

POLITICS 107
15 Points

POLITICS 107G
15 Points

New Zealand Politics

An introduction to understanding who governs New Zealand and in whose interests. Topics include national identity, institutions of government, leadership, voting and elections, the place of Māori within the political system, parties and political participation. The course draws on current research in NZ politics and provides knowledge that can be applied to a variety of careers, including law, business and public service.

POLITICS 109
15 Points

Foundations of Western Politics and Law

An examination, via the works of selected major European thinkers from Ancient Greece to nineteenth-century Britain, of ideas central to the western tradition of political thought: justice, law, liberty, power, rights, citizenship, the rights of women, and the right to resist governments. Thinkers studied include Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Wollstonecraft, Mill and Marx.

Stage II

POLITICS 201
15 Points

Globalisation and International Organisations

Examines the relationship between globalisation and international relations. Investigates recent developments of globalisation in view of the rise and fall of great powers, placing globalisation against the backdrop of the school of liberalism in international relations theory, and studies the role played by international organisations.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations or POLITICS 106 and 30 points in either Global Politics and Human Rights or International Relations and Business

Restriction: POLITICS 348

POLITICS 203
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations

POLITICS 209
15 Points

Modern Political Thought

What should the state do and what should it keep out of? Focussing on key debates in modern political theory, topics will vary year from year and may include political authority and the rule of law; freedom, coercion, and manipulation; indigenous rights and the welfare state; paternalism; the ethics of war, global justice and feminism.

Prerequisite: 15 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations and 30 points in the BA

POLITICS 210
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations

POLITICS 211
15 Points

Politics of China

An introduction to China's domestic politics, emphasising changes since 1978. The course explores topics such as political succession; the cadre system and political decision-making at the central, provincial, and local levels; economic development; popular religion and the state; NGOs and the non-state sector; nationalism and ethnic diversity; the role and relevance of ideological legacies; and institutional innovation and authoritarian survival.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations, or POLITICS 106 and ASIAN 100, or CHINESE 130 and ASIAN 100

POLITICS 214
15 Points

Democracy in Theory and Practice

Examines the theory and practice of democratic politics. Specific questions include how democracies try to reconcile freedom and equality, and the relations between democratic nationalism and citizenship. Practical topics include judicial review and the rule of law, referendums and the 'tyranny of the majority', and issues in political representation, including Māori representation.

Prerequisite: 15 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations and 30 points in the BA, or 45 points in the BGlobalSt

Restriction: POLITICS 314

POLITICS 216
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations

POLITICS 218
15 Points

American Politics and Public Policy

An overview of structures and processes in American politics and policy. Topics include American political development, elements of civil society, the machinery of government, and contemporary politics and policy.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations, or POLITICS 106 and 30 points in Global Politics and Human Rights

Restriction: POLITICS 319

POLITICS 222
15 Points

Public Policy: Actors, Processes and Politics

Government policy choices determine the taxes we pay, the resources we consume and the wars we fight. This course provides an introduction to policy studies together with a conceptual tool-kit for understanding and evaluating public policies. It poses questions about the relevance of different actors and instruments in a series of important substantive policy areas: health and food, the environment, foreign relations, (un)employment, crime and the economy.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations or Māori Studies or MĀORI 130, or 30 points at Stage I in Social Science for Public Health

POLITICS 229
15 Points

Mana Māori Motuhake / Māori Politics and Public Policy

An introduction to Māori politics. Topics include the Treaty of Waitangi, the politicisation of identity, sovereignty and self-determination, representation, globalisation and the Māori economy, Māori development and Māori media. Some contemporary and comparative indigenous policy issues will be discussed.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations or Māori Studies, or any 60 points

POLITICS 232
15 Points

New Zealand Parties, Leaders and Elections

An examination of New Zealand's political parties and the changing party system. Topics will include: the emergence of multi-party politics, candidate selection methods, parties and the media, the controversy over party finance and campaign funding, the so-called 'Americanization' of modern electoral campaigns, and changing patterns of electoral participation and support.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations

