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 Politics and International Relations or Employment Relations and Organisational Studies or POLITICS 106 and 30 points in either Global Politics and Human Rights or International Relations and Business Restriction: POLITICS 348

POLITICS 202
15 Points

Democrats and Dictators

Introduces the study of institutional change in non-democratic and emergent and established democratic states. Develops an understanding of democratic transition and consolidation (or a lack of them), and the breadth of institutional types in global politics.

Prerequisite: 15 points at Stage I in Politics and International Relations, and 30 points from BA courses or 30 points in Global Studies

POLITICS 203
15 Points

Special Topic

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

POLITICS 207
15 Points

Media, Conflict and Peace

Explores the role of media in cases of modern conflict, genocide, and peace processes. Through case studies, the course examines media structure, content, framing and psychological responses during times of conflict and peace-making, and how media informs audiences and either foments or quells conflict.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in Communication, Media and Screen 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 Politics and International Relations and 30 points in the BA

POLITICS 210
15 Points

Special Topic

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

POLITICS 216
15 Points

Special Topic

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I inPolitics and International Relations

POLITICS 218
15 Points

American Politics and Public Policy

Explores American politics and policy. Analyses the US political system and its governance, including the ideas of federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances. Examines the country’s development, its legal and policy-making system, the dynamics between the various actors, and the struggle for power and policy. Covers political parties, participation, interest groups, social movements, media, campaigns and elections.

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

Restriction: POLITICS 347

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

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 Politics and International Relations or Māori Studies, or any 60 points

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 Politics and International Relations, or COMMS 100 and MEDIA 101, or 30 points at Stage I in Communication

POLITICS 236
15 Points

Special Topic

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

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 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: Critical Security Studies

Investigates recent developments in the theory and practice of international security from a critical perspective. Provides an overview of the main concepts, theories, methodological approaches, and empirical objects in the field. Develops the skills and knowledge necessary to understand a core subject within International Relations.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage I in 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 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 Politics and International Relations, or 15 points at Stage II in 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 Politics and International Relations or POLITICS 106 and 30 points at Stage II in Global Politics and Human Rights

POLITICS 304
15 Points

Special Topic

POLITICS 311
15 Points

Gender and Global Politics

Advanced investigation of feminist and gender theory as applied to key issues in International Relations. Presents feminist approaches to key contemporary issues including digital politics, women and militarism, global health, sexual violence in war, migration and population displacement, and queer politics. Students will develop a sophisticated understanding of the roles of gender in global politics.

Prerequisite: 30 points in Gender Studies or Global Studies or 15 points at Stage II in Politics and International Relations

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 Politics and International Relations, or POLITICS 106 and 30 points at Stage II in Global Environment and Sustainable Development, or 30 points at Stage II in BC courses

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 Politics and International Relations, or 15 points at Stage II in 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 Politics and International Relations

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 Politics and International Relations, or 15 points at Stage II in 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 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, or 30 points at Stage II in Global Studies

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

American Politics and Public Policy

Explores American politics and policy. Analyses the US political system and its governance, including the ideas of federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances. Examines the country’s development, its legal and policy-making system, the dynamics between the various actors, and the struggle for power and policy. Covers political parties, participation, interest groups, social movements, media, campaigns and elections.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II in Politics and International Relations, or 60 points in Global Politics and Human Rights

Restriction: POLITICS 218

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 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 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 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 711
15 Points

Bodies in/at War

War is a profoundly embodied experience, but the body is often erased in the dominant accounts. This course places the body at the centre of critical thinking on war. Examines how bodies are prepared for war, how different bodies experience war, and what happens to these bodies in the aftermath of war.

POLITICS 722
15 Points

Special Topic

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

The Engendering of Global Conflict

Explores feminist theory and methodology in the study of war and conflict, including feminist interventions on how to prevent war and conflict. Topics include women’s roles in war and the gendering of militarism; sexual and environmental offences, race and human rights violations; colonial legacies, feminist resistance to war, and the UN’s Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Agenda.

POLITICS 733
15 Points

Special Topic

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 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 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 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

Politics of Terrorism and Counterterrorism

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 - Level 9

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 - Level 9

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 - Level 9

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 - Level 9

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

POLITICS 796A
60 Points

POLITICS 796B
60 Points

Thesis - Level 9

Prerequisite: A BA(Hons) in 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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