University Of Cape Town International Relations

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University Of Cape Town International Relations

International Relations at the University of Cape Town tries to strike a balance between International Relations as a field of study that evolved over centuries and International Relations as it is currently studied. International Relations as traditionally studied usually meant a focus on three concerns: war, diplomacy and trade. Now described respectively as conflict or security, diplomacy and negotiation and the international political economy, these remain the central subjects we want to study. Our approach also values, however, the contributions of other sub-fields of Political Studies, especially Comparative Politics, and contributions from other disciplines. In International Relations scholarly debates, African cases and issues are crucial and, for this reason, graduates of our programme are often called upon to show their expertise in African and/or Southern African material.
Admission requirements:
Specific additional entry requirements for this specialisation are a past academic history in International Relations, Political Studies/Science or a strong academic background in a related discipline.


List A CourseList A CourseList A or List B CourseList A or List B CoursePOL4007H
(Research Project)



List A CourseList A CourseList A or List B CourseList A or List B CoursePOL5010W

Courses are offered as “F” or “S” courses – depending on whether they are being held in the first or second semester.  Check the course listings for the coming year to confirm which courses are on offer and when.

List A

POL4002F/STheories of International Relations
POL4039F/SPeace Operations in World Politics
POL4049F/SComparative Foreign Policy (may not be offered in 2015)
POL5001F/SComparative Politics
POL5032F/SInternational Political Economy
POL5034F/SConflict in Africa
POL5045F/SThird World Politics

List B

Students may select electives from list B or other electives appropriate to their programme and research interests, subject to approval by the Convener. List B options may not replace list A options.

POL4032F/SComparative Transitional Justice
POL4033F/SAfrican Politics (Not offered in 2015)
POL4044F/SGlobal Political Thought
POL4048F/SDialectical Political Thought
POL5023F/SPolitical Behaviour and Research
POL5026F/SSpecial Topics (May not be offered in 2015)
POL5029F/SPolitical Ethics
POL5036F/SSpecial Topics II (May not be offered in 2015)
POL5041F/SHistory of SA Political Thought (Not offered in 2015)
POL5042F/SPeace-building: Issues & Problems
POL5043F/SRegionalism in Africa
POL5044F/SSouth African Politics

For descriptions of courses refer to the listings at the end of departmental entries, as well as the course listings in other, relevant faculty handbooks.