Faculty of Law & Social Sciences School of Oriental & African Studies University of London Politics & International Studies (MSc)



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Faculty of Law & Social Sciences

School of Oriental & African Studies

University of London



Politics & International Studies (MSc)

Departmental Handbook 2010-11
Department of Politics and International Studies
Postgraduate Handbook 2010/11


All applications enquiries to:

Admissions Office

School of Oriental and African Studies

University of London

Thornhaugh Street

Russell Square

London WC1H 0XG

admissions@soas.ac.uk



All coursework and other enquiries to:

Student Support Office

Faculty of Law and Social Sciences

School of Oriental and African Studies

Phone – 44 (0) 20-7898-4405

Fax – 44 (0) 20-7898-4829

Email Student Support Office (politics@soas.ac.uk)

For General information please see

www.soas.ac.uk

This handbook (24th edition) was published in June 2010. Every effort has been made to ensure that information presented in this handbook is correct at the time of publication. However, all information is subject to change. The most up-to-date version of this handbook can be found in the relevant department section of the SOAS website here: http://www.soas.ac.uk/departments/

TABLE OF CONTENTS
SECTION A - INTRODUCTIONS

Studying Asian and African Politics at SOAS 1

The Department of Politics and International Studies 2
SECTION B – DEGREE STRUCTURES

Introduction to Taught Master’s Programmes 4

Entry qualifications 4

Examinations and Assessment 4


MSc Programmes - Diagrams

MSc International Politics 5


MSc State, Society and Development 6

MSc African Politics 7

MSc Asian Politics 8

MSc Middle East Politics 9


SECTION C – COURSE INFORMATION

MSc Course Descriptions 10


Language Courses 18
SECTION D – GUIDELINES FOR STUDENTS

Assessment Guidelines for MSc Students 19

Writing Essays 20

Writing and Giving Presentations for Seminars/Discussions 22

Preparing for and Writing Examinations in Politics 23

Guidelines for the Preparation of MSc Dissertations 25

Coursework Submission and Deadlines 27

Resubmission of Failed Coursework 28

Late Submission of Coursework 29

Plagiarism 30

Attendance 30

Leave of Absence 30

Timetable 31

Blackboard 31


SECTION E – HELP & ADVICE

Help and Advice 32


SECTION F – DEPARTMENT INFORMATION

Members of the Department 34

Student Representatives, Department Meetings & Staff-Student Forum 38

Further Information 38


SECTION G – GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Glossary 40


SECTION H – CONTACT DETAILS

Useful Contacts 41

Academic Contact Details 42
SECTION I – TERM DATES & KEY DEADLINES

Term Dates and Deadlines 43

Getting Around SOAS: Map 44

Blank Timetable 45



Please note that information contained in the School's Postgraduate Handbook takes precedence over any information in this Departmental Handbook
SECTION A – INTRODUCTIONS
STUDYING ASIAN AND AFRICAN POLITICS AT SOAS
Aristotle described Politics as the 'master science'. By this, he meant that it brings together the findings of all the other branches of knowledge and applies them in the common pursuit of the good life. The discipline of Politics has a long tradition going back to the debates among Ancient Greek philosophers about the forms of government (i.e. the manner in which power should be organized and exercised) most appropriate to this goal. The study of Politics, now as it was then, is built upon this fundamental question.
As with Politics degrees elsewhere, the Politics degree at SOAS is structured around four core sub-disciplines, namely comparative political sociology, comparative political economy, political theory, and international relations (although these sub-disciplines are sometimes known by other names). Students receive a thorough training in the concepts and methods of these sub-disciplines, which are then applied to the analysis of real life political situations.
Where we differ from other Politics degrees is that our students have the opportunity to examine the concepts and methods of the sub-disciplines against the historical and contemporary conditions of Asia (including the Middle East) and Africa. By contrast, for most Politics degrees, the empirical focus tends to be directed towards Europe and the US, meaning that the non-western world does not receive sufficient attention.
Asia and Africa contain the majority of the world’s population as well as the dynamic economies of the Asia-Pacific Region (China, Japan, Korea, ASEAN) and India and some of the principal hot spots of international tension in the world today (such as the Middle East). By studying Asia and Africa at SOAS, students will gain good knowledge and understanding of some of the most important power shifts and conflicts of ideas taking place in the world today. They will also come to appreciate the limitations (and relevance) of social science concepts generated from western contexts.
Acquisition of Skills

Through the study of Politics, students are expected to acquire both discipline-related and transferable skills. The training provided by the degree seeks to:

• foster the academic study of Politics, with particular reference to Asia and Africa, as an appropriate introduction to critical thought about the purposes and scope of human activity more generally;
• define the study of Politics in terms which go beyond a narrowly Western focus and which insist on the integration of theoretical and empirical study;
• give students the opportunity to refine and develop a broad range of transferable skills with a particular emphasis on the presentation of written argument;
• prepare the culturally diverse student body for a variety of careers or further study in a learning environment which allows them to take some responsibility for their intellectual development;
• stimulate student performance through committed teaching informed by research of a high standard.
• provide a range of taught programmes in Politics suitable for postgraduate students
• prepare students for the transition to a research degree
Students completing any of the Masters programmes in the Department will have:
• acquired an enhanced understanding of political processes in Asian and African societies and a comprehensive knowledge of central theories and concepts central to understanding political developments in Asia and Africa;
• acquired a set of transferable skills at an advanced level emphasising written communication, the ability to construct and critique arguments, to undertake oral presentations, to access a wide variety of written resources, and the use of ICT;
• acquired through the conceiving, researching and writing of an assessed 10,000-word dissertation under supervision further advanced knowledge and understanding, as well as advanced skills of independent research, analysis and written expression.
Students completing one of the Department’s two Disciplinary Masters programmes will also have:
• acquired broad understanding of aspects of social, political and international relations theory, with special reference to the study of Politics in Asia and Africa;
• acquired detailed knowledge of either the domestic or the international Politics of at least one region of Asia or Africa; or of two distinct regions of Asia and Africa
Students completing one of the Department’s three Regional Masters will also have:
• the opportunity to acquire knowledge of the international as well as the domestic Politics of their preferred Region;
• the opportunity to acquire knowledge of a language or of a cognate discipline pertinent to their preferred Region.
This handbook sets out the structure and content of the various degree programmes available in the department. A more general introduction to the School and its facilities is provided in undergraduate and postgraduate prospectuses.
Careers After Studying Politics at SOAS

First degree students, as well as recipients of the MSc, have entered a wide variety of professions after leaving the Department. Some have been able to pursue careers directly related to Asia and Africa, including government departments (of both the UK and other countries), and in firms requiring particular skills and knowledge related to trading, investment and promotional interests outside Europe. Others have gone to work for various charitable and human rights/development agencies such as OXFAM, Amnesty International and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The general intellectual training provided by a degree in politics is useful for analysing and solving many of the problems contemporary societies now face. Recipients of PhDs have often taken positions in leading academic institutions worldwide as well as in government and non-governmental agencies and organisations concerned with world affairs at all levels.



THE DEPARTMENT OF POLITICS AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
Originally established as the Department of Economic and Political Studies in 1962, two separate departments of Political Studies (& International Studies) and Economics came into existence in 1990. There are at present nearly 500 students studying for degrees (BA, Certificate, MSc and MPhil/PhD) in the Department. There are also visiting students who are here as part of a year's work towards degrees in other countries (notably the United States, EU, Korea and Japan).
Apart from providing students with a firm grounding in the discipline, the department has particular strengths in the following areas:
* Regional Politics: Middle East, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and Africa.

* International Relations: IR theory, security, human rights, transnational justice, IPE.

* Comparative Politics: comparative political sociology, comparative political economy.

* Political Theory: political Islam, non-western political thought, multi-culturalism.


Most members of the department have both regional and theoretical interests. Most also have a command of one or more of the languages of the regions which they study and have spent substantial periods doing research in the countries of their expertise.

SECTION B – DEGREE STRUCTURES

In 2010-2011, the department offers five linked Masters programmes in the politics and international relations of Asia and Africa. All may be taken full-time over one year, or part-time over two or three years. Two of the programmes are classified as disciplinary MScs - International Politics, and State, Society and Development. In these, the objective is to give the student the opportunity to undertake a rigorous training in political theory, with special reference to the study of politics outside Europe and America. The strengths and weaknesses of existing theories are explored, and applied to particular case studies. The remaining three programmes are regional specialist MScs, aiming to provide students with a detailed specialist understanding of both domestic and international politics (and of the implications of one for the other) in a particular region. The distinction between these two types of MSc is, however, a matter of degree. The regional specialist MScs will of course introduce students to relevant bodies of theory and will require them to confront various theoretical issues




Discipline Focused





  • MSc International Politics

  • MSc State, Society and Development



Regionally Focused





  • MSc African Politics

  • MSc Asian Politics

  • MSc Middle Eastern Politics

At Masters level there is particular emphasis on seminar work. Students often make full-scale presentations for the units they take, and are expected to write substantial coursework papers that often require significant independent work. These count for at least 30 per cent of the marks in each course. A quarter of the work for the degree is given over to the writing of an adequately researched 10,000-word dissertation. Students are encouraged to take up topics which relate the study of a particular region to a body of theory.