Restriction: POLITICS 352

POLITICS 233
15 Points

Politics, Media and Public Sphere

Critics voice disquiet about the future of journalism and political deliberation, and the lack of a unified public space where citizens can engage seriously with matters of collective concern. The course surveys the changing public sphere over time, from its early-modern emergence to the challenges of tabloid news and online fragmentation in contemporary media culture.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations, or 30 points from COMMS 100, FTVMS 100, 101, MEDIA 101, or 30 points at Stage I in Communication

POLITICS 236
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations, or 30 points from COMMS 100, FTVMS 100, 101, MEDIA 101

POLITICS 254
15 Points

China and the World

A comprehensive investigation of China's engagement with the world. Focuses on China's relations with its neighbouring countries and other parts of the world. Examines China's involvement in international institutions such as the United Nations, the world trade system, the environment and human rights.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations, or Asian Studies or History, or CHINESE 130 and ASIAN 100, or POLITICS 106 and 30 points in Global Politics and Human Rights

Restriction: POLITICS 354

POLITICS 256
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations, or POLITICS 106 and 30 points in International Relations and Business

Stage III

POLITICS 300
15 Points

Great Power Relations

Examines international diplomatic, economic, and security interactions of the governments of the United States, Europe, Russia, and China and their implications for the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Oceania, and for the United Nations and other international organisations.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations or POLITICS 106 and 30 points at Stage II in Global Politics and Human Rights

Restriction: POLITICS 751

POLITICS 301
15 Points

Toleration and Censorship

An exploration of the ideas and practical dilemmas, past and present, of toleration and intolerance, and the relationship between freedom of expression and attempts to censor and control the public communication of political, religious and moral thought. Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations, or 15 points at Stage II in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations and 15 points at Stage II in History or Philosophy

POLITICS 303
15 Points

War and Political Violence

An advanced introduction to violence and war, paying particular attention to why conflicts begin, how they escalate and what can be done to build a sustainable peace. Students explore the main theories of political violence, as well as key themes such as post-conflict reconstruction, sexual violence, reconciliation, humanitarian intervention and terrorism.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations or POLITICS 106 and 30 points at Stage II in Global Politics and Human Rights

POLITICS 313
15 Points

Governing Planet Earth

Environmental problems play an increasingly important role in contemporary politics. This course examines the role of ideologies and institutions in shaping environmental governance challenges from climate change and land-use conflicts to air and water pollution. Drawing from examples in New Zealand and around the globe, topics include limits to growth, sustainable development, ecological modernisation, ecolocalism and environmental justice.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations, or POLITICS 106 and 30 points at Stage II in Global Environment and Sustainable Development

Restriction: POLITICS 205

POLITICS 314
15 Points

Democracy in Theory and Practice

Examines the theory and practice of democratic politics. Specific questions include how democracies try to reconcile freedom and equality, and the relations between democratic nationalism and citizenship. Practical topics include judicial review and the rule of law, referendums and the ‘tyranny of the majority’, and issues in political representation, including Māori representation. Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations, or 15 points at Stage II in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations and 15 points at Stage II in Economics or History or Philosophy or Māori Studies or Sociology, or POLITICS 106 and 30 points at Stage II in Global Politics and Human Rights

Restriction: POLITICS 214

POLITICS 315
15 Points

The Practice of Politics

Explores the skills and knowledge needed for students to practice politics effectively, considering the range of jobs available in the political arena, the professional skills needed to succeed in political positions, lessons that can be learnt from political science literature about how to practice politics both effectively and ethically, and individual development of employability attributes.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations

Restriction: POLITICS 206

POLITICS 316
15 Points

Capitalism and its Critics

An account of the main variants of capitalism, criticisms of capitalism, and some alternatives. Topics include: markets in theory and practice; the value of efficiency and capitalism's growth imperative; consumer sovereignty; alienation; unemployment; meaningful work; planned economies and market socialism; incentives and the profit motive; democracy at work; labour market regulation; inequality and poverty. Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations, or 15 points at Stage II in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations and 15 points at Stage II in Philosophy, or POLITICS 106 and 30 points at Stage II in International Relations and Business

