How can we explain the 2003 Iraq war, or the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, or the terrorist attacks of 9/11? Do we have to choose between security and liberty? Why do self-proclaimed ‘Islamic states’ differ so much from one another? Are the patterns of world politics primarily shaped by national interests, rules and norms, class conflict, or civilizational identity? Why do states create international organisations? What can the history of nationalism teach us about contemporary efforts to rebuild weak and failed states? How are foreign policies made? What kind of political institutions can foster peaceful cooperation in ethnically and religiously divided societies? Will the rise of China destabilise the current world order? Are nation-states becoming irrelevant in a globalising world?
These are some of the important questions explored by students of the BA World Politics. Providing answers means engaging with some of the most pressing contemporary global issues: sovereignty, intervention, security, nationalism, migration, imperialism, culture, religion, justice, peace, war, terrorism, and globalisation. It also means understanding the roles played by the many different actors in world politics, from nation states and international organisations to individuals, NGOs, social movements and multinational corporations.