Courses on regional politics can also be taken as part of Masters programmes elsewhere in the School, especially the Regional Studies and Development Studies programmes. For further details see the postgraduate prospectus or the individual degree booklets.

Entry qualifications

The usual qualification for entry is a first or upper-second class Honours degree in Politics or in a closely related discipline in which there is clear evidence of a substantial Politics component. Applicants whose qualifications do not meet this standard or the equivalent, but who are otherwise considered suitable for admission, may be required to pass at upper second class standard a preliminary one year qualifying course leading to a Certificate in Political Studies (see Department Undergraduate Handbook for details). However, taking and passing this course, even at upper second standard, does not guarantee admission to the Department’s Masters programmes.


Examinations and assessment

The MSc degree will be awarded on the successful completion of a final examination and coursework in three taught courses and a 10,000 word dissertation. All courses and the dissertation carry equal weight. Examinations are normally held in May/June. Each examination consists of a three-hour paper from which the student must choose three questions. In addition, not less than 30 per cent of the mark in each course will be determined by coursework essays. The dissertation topic must be approved by the MSc convenor and the dissertation must be submitted by 15th September 2011.



MSC PROGRAMMES: STRUCTURES

MSc INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
Students take taught courses to the value of 3 full units + dissertation:

1. ONE half-unit from A (compulsory) and ONE half-unit from B;

2 ONE unit from C;

3. ONE unit (or 2 half units) from D;

4. Dissertation (compulsory) on some aspect of International Politics.


A. Compulsory Course

International Theory (Term 1 half-unit) – 15PPOH014





B. ONE from the following

Conflict Rights and Justice (Term 2 half-unit) -15PPOH018 (not offered 2010-11)

Foreign Policy Analysis (half-unit) – 15PPOH013 (not offered 2010-11)

International Migration and Diaspora Politics (Term 2 half-unit) - 15PPOH012

Power in World Politics (Term 2 half-unit)– 15PPOH017

Security Governance (Term 2 half-unit) - 15PPOH015

Violence, Justice and the Politics of Memory (Term 2 half unit) - TBC




C. ONE of the following Regional International Politics courses:

China and International Politics – 15PPOC018

International Politics of Africa - 15PPOC009

International Politics of East Asia – 15PPOC251

International Politics of the Middle East – 15PPOC027





D. ONE of the following Regional Politics courses (or two half courses):

Government and Politics in Africa – 15PPOC205

Government and Politics of Modern South Asia – 15PPOC003

Government and Politics of Modern South East Asia – 15PPOC247

Politics and Society in Central Asia – 15PPOC007

Political Society in the Middle East (Term 1 half-unit) - 15PPOH008

State and Development in Asia and Africa – 15PPOC017

State and Society in Asia and Africa – 15PPOC008

State and Society in the Chinese Political Process – 15PPOC012

State and Transformation in the Middle East (Term 2 half-unit) 15PPOH011

Taiwan’s Politics and Cross-Strait Relations – 15PPOC252





E. Dissertation

15PPOC999: This would be focused on some aspect of International Politics

raised by the compulsory course 15PPOH014



MSc STATE, SOCIETY & DEVELOPMENT
Students take taught courses to the value of 3 full units + dissertation:

1. ONE or TWO units from A;

2-3. ONE or TWO units (or equivalent half-units) from B;

4. Dissertation on some aspect of State & Development or State & Society (compulsory).


A. ONE or TWO disciplinary politics courses from:

State and Development in Asia and Africa – 15PPOC017

State and Society in Asia and Africa – 15PPOC008



B. ONE or TWO of the following REGIONAL politics courses:

Government and Politics in Africa – 15PPOC205

Government and Politics of Modern South Asia – 15PPOC003

Government and Politics of Modern South East Asia – 15PPOC247

Politics and Society in Central Asia – 15PPOC007

Political Society in the Middle East (Term 1 half-unit) - 15PPOH008

State and Society in the Chinese Political Process – 15PPOC012

State and Transformation in the Middle East (Term 2 half-unit) - 15PPOH011

Taiwan’s Politics and Cross-Strait Relations – 15PPOC252


C. Dissertation: – 15PPOC999 (following the DISCIPLINARY perspective [State & Development or State & Society] of the chosen pathway)



MSc AFRICAN POLITICS
Students take taught courses to the value of 3 full units + dissertation:

1. ONE unit from A (compulsory);

2-3. TWO units from B, C or D;

4. Dissertation on some aspect of African Politics (compulsory).





A. Compulsory Course:

Government and Politics in Africa15PPOC205




B. International Politics of Africa15PPOC009


C. ONE from the following DISCIPLINARY courses:

State and Development in Asia and Africa – 15PPOC017

State and Society in Asia and Africa – 15PPOC008




D. ONE course focused on Africa in a cognate discipline:

Economic Development of Africa (Economics) – 15PECC203

Power, Authority & Political Thought in East and Central Africa (History) – 15PHIC035

West African Coastal Societies and Cultures 1780-1930 (History) – 15PHIC054

One of the following languages: Hausa, Amharic, Somali, Yoruba, Swahili




E. Dissertation (15PPOC999): this would focus on some aspect of African Politics raised by the compulsory unit 15PPOC205


MSc ASIAN POLITICS
Students take taught courses to the value of 3 full units + dissertation:

1. ONE unit from A (compulsory);

2-3. ONE or TWO units from B;

ONE unit from C;

ONE unit from D;

4. Dissertation on some aspect of Asian Politics (compulsory).




A. ONE of the following regional politics courses:

Government and Politics of Modern South Asia – 15PPOC003

Government and Politics of Modern South East Asia – 15PPOC247

Politics and Society in Central Asia - 15PPOC007

State and Society in the Chinese Political Process – 15PPOC012


B. ONE OR TWO of the following regional politics courses:

China and International Politics – 15PPOC018

International Politics of East Asia – 15PPOC251

Taiwan’s Politics and Cross-Strait Relations – 15PPOC252






C. ONE of the following disciplinary courses:

State and Development in Asia and Africa – 15PPOC017

State and Society in Asia and Africa – 15PPOC008


D. ONE of the following courses :

Language course (one from Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Cambodian, Indonesian, Thai,

Vietnamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Nepali, Sinhalese, Tamil or Urdu)

Chinese Law II: Modern Chinese Law – 15PLAC139

Culture and Conflict in the Himalayas – 15PSAC2910

Economic Development of South East Asia – 15PEC004

Economic Problems and Policies in Modern China – 15PECC035

Economic Problems of South Asia – 15PECC003

Islam in South Asia -15PHIC042

Japanese Modernity 1 -15PHIH013 (half unit, Term 1) and Japanese Modernity 2 - 15PHIH014 (half unit, Term 2)






E. Dissertation: this would focus on some aspect of Asian Politics



MSc MIDDLE EAST POLITICS
Students take taught courses to the value of 3 full units + dissertation:

1. TWO half-units from A (compulsory);

2-3. ONE full unit or TWO half-units from B;

ONE unit from C;

4. Dissertation on some aspect of Middle East Politics (compulsory).


  1. COMPULSORY


EITHER

Political Society in the Middle East

[Term 1 half-unit] 15PPOH008


Combined with ONE of the following half-unit courses offered in Term 2:

State and Transformation in the Middle East 15PPOH011

Islam and Politics 15PPOH006 [not running 2010-11]

The Politics of Resistance in the Middle East 15PPOH010


OR

State & Transformation in the Middle East

[Term 2 half-unit] 15PPOH011


Combined with ONE of the following half-unit courses offered in Term 1:

Political Society in the Middle East 15PPOH008

Islamic Political Ideologies 15PPOH007

Political Violence 15PPOH009




B. ONE Full unit or TWO half-units from the following REGIONAL politics courses:
EITHER

International Politics of the Middle East [Full unit] 15PPOC027



OR

Politics and Society in Central Asia [Full unit] 15PPOC007



OR

TWO of the following (if not already chosen in 1)