POLITICS 320
15 Points

Social Justice

Examines contemporary theories of justice focusing on the relationships between justice, equality and liberty. Students explore a range of topics that may include the distribution of resources both globally and domestically, and the rights of cultural minorities, gender groups, animals and future generations.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations or Philosophy, or POLITICS 106 and 30 points at Stage II in Global Politics and Human Rights

POLITICS 345
15 Points

Political Marketing

Studies how and why political organisations such as political parties use business techniques and concepts.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Politics and International Relations, or 30 points at Stage II in Communication

POLITICS 346
15 Points

Terrorism

Terrorism is a major issue of global concern. In this course, students will learn the definition, history, causes and dynamics of terrorism. They will examine why terrorist organisations emerge, their goals and the causes of their demise. Students also examine the causes of radicalisation of individual terrorists and how governments can counter violent extremism.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Politics and International Relations, or POLITICS 106 and 30 points at Stage II in Global Politics and Human Rights

POLITICS 347
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations

POLITICS 352
15 Points

New Zealand Parties, Leaders and Elections

An examination of New Zealand's political parties and the changing party system. Topics will include: the emergence of multi-party politics, candidate selection methods, parties and the media, the controversy over party finance and campaign funding, the so-called 'Americanization' of modern electoral campaigns, and changing patterns of electoral participation and support.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations

Restriction: POLITICS 232

POLITICS 356
15 Points

Ethno-Political Violence: Hate Crimes to Genocide

Examines the causes and prevention of ethno-political violence. Forms of violence examined include: hate crimes; ethnic and religious conflict; revolution, insurgency and civil war; mass killings and genocide. Students will become familiar with the main theories and explanations of this violence, numerous case studies and policies for their prevention.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations, or POLITICS 106 and 30 points at Stage II in Global Politics and Human Rights

POLITICS 358
15 Points

Special Topic

Postgraduate 700 Level Courses

POLITICS 700
15 Points

Conflict and Terrorism

Examines the causes, dynamics and resolution of violent conflict and terrorism. Students will study the theory of conflict, radicalisation and terrorism as well as the leading policies of conflict prevention and resolution. They will also study numerous historical and contemporary cases of political violence and learn methods of analysis which will be useful to government agencies, humanitarian organisations and think tanks.

POLITICS 701
15 Points

Research Design in Empirical Political Inquiry

Explores a range of tools and approaches commonly used by political and other social scientists in the course of conducting empirical research. The course is designed to assist postgraduate students in Politics and International Relations, as well as cognate disciplines, in developing their own research projects.

POLITICS 702
15 Points

Transitional Justice: From Retribution to Reconciliation

Explores the politics of transitional justice in post-war, post-conflict, and post-colonial states. Students examine political responses to atrocity in the context of conflicting demands that include the rule of law, peace, retribution, and human rights. Specific topics include trials, truth commissions and hybrid courts, the use of amnesty and the practice of apology, democratisation, development and reconciliation.

POLITICS 704
15 Points

Political Management in Government

Explores how politicians and their staff use management tools to help them achieve their goals within the constraints and challenges of the governing environment. It explores the nature of government, and the potential and limitations of branding, PR, market research, public engagement, strategy, government advertising, crisis management, media management and delivery management within the political environment.

POLITICS 706
15 Points

International Relations in Asia

A theoretical perspective based on empirical analyses that draws on Western theories to examine burgeoning perspectives from the rising East. The empirical analyses cover North Korea's nuclear crisis, territorial disputes in the South China Sea, relations across the Taiwan Strait, as well as regional trade, investment, and finance.