Islamic Political Ideologies [Term 1 half-unit] 15PPOH007

Political Violence [Term 1 half-unit] 15PPOH009

The Politics of Resistance in the Middle East[Term 2 half-unit] 15PPOH010

Islam and Politics [Term 2 half-unit] 15PPOH006

OR

ONE of the following DISCIPLINARY politics courses

State and Development in Asia and Africa (full unit) 15PPOC017

State and Society in Asia and Africa (full unit) 15PPOC008

C. EITHER

ONE of the following DISCIPLINARY politics courses (if a DISCIPLINARY course not already chosen in 2)

State and Development in Asia and Africa (Full unit) 15PPOC017

State and Society in Asia and Africa (Full unit) 15PPOC008

OR

ONE of the following courses from another department:
Language courses:

Elementary Hebrew

Elementary Written Persian

Elementary Written Turkish

Introduction to Modern Standard Arabic

Kurdish (A) Kurmanji [subject to availability]



Courses focussed on the Middle East in a cognate discipline:

Turkey - Continuity and Change 15PNMC377

Islamic Law I 15PLAC121

Economic Development of the Middle East 15PECC341

Modernity and the Transformation of the Middle East 1839-1958 15PHIC019

Gender in the Middle East (Term 1 Half course unit) 15PGNH001



D Dissertation 15PPOC999 (on an aspect of Middle East Politics)


SECTION C – COURSE INFORMATION
MSc COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
NB: Normally if fewer than ten students choose to take a course in a particular Academic session, it will not run. In this instance, students who have selected it will be notified and asked to select an alternative course.

China and International Politics (full unit)

15 PPOC 018

Convenor: Yuka Kobayashi

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to China's role in world affairs and the foreign policy and international relations of the Peoples' Republic of China. It addresses how China came to be in its current circumstances and how these circumstances can be understood or interpreted. The first half of the course is predominantly narrative and is designed to provide students with a comprehensive overview of key issues, trends and events in China's international relations from the 19th Century to the present day. The second half of the course is analytic and addresses thematic issues of relevance to the contemporary foreign policy of the PRC, such as 'Greater China', China and the global environment, China and the 'clash of civilisations' and China and the 'Asian Values/Human Rights' debate. Along with a detailed analysis of key issues and events in China's foreign policy the course requires students to engage with concepts and arguments from the theoretical literature of the social sciences in general and from politics and international relations in particular.

Selected readings: Samuel S. Kim (ed.) China and the World: Chinese Foreign Relations in the Post-Cold War Era 4th edition (Westview, 1998) Michael Yahuda The International Politics of the Asia Pacific (Routledge, 2002) David M. Lampton (ed.) The Making of Chinese Foreign and Security Policy in the Reform Era, 1978-2000 (Stanford, 2001)

Assessment is 30% Coursework and 70% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable


Comparative Politics of the Middle East (full unit)

15PPOC026

Convenor: Laleh Khalili

The aim of this course is to offer students with a wide range and variety of backgrounds the opportunity to engage and grapple with the most important debates in the study of the politics of the Middle East and to locate and contextualise the Middle East within wider debates and scholarship of world politics. The themes studied include an examination of the role of the state in the politics of the region, the meaning of citizenship, the processes of democratization, social and political movements, revolutions, and the role of ideologies, gender, culture, and militarism in the politics of the Middle East.

Assessment is 45% Coursework and 55% unseen examination – all coursework is

resubmissable



Conflict, Rights and Justice (half unit, not running 2010/11)

15PPOH018

Convenors: Stephen Hopgood & Leslie Vinjamuri

This course is about the politics of normative change in international relations generally, and more particularly about the ways in which specific developments – human rights, transitional and international criminal justice, the laws of war, and humanitarianism – have impacted on world politics, especially in situations of conflict. We address this question theoretically and empirically. We consider various explanations of why particular human rights norms have been adopted.  Who promotes these institutions, and who resists them? Are they effective at achieving what they seek to achieve? What hampers their effectiveness and what consequences – intended and unintended – flow from this?  Does the embedding of these institutions in norms, rules, laws and courts, represent a permanent constraint on state sovereignty (even if only of some states), or a transient phenomenon in international relations that will have no long term impact on the nature of world politics?  We consider the politics that underpin the growth of a global human rights protection system, the rise of humanitarianism and of international law to deal with conflict, and the growth of transitional justice and international criminal justice. In doing this we draw a map of the ‘architecture’ of morality and justice at the international level. Specific topics covered also include norms about the use of weapons, the targeting of civilians, and accountability, both during and after conflict, for state and individual decisions and actions.  We examine the impetus for and limits to intervention, and look at the more or less permanent reality of global governance for many vulnerable populations, especially in Africa.  In conclusion, we consider questions of legitimacy and authority in the international system. 



As the course is taught as a two hour seminar, enrolment is limited to 15 students

Assessment is 50% unseen exam and 50% coursework – all coursework is resubmissible.

Foreign Policy Analysis (half unit, not running 2010/11)

15 PPOH 013

Convenor: Mark Laffey

The aim of this course is to provide students with a critical introduction to the subfield of foreign policy analysis (FPA). The general theme of the course might be summarised as ‘from foreign policy to state action’. From its origins in the classic works of Snyder, Bruck and Sapin and the Sprouts, foreign policy analysis has been shaped by a particular set of premises that have determined the ways in which the field has developed. Specifically, foreign policy has been equated with decision-making and studied on the basis of individualist, positivist and liberal assumptions as the external projection of processes internal to the nation-state. The vast bulk of conceptual, theoretical and empirical work has focused on the United States. Over time, these assumptions have been increasingly questioned. Foreign policy has come to be seen as a social activity that often transcends state boundaries, and studied in post-positivist ways. The course introduces students to the core assumptions and models that have structured the field.


Assessment is 40% Coursework and 60% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissible
Government and Politics in Africa (full unit)

15 PPOC 205

Convenor: Stephen Chan

Covering a geographical range from east to central and west Africa, and the historical period from colonial rule to the present day, this course deals with the main themes in the analysis of the state in Africa: the colonial legacy of the imported state, the institutional and informal relationships between rulers and ruled, the place of ethnicity and religion in mediating political alignments, the resurgence of democratic politics and the comparative politics of military rule, the political economy of predatory and developmental states, the virtual collapse of the state in some countries. Within this broad framework, students are encouraged to pursue their own interests in specific topics and particular countries.

Suggested Readings: J F Bayart The State in Africa; L Villalon and P Huxtable (eds) The African State at a Critical Juncture; W Tordoff Government and Politics in Africa; D Cruise O'Brien, J Dunn and R Rathbone (eds) Contemporary West African States; R Sandbrook The Politics of Africa's Economic Stagnation; B Davidson The Black Man's Burden

Assessment is 30% Coursework and 70% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable


Government and Politics of Modern South Asia (full unit)

15 PPOC 003

Convenors: Rochana Bajpai & David Taylor

This course covers the major features of the political systems of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka (the smaller countries of the region can be covered on request). Topics given special attention include the nature of the state in South Asia and its relationship to society, the political economy of planned economic development, centre-locality relations, and ideological change.

Suggested reading: Rajni Kothari, Politics in India. Sunil Khilnani, The Idea of India. Sudipta Kaviraj (ed) Politics in India. Rajeev Bhargava(ed) Secularism and its Critics.

Assessment is 40% Coursework and 60% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable


Government and Politics of Modern South East Asia (full unit)

15 PPOC 247

Convenors: Steve Heder & Alex Grainger

This course provides an overview of major themes and issues in the analysis of contemporary South East Asian politics. The course takes a comparative historical-sociological approach to South East Asian politics, beginning with a close treatment of the transformation of state structures, class and identity formation, and the emergence of modernity and nationalist consciousness during the colonial era. Through a series of paired comparisons, moreover, the course treats key issues in the modern politics of Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The course also focuses on contemporary themes such as money politics, civil society, class conflict and struggles over religious, ethnic, and regional identities in the region.

Suggested reading: Benedict Anderson, The Spectre of Comparisons; James C. Scott, Weapons of the Weak.

Assessment is 40% coursework, 10% tutorial presentation and 50% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable


Identity in International Relations (Term 1) (half unit)

15PPOH016

Convenor: Felix Berenskoetter

This course explores the analytical and normative value of taking an identity perspective in the study of international politics. It looks at the emergence of ‘identity’ in the discipline of IR and asks how scholars have engaged its key parameters – notions of individual and social identity, Self and Other, difference and similarity – from the systemic to the state level. Students will debate what it means for communities to seek an ‘identity’ and introduced to liberal/cosmopolitan, realist/communitarian and postcolonial/postmodern readings of identity formation in IR. They will discuss processes and features of identity politics such as bordering, bonding, discrimination and socialisation and examine how these play out in specific cases ranging from violent conflict to peaceful integration. Throughout, students will be asked to consider the ethical issues tied to an identity perspective and will be introduced to methodologies suitable for undertaking research in this area. 