POLITICS 707
15 Points

Politics of Global Protest: Dissent, Resistance and Power

Advanced-level study of the politics of transnational or global protest and resistance that analyses ideas and practices of protest, activism, social movements and resistance through a range of contemporary case studies. Responses by governments and non-state actors will also be considered, making particular use of ideas from International Relations scholarship.

POLITICS 708
15 Points

War and Peace: Theorising International Relations

An advanced examination of contemporary international relations theory. Students will explore key concepts, such as war, anarchy and the state, along with a range of different theoretical perspectives, from realism and liberalism through to feminism, poststructuralism and postcolonialism.

Restriction: POLITICS 318

POLITICS 709
15 Points

Political Extremism

Considers the political context behind a range of forms of modern extremism, including fascism and other forms of dictatorship, genocide, the persecution of minorities, far-right white nationalism, and religious and political terrorism. Investigate cases such as the Nazi regime; Stalin’s Soviet Union; the Cambodian, Indonesian and other genocides; al Qaeda; Islamic State / ISIS; and neo-Nazis so as to identify common pathways to extremism.

POLITICS 710
15 Points

The Security-Development Nexus

The security-development nexus has become the leading paradigm for international interventions since the end of the Cold War, especially since the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. This course engages with the advanced theoretical, normative and operational underpinnings of the ‘nexus’. The theoretical learning will then allow students to critically analyse the political economy and operational outcomes of international interventions.

POLITICS 724
15 Points

Identity and the Politics of Multiculturalism

Explores the theoretical implications of identity politics based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality. Considers the effects of these claims on liberty, justice, equal citizenship, political representation and participation. Readings cover liberalism, feminism, communitarianism and deliberative democracy.

POLITICS 731
15 Points

Special Topic: Conflict Zone Humanitarian Practice

Equips students with the specialist knowledge and practical skills required to provide humanitarian assistance in conflict zones, including, managing mass casualties, managing security and managing a media or advocacy campaign. Students develop these skills through practically oriented study.

POLITICS 733
15 Points

Special Topic: Peace and Conflict in Colombia (Study Abroad)

Travel to Los Andes University in Bogota to study the conflict and peace process in Colombia. Examine the causes of the conflict, the role of the political economy in the continuation of the violence, the impact of violence on the civilian population and recent efforts to negotiate a sustainable peace.

POLITICS 737
15 Points

POLITICS 737A
7.5 Points

POLITICS 737B
7.5 Points

Directed Research

Supervised research on an approved topic or topics.

To complete this course students must enrol in POLITICS 737 A and B, or POLITICS 737

POLITICS 740
15 Points

Revolutions, Ideas and Media

Revolutions are politics writ large, moments when political reality and political aspirations collide and erupt in often epochal transformations. This course explores the idea, and the realities, of historical and modern revolutions as sources of insight into politics and societal change, with particular attention to the key role of 'the people', public opinion and the media.

POLITICS 741
15 Points

Ethics and Health Policy

Considers the intersection between theory, policy, and problems in health. Topics include: defining health and its value; the role of government and markets in providing health care; allocating resources in a government health system; justice, inequalities, and health; coercion to control the spread of disease, whether caused by pathogens (e.g., pandemic influenza) or lifestyle.

POLITICS 746
15 Points

Global Organisations and Governance

Analyses the roles of international organisations in world affairs. Examines the origins and development of international organisations as well as their types and functions. Discusses the participation of states in these organisations. Explores the multilateral approach to such global issues as peace and security, trade and finance, environmental protection, human rights, public health, oil security, and others.

POLITICS 750
15 Points

International Relations and Human Rights

An analysis of how governments adopt and implement human rights norms, negotiate human rights treaties with other governments, interact with United Nations human rights institutions, and set up courts to try human rights violations. Includes domestic politics as they bear on international human rights issues.

POLITICS 756
15 Points

New Zealand Government

An examination of the composition, functions and powers of New Zealand's political institutions under MMP. Analyses the extent to which factors such as political leadership, policy, electoral and parliamentary tactics, and relations between the major and minor parties contribute to a government's success.