As the course is taught as a two hour seminar, enrolment is limited to 15 students


Assessment is 70% coursework, 10% seminar participation, and 20% seminar presentation - all written coursework is resubmissable.


International Migration and Diaspora Politics (Term 2) (half unit)

15PPOH012

Convenor: Fiona Adamson

This course examines international migration and diaspora politics as transnational processes in world politics. Cross-border mobility and diasporic political projects are key features of the contemporary international environment, yet they remain undertheorized in International Relations. How do migration and diaspora politics inform or challenge our understandings of the state, national identity, sovereignty, and the nature of the international system? What is the relationship between international migration and key areas of concern for International Relations scholars such as economic development, diplomacy, international security and global normative contestation? A range of theoretical approaches and empirical examples will be covered.

Suggested Readings: Alexander Betts, Forced Migration and Global Politics (Oxford: Blackwell, 2009); Stephen Castles and Mark J. Miller, The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World, 4th edition  (London: Palgrave, 2008); Kamal Sadiq, Paper Citizens: How Illegal Immigrants Acquire Citizenship in Developing Countries (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009); Yossi Shain, Kinship and Diasporas in International Affairs (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2007); Aristide Zolberg, Astri Suhrke and Sergio Aguayo, Escape From Violence: Conflict and the Refugee Crisis in the Developing World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993).

As the course is taught as a two hour seminar, enrolment is limited to 15 students
Assessment is 90% Coursework and 10% seminar presentation – all written coursework is resubmissible
International Politics of Africa (full unit)

15 PPOC 009

Convenor: Tom Young

This course examines the international politics of sub-saharan Africa since Independence. Against a background sketch of nationalism and decolonisation the first half of the course concentrates on the emergence of African states, conflict and cooperation between them and the insertion of those states into the international order. In the second half of the course the emphasis shifts to the period since the end of the Cold War and is organised round two main themes. Firstly the nature of conflict within Africa and the emergence of a greater degree of outside intervention in that conflict and secondly the attempt, also largely by outside agencies, to effect long-term fundamental change within African societies. Throughout considerable emphasis is placed on the critical questioning of mainstream orthodoxies both academic and policy-oriented.



Assessment is 30% Coursework and 70% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable


International Politics of East Asia (full unit)

15 PPOC 251

Convenors: Yuka Kobayashi and Winnie King

This course is designed to provide students with a theoretically rigorous and comparative introduction to key issues in the contemporary international politics of Asia and particularly, East Asia. East Asia is defined as the states of the Northeast and Southeast Asia, plus two main external actors, the United States and Soviet Union/Russia who play a key role influencing the region's international relations and politics. The first term examines broad themes in International Politics of East Asia by reference to the post WWII structure and Cold War structure in Asia, and five regional sections focusing on the international politics of China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. In Term 2, these regional components are organised around key themes in the international politics of East Asia, those of security, international political economy, human rights and environment. The course enables students to develop both area expertise and to apply disciplinary insights from political theory and international political theory to the comparative study of international politics.



Assessment is 30% Coursework and 70% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable


International Politics of the Middle East (full unit)

15 PPOC 027

Convenors: Arshin Adib-Moghaddam and Corinna Mullin

Since the age of European colonial rule in the Middle East came to an end around WWII, nominally independent nation-states in the region have tried to negotiate the opportunities and challenges of the Cold War, regional conflict and co-operation, underdevelopment, and more recently, globalisation. This course takes up the study of this rich politics through two different approaches, the first thematic, the second through the study of inter-state politics. After examining the methodological issues involved in the study of the Middle East and becoming familiar with the regions role during the Cold War and thereafter, we will examine important themes and debates in international politics of the Middle East, including war and militarism, ethnicity, development and globalisation, migration and ideological movements. In the latter part of the course, through a more conventional examination of inter-state politics of the Middle East, we will focus on conflict and cooperation between the Arab states in the region and their non-Arab neighbours, Israel, Iran and Turkey.



Assessment is 50% Coursework and 50% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable


International Theory (Term 1) (half unit)

15PPOH014

Convenor: Mark Laffey

The primary aim of this course, as stated in the Postgraduate prospectus, is to give students taking the MSc in International Politics a rigorous introduction to international political theory. This provides a conceptual and theoretical basis for the more specialized coursework they will undertake elsewhere in the programme. The focus is primarily on the major theoretical traditions through which scholars have sought to make sense of international or world politics: liberalism, realism, constructivism, post-structuralism, historical materialism, and feminism.  The study of international politics as a discipline in the form of International Relations (or IR for short) has long been a resolutely Western, indeed, an Anglo-American occupation, resting on models and assumptions that reflect the historical experience of the West. Each of the traditions we will examine has, to a greater or lesser extent, been shaped by that experience.  In recognition of this context, we will also introduce students to the postcolonial critique of the discipline. Students wishing to undertake the course are advised to look at: Scott Burchill and Andrew Linklater et al, Theories of International Relations (London: Macmillan, 2005, 3rd ed.); John Agnew and Stuart Corbridge, Mastering Space: Hegemony, Territory and International Political Economy (London: Routledge, 1995); and Roxanne Doty, Imperial Encounters: The Politics of Representation in North-South Relations (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1996).



Assessment is 60% Coursework and 40% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable


Islam and Politics (Term 2) (half unit,)

15 PPOH 006

Convenor: Corinna Mullin

The course examines the interaction between politics and the various expressions of Islam in the modern period. It is organised around three main themes:

  1. Islam in Western scholarship with a focus on approaches and methodologies used to study Islam and Muslim societies.

  2. Islam as a social and political force in the contemporary period. Here, we will focus on the social and political movements which are organised around the idea of establishing the Islamic state. We will examine the emergence of these movements, their ideologies and their modes of action.

  3. An exploration of alternative readings of the interaction between Islam and politics. We will explore recent scholarship and research from anthropology, sociology and cultural studies to come to a more dynamic understanding of Islamic discourses and practices in their diversity.

As the course is taught as a two hour seminar, enrolment is limited to 15 students

Assessment is 60% Coursework and 40% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable



Islamic Political Ideologies (Term 2) (half unit)

15 PPOH 007

Convenor: Arshin Adib-Moghaddam

The seminar traces the emergence of contemporary political theories within the Islamic worlds from the 19th century until the present. To that end, both the political philosophy of prominent Islamic thinkers and the specific historical circumstances they were writing in, will be examined. The seminar thus investigates the epistemology of contemporary Islam, developing a critical disposition towards Islamic political theories along the way. On the one side, it explores the range of socio-economic, gender, political and cultural theories that transcend terms such as “Islamism”, “political Islam” and “Islamic fundamentalism”. On the other side, it explains the intellectual habitat out of which movements such as HAMAS, Islamic Jihad, Hesbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic revolution in Iran emerged. At the end of the seminar, students will have acquired a thorough and critical understanding of the inter-relationship between contemporary Islamic theories, state power, societal emancipation, gender relations and world politics.



As the course is taught as a two hour seminar, enrolment is limited to 15 students

Assessment is 100% Coursework – all coursework is resubmissable.


Northeast Asian Politics and Society: Japan, Korea and Taiwan (beginning October 2011)

15 PPOC 245

Convenors: Tat Yan Kong and Dafydd Fell

This course examines the origins, characteristics and dynamics of the political systems of Northeast Asia (Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Taiwan). These countries occupy sensitive geo-political positions in both the Cold War and contemporary eras. Three of the cases (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan) constitute Asia’s most advanced market democracies. As such, they provide excellent case studies for understanding the relationship between economic growth, social change, and political power. Their shared background of Japanese empire and US strategic alliance means that their political systems are best studied together from a comparative perspective. By explicitly recognizing the common background, this approach enables the specifics of each system to be revealed more clearly. Despite being located outside of the capitalist democratic triad, North Korea is also included in this course. Its presence has enormously shaped the political systems of the other three (especially those of Japan and South Korea). Its origins in the Japanese empire illustrate the alternative political trajectories that can emanate out of a common historical lineage. The course seeks to explain both the workings of Northeast Asian political systems (mainly Term 1) and the wider social features with which those workings are nested (mainly Term 2). The structure is theme rather than country based. Each week’s theme is illustrated by examples from all three countries. This is done with a view to understanding prevalent theories and the extent of their applicability to Northeast Asian conditions. The comparative approach taken here means that this course is not suited to students with a single-country interest.




Assessment is 70% unseen examination and 30% coursework – all coursework is resubmissable



Political Society in the Middle East (Term 1) (half unit)

15 PPOH 008

Convenor: Corinna Mullin

The course focuses on key issues in the study of politics in the Middle East. It deals with theoretical and empirical questions that are central to the field. The main questions pertain to forms of societal organisation and to patterns of state-society interaction. To understand the modes of societal action, the course examines the bases upon which social and political forces are constituted, and the forms of power deployed in the interplay between state and societal actors. Integral to this examination is reflection on the analytical and conceptual tools used to understand and explain state-society relations. Concepts such as class, kin and tribe, sect, civil society, and informal politics are critically examined and assessed. The seminar takes a close look at the analytical assumptions underlying the main theoretical approaches to the study of the region, namely the political culture and political economy perspectives. It inquires into the methods of investigation used in these approaches.



Assessment is 60% Coursework and 40% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable


Political Violence (Term 1) (half unit)

15 PPOH 009

Convenor: Laleh Khalili

This course, a half-unit held during Term 1, offers Masters students in the MSc in Middle East Politics an opportunity to engage with the a range of debates surrounding political violence in a variety of manifestations prevalent in Africa and Asia, but especially the Middle East. The course themes include conventional and civil warfare, colonial and decolonisation violence, counterinsurgencies, torture and domestic repression, demonstrations and riots, and terror. Selected readings: Stathis Kalyvas, 2003. “The Ontology of Political Violence” in Perspectives on Politics 1(3), pp. 475-494; Cynthia Cockburn: “The Continuum of Violence. A Gender Perspective on War and Peace,” in Sites of Violence, (eds.) Jennifer Hyndman and Wenona Giles, University of California Press: Berkeley (2004), pp. 24-44; Kalyvas, Stathis. 1999. “Wanton and Senseless? The Logic of Massacres in Algeria.” Rationality and Society 11(3): 243-285; Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth (Grove Press, 1963): pp 35-107 (‘Concerning Violence’); Mohammad Hafez, Why Muslims Rebel: repression and resistance in the Islamic world (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003); Charles Tilly, 2004. “Terror, Terrorism, Terrorists” in Sociological Theory 22(1), pp. 5-13.



As the course is taught as a two hour seminar, enrolment is limited to 15 students


Assessment is 100% coursework. All coursework is resubmissable



Politics and Society in Central Asia (full unit)

15 PPOC 007

Convenors: Bhavna Davé and Anna Zelkina

This course analyses the nature of Soviet-era transformation and the post-Soviet transition in Central Asia. It examines the interaction of social, political and economic structures and cultural and identity politics in Central Asia. The first part offers a critical review of the existing historiography of the region and an evaluation of the Soviet legacy. The second part examines the politics of post-communist transition by focussing on the reconfiguration of Central Asia's relationship with Russia and its growing contacts with the international community. The course evaluates the concept of Central Asia as a region, discussing the specificity of each country and the relationship among the major ethnic groups. Notions of identity based on religion, language, clan, and regional factors are discussed in a comparative framework. Issues of economic reforms, political development, citizen participation, and party formation are examined by drawing comparisons with relevant cases in the post Soviet region and in other regions of Asia and Africa.

Selected readings: Adeeb Khalid, The Politics of Muslim Cultural Reform: Jadidism in Central Asia. University of California Press, 1998; Jo-Ann Gross (ed), Muslims in Central Asia. Duke University Press, 1992.; William Fierman (ed), Soviet Central Asia: A Failed Transformation. Westview Press, 1991; Pauline Jones Luong, Institutional Change and Political Continuity in Post-Soviet Central Asia. Cambridge University Press, 2001; Martha Brill Olcott, Kazakhstan: Unfulfilled Promise. The Brookings Institution, 2001; Edward Allworth, Central Asia: 130 Years of Russian Dominance: A Historical Overview; Duke University Press, 1994.; Ahmed Rashid, Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia. Yale University Press, 2002.; Touraj Atabaki & John O’Kane, Post-Soviet Central Asia. Tauris Academic Press, 1998.; Olivier Roy, The New Central Asia: Creation of Nations, New York University Press, 2000.

Assessment is 60% Coursework and 40% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable



Politics of Resistance in the Middle East (Term 1) (half unit)

15 PP0H 010

Convenor: Charles Tripp

This course offers Masters students focusing on Middle East politics an opportunity to reflect critically upon ideas of counterhegemony and resistance as ways of understanding politics and political struggle in the Middle East. Much of the literature on politics in the Middle East foregrounds the dominant structures of power, dominant ideologies and the varied forms of hegemony. Less studied, are the ways in which variously situated groups and individuals throughout the reigon have tried to negotiate with, subvert and resist these forms of hegemony and the mixed outcomes of many of these struggles. The course will take certain general themes and illustrate them through specific case studies from different countries in the Middle East.



As the course is taught as a two hour seminar, enrolment is limited to 15 students.

Assessment is 60% Coursework and 40% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable

Power in World Politics (Term 2) (half unit) 15PPOH017
Convenor: Felix Berenskoetter

This course explores different understandings of ‘power’ in international relations. The first part discusses the link between politics and (relations of) power and unravels the still popular view of power as a straightforward realist concept. The second part introduces students to three faces of power understood as winning conflicts, setting agendas and shaping normality, respectively, and traces their presence in the arguments of dominant IR theories. It also discusses material (‘hard’) and ideational (‘soft’) forms of power and their relationship, and it engages the distinction between ‘power over’ and ‘power to’. The third part of the course asks students to apply different readings of power to specific case studies ranging from the Cold War to phenomena of globalization and the ‘War on Terror’. 



Since the course is taught as a two hour seminar, enrolment is limited to 15 students.

Assessment is 70% coursework (comprising one 6000 word essay), 10% seminar participation, and 20% seminar presentation – all written coursework is resubmissable.



Security Governance (Term 2) (half unit)

15PPOH015

Convenor: Lorraine Macmillan

Approaches to the study of international peace and security have traditionally focused on interstate warfare and diplomacy. Increasingly, however, there is an appreciation that the governance of security issues stretches across state boundaries, involving multiple actors and mechanisms. In this course, we begin by examining the idea of security governance, situating it in a broader discussion of globalization and global governance. Topics to be covered include human security, transnational political violence, policing, regional security institutions, private security actors, post-conflict reconstruction, NGOs and global civil society, and security as a public policy issue.

Suggested Readings: Peter Andreas and Ethan Nadelmann, Policing the Globe: Criminalization and Crime Control in International Relations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); Stathis N. Kalyvas, The Logic of Violence in Civil War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006); Roland Paris, At War's End: Building Peace After Civil Conflict (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Peter W Singer, Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007).

As the course is taught as a two hour seminar, enrolment is limited to 15 students
Assessment is 90% Coursework and 10% seminar presentation – all written coursework is resubmissibile
State and Development in Asia and Africa (full unit)

15 PPOC 017

Convenor: Lawrence Saez & Hannes Baumann

The purpose of this course is to examine the relationship between politics (domestic and international) and economic development strategies. In particular, the course seeks to understand the role of political factors in explaining why most East Asian and Latin American countries developed quite rapidly since the 1950s (into ‘emerging market democracies) whereas most African states have experienced continuing stagnation and even disintegration. It also seeks to understand the global trend towards neo-liberalism and democracy of the past two decades, as well as to assess the consequences of this transition for late-developers. The course is organized into two parts, corresponding to the two terms. The first term focuses on the emergence and reform of 'capitalist developmental states' (using empirical examples from East Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa), and the key development controversies (democracy, corruption, distribution) that arise out of the transition from the developmental state to emerging market (or ‘neo-liberal’) democracy. The second part focuses on the contemporary institutional architecture of globalization (including IMF, World Bank, WTO and international finance) and the development issues that arise out of its workings. Whereas the first part emphasizes the comparative domestic dimensions of political economy, the second part emphasizes the international dimensions

Preliminary Reading: Gary Gereffi and Donald Wyman (eds) Manufacturing Miracles: Paths of Industrialization in East Asia and Latin America (1990); Stephan Haggard, Pathways from the Periphery (1990); Colin Leys, The Rise and Fall of Development Theory (1996); Meredith Woo-Cumings (ed.) The Developmental State (1999); Jeffry Frieden and David Lake (eds) International Political Economy (4th ed. 2001); Thomas Oatley, International Political Economy: Interests and Institutions in the Global Economy (2nd ed. 2006); Alice H. Amsden, Escape From Empire: The Developing World’s Journey Through Heaven and Hell (2007).