POLITICS 757
15 Points

Comparative Public Policy

A comparative examination of policy actors, processes and outcomes. Engaging with a range of conceptual and methodological approaches, the course considers how we might explain and understand cross-national similarities and differences in policy-making and policy outcomes. The course focuses on the relative importance of interests, institutions and ideas at the national level, as well as international contexts and actors that facilitate diffusion and transfer of policy across countries.

POLITICS 768
15 Points

Economic Statecraft: Power, Politics and Resources

An examination of how governments, particularly the United States, New Zealand, and selected European states, decide upon and conduct their international economic policies. Topics to include bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations and disputes, trade remedies and economic sanctions, controversies surrounding aid, investment, tourism and intellectual property, and reactions to globalisation. Multilateral agreements and institutions such as the WTO, and bilateral free trade agreements, will be analysed from a political perspective.

POLITICS 770
15 Points

Ethnic Conflict and Civil War

Students examine the comparative literature on civil war, mass killings and conflict prevention, and apply this scholarship to past and contemporary cases of violent conflict. In doing so, they learn to carry out two policy-relevant tasks: identify common causes of violence and assess which policies of prevention work best in different contexts.

POLITICS 771
15 Points

Democratisation

Examines on-going trends, causes and problems in the spread of democracy worldwide. Topics covered include the economic and social preconditions for democratisation, actor-based models of regime transition, institution-building in new and weak democracies, the role of the international community in promoting democracy, and the rise of competitive authoritarian and hybrid regimes.

POLITICS 773
15 Points

From Dresden to Drones: The Ethics of War

A focus on the ethical dimension of contemporary conflict, enabling students to critically assess debates about drone warfare, counterinsurgency and the politics of killing. Students will draw on a range of theorists, including Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben and Judith Butler, whilst looking at examples from Afghanistan, Israel-Palestine, Vietnam and Iraq.

POLITICS 774
30 Points

Politics-Policy Internship

Prerequisite: Programme Coordinator approval

Restriction: POLICY 737

POLITICS 775
30 Points

Special Topic

POLITICS 776
15 Points

Media and Politics in an Age of Globalisation

Explores the relationship between media and politics, domestically and internationally, within a changing global context. Students will critically engage with key theories in political communication scholarship, such as agenda-setting, priming, framing, silencing and informational effects within the new media dynamics, which includes multiple new media outlets (such as state and private media), platforms, technologies and faster delivery.

POLITICS 777
15 Points

Special Topic: Politics of Terrorism

Provides students with a critical understanding of terrorism and counter-terrorism politics, policy and practice in a globalised world. The course examines theories, causes, typologies and case studies of terrorism, as well as counterterrorism responses by states and the international community. It also engages with moral, ethical and political questions posed by the discursive battleground of terrorism and counterterrorism.

POLITICS 780
30 Points

POLITICS 780A
15 Points

POLITICS 780B
15 Points

Research Project

To complete this course students must enrol in POLITICS 780 A and B, or POLITICS 780

POLITICS 789
45 Points

POLITICS 789A
22.5 Points

POLITICS 789B
22.5 Points

Dissertation in International Relations and Human Rights

To complete this course students must enrol in POLITICS 789 A and B, or POLITICS 789

POLITICS 792
45 Points

POLITICS 792A
22.5 Points

POLITICS 792B
22.5 Points

Dissertation

To complete this course students must enrol in POLITICS 792 A and B, or POLITICS 792

POLITICS 793
60 Points

POLITICS 793A
30 Points

POLITICS 793B
30 Points

Dissertation

To complete this course students must enrol in POLITICS 793 A and B, or POLITICS 793

POLITICS 794A
45 Points

POLITICS 794B
45 Points

Thesis

To complete this course students must enrol in POLITICS 794 A and B

POLITICS 796A
60 Points

POLITICS 796B
60 Points

Thesis

Prerequisite: A BA(Hons) in Political Studies or Politics and International Relations with at least Second Class Honours, First Division, or equivalent

To complete this course students must enrol in POLITICS 796 A and B

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