Assessment is 30% Coursework and 70% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable



State and Society in Asia and Africa (full unit)

15 PPOC 008

Convenor: Julia Strauss and Stephen Chan

This is a postgraduate class that examines the development of state institutions and their intersection with social patterns. In the first term, we cover how “the state” was constructed in Europe and how it developed as an implicit benchmark standard, before we move on to consider the many ways in which Asian and Africa realities may or may not conform to that implicit standard. In the first term we explore: military involvement in the state, neo-patrimonialism and clientilism, civil society and different forms of representation, weapons of the weak, and collective action. In the second term we cover the kinds of state-society relations that engage the emotions: religion, revolution, ethno-nationalism and sport, the theatrical dimensions of politics, and media, before concluding with a consideration of state collapse.

Selected Readings: Joel Migdal, Strong Societies and Weak States, John Sidel, Capitalism, Coercion and Crime: Bossism in the Philippines, Antonio Gramsci, Selections from the Prison Notebooks, Nelson Kasfir, Civil Society and the State in Africa: Critical Perspectives, Diamond and Plattner, Nationalism, Ethnic Conflict and Democracy, James Scott, Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance, O’Brien and Li, Rightful Resistance in Rural China, Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old Regime and the French Revolution, Sunil Khilnani, The Idea of India, Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism, James Manor, Third World Politics, Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, and a large range of articles.

Assessment is 50% Coursework and 50% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable



State and Society in the Chinese Political Process (full unit)

15PPOC 012

Convenor: Julia Strauss

This class focusses on state and society in Greater China (the People's Republic and Taiwan). It will specifically consider two closely interrelated themes: how China's state and society have evolved and how they have interacted over the course of the last century. The class is divided into three temporal segments that consider state and society in 1) the late imperial and Republican eras (1900-1949), 2) the revolutionary People's Republic (1949-78), and the reform era (1978-present). The first term will cover the first two periods, focussing on the nature of the state, the countryside, cities and intellectuals. The second term will be devoted to the post-1978 period, when it will be possible to expand coverage to a wider span of social sectors, including women, development vs. environment, minorities, industrial growth and reform. The class will conclude with units on democratization, civil society and Taiwan.

Selected readings: Mary Wright, China In Revolution, David Strand, Rickshaw Beijing, Timothy Cheek, Propaganda And Culture In Mao's China, Jean Oi, Rural China Takes Off, Perry and Wasserstrom, Popular Protest And Political Culture In Modern China, Goldman and MacFarquhar, The Paradox Of China's Post-Mao Reforms

Assessment is 50% Coursework and 50% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable


State and Transformation in the Middle East (Term 2) (half unit)

15 PPOH 011

Convenor: Charles Tripp

This course provides an analysis of the major political developments in the nature and form of the state in the contemporary Middle East. It will introduce students to the main theoretical debates relevant to the understanding of the state as a distinctive organisation of power and will examine the utility and appropriateness of these perspectives when analysing the politics of a variety of states in the Middle East. It will, therefore, examine the implications for state structures and institutions of the distinctive histories, social formations and political conflicts that shape state politics in the Middle East.



This course is one of the two alternative core courses and will be taught as a one hour lecture, followed by one hour seminars for smaller groups. There is no upper limit on the numbers of students who may enrol.

Assessment is 60% Coursework and 40% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable


Taiwan’s Politics and Cross-Strait Relations (full unit)

15PPOC252

Convenor: Dafydd Fell

This course aims to examine the political processes that have shaped the Republic of China on Taiwan since 1949, with particular emphasis on the last two decades. This course seeks to introduce to students theories and empirical developments of Cross-Strait relations given the significance of Taiwan Strait in regional and world politics today. Students should be able to evaluate the usefulness of existing political science explanations for Taiwan’s domestic political development.




Assessment is 30% Coursework and 70% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissable



Violence, Justice and the Politics of Memory (Term 2) (half unit)

Code TBC

Convenor: Phil Clark

This course offers historical, theoretical and empirical perspectives on the nature and causes of conflict and its impact of on social and economic development in Africa and Asia over the past century, as well as memory and justice responses to violence. The course emphasises the crucial linkages of conflict, memory and justice, in particular the prevalence of unaddressed or manipulated memories of violence, historical grievance and impunity as causes of further conflict. Countries given particular attention include Rwanda, Congo, Uganda, Sudan, and Cambodia.




Assessment is 50% coursework and 50% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissible

Assessment is 50% coursework and 50% unseen examination – all coursework is resubmissible.

LANGUAGE COURSES

Many language courses have a limited number of places, so students who wish to study a language as a ‘floater’ are advised to enquire at the Languages and Cultures Faculty Office (room 351) at the earliest opportunity.



SECTION D – GUIDELINES FOR STUDENTS
ASSESSMENT GUIDELINES FOR MSc STUDENTS
The guidelines below reflect the standards of work expected at postgraduate level. All your essays are marked by a member of staff, and a sample is then moderated by another member of staff. Where essays count for more than 30% are double marked by two members of staff. All essays are made available to the external examiner(s). Please feel free to discuss your essay and how your grade was arrived at with the appropriate member of staff.

70%

*as for the (65-69%) below plus:

• shows clear evidence of wide and relevant reading and an engagement with the conceptual issues

• develops a sophisticated and intelligent argument

• shows a rigorous use and a sophisticated understanding of relevant source materials, balancing appropriately between factual detail and key theoretical issues. Materials are engaged directly and their assumptions and arguments challenged and/or appraised.

• shows original thinking and a willingness to take risks


60-69%

* as for the (50-59%) below plus:

• shows strong evidence of critical insight and critical thinking

• shows a detailed understanding of the major factual and/or theoretical issues and directly engages with the relevant literature on the topic

• develops a focussed and clear argument and articulates clearly and convincingly a sustained train of logical thought

• shows clear evidence of planning and appropriate choice of sources and methodology


50-59% (50% = pass mark)

• shows some understanding of the major factual and/or theoretical issues involved

• shows evidence of planning and selection from appropriate sources,

• demonstrates some knowledge of the literature

• the text shows, in places, examples of a clear train of thought or argument

• the text concludes appropriately


45-49%:

• shows some awareness and understanding of the factual or theoretical issues, but with little development

• misunderstandings are evident

• shows some evidence of planning, although irrelevant/unrelated material or arguments are included


44% or less:

• fails to answer the question or develop and argument

• does not engage with the relevant literature or demonstrate a knowledge of the key issues

• contains clear conceptual or factual errors or misunderstandings


25-49% Redeemable Fail: demonstrates sufficient knowledge of the subject, literature and/or main ideas, and/or sufficient ability to construct an argument that the student be considered for re-examination/re-submission.
0-24% Outright Fail: does not address the question, fails to demonstrate adequate or relevant knowledge of the subject, fails to develop a coherent argument.

WRITING ESSAYS
Writing and Researching Essays for MSc Courses in Politics and International Relations
1. Why Write Essays?

1. Essay writing is a way of mastering a body of facts or ideas. You accumulate knowledge on a particular topic by reading the relevant literature, and then present what you have found in your own terms and in your own way. You thereby retain the material more effectively than merely reading.

2. Essay writing develops skills of selection, analysis and condensation. Out of the mass of information available, you have to decide what to include and what to leave out, you have to be alert to contradictory arguments and points of view presented by different authors, and you have to present your answers in a succinct form without over-simplifying.

3. Essay writing helps you develop your powers of expression and communication. You have to express your self clearly, develop a coherent argument throughout the essay, and as far as possible write in a fluent and attractive manner.

4. An essay also teaches you a vital transferable skill: many jobs will require you to write written reports and assessments, to demonstrate that you understood what you have read, and to demonstrate that you can present a written argument.
These four points determine whether an essay is good or bad. These points are also relevant to your dissertations.
2. Essay Marking

An essay mark takes account of both content and structure. When marking an essay the reader will be looking for the following things:


• The ability to pursue and develop a consistent argument;

• The ability to use evidence, sometimes from a wide range of sources;

• Logical control and organisation of your material;

• The ability to discriminate between the significant and the trivial;

A clear structure to the essay;

• The ability to write clearly, fluently and concisely;

• Evidence of independent thought;

• The ability to engage with relevant theoretical debates;

• The ability to discuss, consider and assess the scholarly literature on the topic.

• The ability to assess the assumptions and claims that underlie the existing literature.


3. Thinking

Give yourself plenty of time to think about the essay. Plan ahead to give yourself time to read, to plan and to develop an answer. Managing time is a crucial element in essay writing - hurried and under-researched essays are a waste of everyone’s time.


Thinking should allow you to develop a coherent response to the question, and also to consider the existing literature on the topic and how to address or engage this literature.
4. Understanding the Question

Essay writing is best thought of as a problem-solving activity, and it is vital that in your essay you answer the question. Read the question/title carefully - the words are there for a purpose. Words such as describe, discuss, explain, compare, contrast and assess are there to help you to focus and guide your attention. Also pay attention to any special restrictions such as dates, type of literature or specific cases.


DO NOT simply repeat everything you know about a certain subject. Answer the specific question, and never descend to the level of a general commentary. Furthermore, NEVER change the wording of a question without discussing it with the course convenor beforehand.

Finally, if you are not sure what a question means, ASK.


5. Preparation

• Familiarise yourself fully with the library - not just the books, but also the periodicals and the electronic resources.

• Read purposefully and selectively, concentrating on relevant material - use the index and contents pages of books, and abstracting services such as International Political Science Abstracts or BIDS: ask in the library about these resources. Your reading lists are a guide only, they are never fully comprehensive.

• Take notes carefully, keeping full records of author, title, page numbers etc.

• Plan the essay - the plan is a map showing the route of your argument.

• Structure your essay - the structure is the skeleton which give the essay shape.


6. The Essay

Decide on your strategy - are you going to give a balanced summary of the various opinions on the question, or are you going to show why you believe one opinion is better than another? Have opinions but try to avoid polemics.


You should assume that the reader of your essay is intelligent but uninformed. Remember that essays are not written for the benefit of the marker but should inform you about the subject.
Style is important. You are NOT marked on the standard or quality of your English, but the more clearly you can express your ideas the easier it will be for the marker to realise your brilliance. There are numerous writing guides available, the most helpful of which is Strunk and White, The Elements of Style (Macmillan).
Introduction

Take great care with this. Show as briefly as possible that you have understood the question. You may wish to outline your answer and how you intend to develop this answer in the introduction. [This is very much a matter of personal style some people prefer a direct answer at the start, others prefer the argument to emerge in the essay and the intro to be a summary of the topic. Both methods are equally valid.]


Main Body

Much will depend on the subject matter, but you should order your points so that there is reasoned argument and a smooth sequence. Link your paragraphs together with topic sentences. Show why the information you are giving is relevant, and ask yourself continually if the information you are providing is relevant, to ensure you exclude what is irrelevant.


Conclusion

Your concluding paragraph should sum up the discussion and set out the main results. Remember to check that it agrees with your introduction. Also remember that an essay is not a cliff-hanger mystery or a whodunit - don't leave your answer to the question to the last line, make sure you have developed it throughout the essay. Never introduce a new idea or argument in your conclusion.


7. Referencing

Showing the source of your ideas and arguments is vital. Use the MLA footnote/endnote OR the Harvard system to indicate clearly where your ideas have come from. Good referencing not only helps you avoid plagiarism it also demonstrates that you know the literature and the arguments on the topic.


Footnotes should never contain substantive pieces of argument or information: if something is important it belongs in the text. If it is not important, it does not belong in the essay.
Always include a full bibliography.
8. Plagiarism

See page 32.


9. Finally

• Use a word-processor, and print out your essay with a good sized font and sensible spacing.

• Remember that computers break down - always keep copies and back-up your work regularly.

• Re-read your essay carefully in hard-copy before submitting.

• Keep to the word limits - you may be penalised if you fail to do so.

• Discuss your essay with friends.

• Hand the essay in on time: you will be deducted marks if you fail to do so without good cause.


WRITING AND GIVING PRESENTATIONS FOR SEMINARS/ DISCUSSIONS IN POLITICS.
Seminars, tutorials and discussion groups are central to the teaching of politics at SOAS. They typically involve a small group of students and a seminar leader and are based around either a lecture topic, a specific issue, or a set of readings. Seminars provide you with an opportunity to interact with the teaching staff and your fellow students in a semi-structured way. You are expected to attend all seminars unless you are prevented from doing so due to illness or other good cause. In such cases please inform your course convenor(s) and your postgraduate convenor as soon as possible. PLEASE NOTE: staff in the Politics Department will often use the terms 'seminar', 'tutorial' and 'discussion group' inter-changeably.
1. What is the Purpose of a Seminar/Discussion Group?

The most important function of the seminar is to provide a forum for you to discuss the course with your teachers and fellow students. You can use the opportunity to:

• ask questions about the lectures

• ask questions about essay preparation

• ask questions about how your essay has been graded

• ask questions about the organisation of the course

• ask questions about the examination

• meet fellow students and discuss issues related to the course with them

• raise any problems you may have

• deliver a presentation on a specific topic


2. Why Attend Seminars/Give Presentations?

• Giving a presentation is a way of developing powers of expression and communication. You have to express yourself clearly, develop a coherent argument and demonstrate that you understand the issue(s).

• As with writing an essay, preparing presentations develops skills of selection, analysis and condensation. You need to express ideas and arguments in a succinct form that is easily understood by others.

• Giving a presentation should enable you to present and defend your ideas in front of others. It helps to develop your verbal reasoning skills and teaches you how to respond to different opinions and arguments.

• Participating in seminars enables you to develop a range of transferable skills related to oral presentation and discussion. Most jobs (and all interviews) will require to talk in front of groups of people and to present ideas and information.
3. What Should I do When Not Presenting a Paper?

If you are not presenting a paper in a seminar or discussion you are still required to work and to participate. It is essential that you read any required reading before the seminar begins and that you are prepared to both answer and ask questions about the reading. Always ask as many questions as you can, even if you think they are naive.


4. Preparing Presentation

There are two main types of presentation: those for which you have a set question (the seminar), and those based on your own interpretation of a reading or set of readings (the discussion group). Give yourself plenty of time to think about the presentation. Plan ahead to give yourself time to read, to plan and to develop an answer. Managing time is a crucial element in preparing presentations - hurried and under-researched papers are a waste of everyone's time.



A. Address the question

Where a question has been set, address it directly. As in essay writing you can regard presentation of this sort as a problem-solving activity, and it is vital that in your presentation you address the question. Read the question/title carefully - the words are there for a purpose. Words such as describe, discuss, explain, compare, contrast and assess are there to help you to focus and guide your attention. Also pay attention to any special restrictions such as dates, type of literature or specific cases.


DO NOT simply repeat everything you know about a certain subject. Answer the specific question, and never descend to the level of a general commentary. Furthermore, NEVER change the wording of a question without discussing it with the tutor beforehand.
Finally, if you are not sure what a question means, ASK.
B. Address the Literature

Where a specific question has not been set it is important that you engage with the literature in you presentation. This is more than simply summarising what you have read: you should discuss the strengths and weaknesses or the author’s argument; consider the assumptions upon which the reading is based and address the methodology employed by the author(s).


5. The Paper

Decide on your approach - are you going to give a balanced summary of the various opinions on the question, or are you going to show why you believe one opinion is better than another?


You should assume that the people in your seminar are intelligent but uninformed. Remember that presentations are not written for the benefit of the teacher, but should inform you and your classmates about the subject.
Style is important. You are NOT marked on the standard or quality of your English, but the more clearly you can express your ideas the easier it is for those in your discussion group. As in an essay your presentation requires:

Introduction

Main Body

Conclusion

You may wish to distribute handouts with your presentation to enable other to follow your argument more closely: where presentation are assessed this is required. The staff member in charge of the tutorial can help you with photocopying.
6. Nerves

Many people feel nervous when speaking in front of others. Seminars offer a friendly and supportive forum within which to develop the confidence needed to speak in public. Help yourself to relax by breathing slowly, and staying focussed on your presentation. Remember that your fellow students will be sympathetic to you as they will also have to make presentations. You can receive further advice from the teaching staff and from the student counsellors on how to deal with nerves.



PREPARING FOR AND WRITING EXAMINATIONS IN POLITICS
Most courses in the Department of Politics and International Studies are examined by a combination of coursework (typically essays) and a formal written examination. The main exception is the Dissertation. The exam component of your final mark for each course can be up to 70%: please check your course outline or discuss with an appropriate member of staff to find the exact proportion of coursework/exam to final mark. These guidelines are designed to provide you with basic information on how to prepare for and take written exams. They should be read in conjunction with the other guidelines in the Handbook, especially those that refer to essay writing.
Why Take Examinations?

Examinations are a way of assessing your understanding of a course you have taken during a single academic year. They require you write a number of essays (usually three) in a set time period (usually three hours). Examinations provide a fair assessment of your ability to assimilate and retain knowledge and to develop that knowledge in answer to a range of questions. Written exams therefore test your knowledge of a specific subject, your ability to reason and to argue on paper, and your skills of expression and communication.


How Should I Revise/Prepare for the Exam?

• The best way to prepare for the examination is to work consistently throughout the year. If you have worked hard, kept up with all the required reading, attended your lectures and seminars, and read as much recommended reading as possible, preparing for the exams is straightforward.

• Revision should consist of reminding yourself of material with which you are already familiar - it should not involve acquainting yourself with material for the first time. Where available, re-read required readings.

• Read through your essays, and ideally those of your fellow class mates. Remember that re-reading a poor essay can teach you as much (with regard to technique and style) as a good essay. Read through notes you have taken in lectures or seminars and the notes you have taken on books and articles you have read.

• You should familiarise yourself with key events and issues, and also with the various interpretations or explanations of these events and issues.

• Read through previous examination papers - this will help to familiarise you with the format of the exam. However, always check that the exam format has not changed. Also, never prepare for a previous exam paper or try to guess/predict questions: the questions vary, often considerably, from year to year. However they will always reflect what has been taught on your course.

• Write practice essays: writing an exam is physically and mentally demanding. An excellent way to prepare for this is by writing essays for one hour or two hours under exam conditions, either at home or in the library. This will improve your technique, enable you to manage time better, and help you to develop writing muscles that computer use has atrophied.

• The benefits of placing books/revision notes under your pillow the night before the exam are as yet unproven.


How is the Exam Organised/What is on the Exam/ What should I write?

• The typical Politics exam is three hours long, and usually consists of a list of 12 questions. You will normally be asked to answer three question.

• Note however that some papers will have greater or fewer than 12 questions, and some exams are of less than three hours: check your course outline and discuss the format with an appropriate member of staff.

• Some papers are divided into sections. Always read the rubric very carefully and ensure that you answer the correct number of questions from the correct sections.

• More specific details of each examination will be provided in a revision lecture/seminar, usually given a few weeks before the examination in Term 3.

• The same advice for writing coursework essays applies to writing exam essays: please check the appropriate pages in the Handbook.

• Knowledge from one course can often inform your understanding of another course: please use information from different parts of your degree to inform and cross-fertilise your answers. Try not to think in narrow, discrete units.

• You should not repeat significant pieces of information in separate answers, or cross-references between your essays.

• A very common question is: how long should my essay be? Assuming that you have to answer three questions in three hours, your essay should be 1 hour long. For four questions in three hours, your answer should be 45 minutes long. However remember to leave yourself time to think about and plan your answer and to read through your answer afterwards. For a one hour answer allow yourself at least 5 minutes to think about plan your answer, and not more than five minutes afterwards to read through what you have written and to check for errors/ambiguities.

• Poor handwriting. Clarity of expression is very important in the exam, and if the markers cannot read your writing it will be difficult for them to assess your answer. If your handwriting is hard to read a simple way to improve its legibility is to write on every other line.


How are Exams marked?

All exams in Politics are anonymously double marked. This means that your script is anonymous (it does not have your name on it) and it is marked by two members of staff independently of one another. Assessment is also moderated by the External Examiner.


Three Pieces of Vital Information

The three most important pieces of information for any examination are the DATE, TIME and PLACE of the exam. This information is usually made available provisionally at the end of the second term, and is confirmed at the start of the third term. If you have any doubts please confirm with the Registry (Examinations Section) and/or the Faculty Office. It is vital that you have this information correct and it is your responsibility to attend the correct venue at the correct time.


Concessions (Dyslexia, Illness etc)

If there is any medical or personal reason that may have an influence on your exam performance, please alert your MSc Convenor or the course convenor, and notify the Registry (Examinations Section). You will usually be required to provide evidence to substantiate any request for a concession.



GUIDELINES FOR THE PREPARATION OF MSC DISSERTATIONS
General Regulations
As part of the MSc course requirements, students are required to submit a dissertation of up to 10,000 words on a topic of their choice and in consultation with their supervisor. In some programmes the dissertation must relate to a specific area; see below for more advice on topics.
The dissertation accounts for 25% of the total assessment for the MSc programme, it is thus equivalent to one taught element. The mark for the dissertation is based on the dissertation alone, and follows the normal scale for the MSc. Students are required to complete the dissertation to a satisfactory standard (pass mark 50%) in order to complete the MSc, and may be required to resubmit the dissertation if it is unsatisfactory. The grading of dissertation follows broadly the same criteria as that used for grading essays.
The dissertation must not exceed 10,000 words, excluding footnotes and bibliography. The word limit must be strictly adhered to. Dissertations that exceed 10,000 words may be penalised or rejected altogether. Candidates are further warned that, if there is an unrealistic ratio between the length of the text and the footnotes, this may also be taken to be non-compliance with the regulations.

The dissertation deadline is 4.00 pm on 15 September of the year in which the dissertation is undertaken. Dissertations submitted after this are liable to be penalised for late submission. If 15 September falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then the deadline is 4.00 pm on the Monday immediately following 15 September.

The School deadline for the submission of a dissertation is 4.00 pm on 30 September. No marks will be awarded for a dissertation submitted after 4.00 pm on 30 September unless an application has been made and approved permitting submission in the following academic year. If 30 September falls on a Saturday or Sunday, then the deadline is 4.00 pm on the Monday immediately following 30 September.

A dissertation submitted after the dissertation deadline of 4.00 pm on 15 September but before the School deadline of 4.00 pm on 30 September will be marked but the mark awarded will be reduced by the relevant Sub-Board of Examiners by 2 percentage points for each working day that the work is late. This reduction of marks will not apply if the relevant Sub-Board of Examiners determines that there is good cause for the late submission. If the claim for good cause rests on medical or other certifiable grounds, certification will be required

Students who submit a dissertation after the dissertation deadline but before the School dissertation deadline should submit their dissertation in the normal way. Any evidence of other extenuating circumstances relating to the late submission should be attached to the dissertation submission form when the work is submitted.  There is no procedure for granting submission extensions in the period 15 to 30 September or in advance of this period. No member of staff has the authority to grant such an extension (neither dissertation supervisors, nor Programme Convenors, nor Associate Deans).

Students who wish to apply for a long-term deferral of submission (allowing them to submit between 1 October and 15 September of the following year) must complete the dissertation submission deferral application form, obtainable from the Examinations and Assessments Manager (exams@soas.ac.uk), by 1st September.  The results for dissertations approved for submission in the period 1 October to 15 September of the year following will be considered by the relevant Sub-Board of Examiners in November of the year following.  The award date, if the student is successful, will be 1 December.  There will therefore be a year’s delay in the award in the case of long-term deferral.



Academic Requirements and Key Dates:

An introduction to the dissertation process, including advice on picking a topic, research methods, and writing up, will be held during January/February 2011 (date to be advised).


Dissertation Topic Proposal: In January, all MSc students will receive a dissertation topic and prospective supervisor form from the Law and Social Sciences Faculty Office that must be returned, together with a working title and brief outline of the proposed topic, usually by Friday of the week following Reading Week Term 2. At the beginning of the second term you should therefore consult with your prospective supervisor to discuss this outline. The Department as a whole allocates supervisory responsibilities after these proposals have been received. In most cases students will receive the supervisor they expect, but in some the Department will specify an alternative based on the topic proposed.
A more detailed outline and at least one draft chapter should then be submitted to the supervisor by the end of June 2011. This date marks the end of formal teaching and it is likely that most members of the Department will only be available for supervision at specified times or by email until September.
The purpose of the dissertation is to enable students to demonstrate their capacity to carry out a substantial piece of independent academic work on a selected topic. Students will be assessed on their capacity to define a topic for examination, to articulate a coherent scheme for examining this topic, to gather the necessary information, and to present and analyse this information in a way which satisfactorily addresses the question which has been set.
Students are reminded that all work submitted as part of the requirements for any examination of the University of London must be expressed in their own words and incorporate their own ideas and judgements (see page 35. Any offence must be referred to the Academic Registrar.
With the above dates in mind, students should start thinking about the topics they wish to tackle. Inevitably, however, prospective supervisors will be best placed to provide more detailed advice, so students should initiate discussions with them in the first weeks of the Second Term.
Students are encouraged to select dissertation topics which are linked to the themes covered in other parts of their MSc. They may be primarily empirical investigations of an aspect of politics in the region on which the student is specialising, or they may be theoretical investigations of questions raised in disciplinary courses. For those students on the MSc International Politics, their proposed topic must have an international or foreign policy dimension, a requirement which the Department will evaluate carefully. For those students taking a regional MSc, their proposed topic must have clear relevance to the politics of that region. In all cases, topics should be clearly focussed: a piece of work carried out over 3-4 months to a maximum of 10,000 words can provide scope for only a limited amount of research and the more focussed the topic, the greater the opportunity to produce an interesting and to some extent original piece of work. All dissertation titles are sent to the external examiner for approval and cannot be changed after (date)..
The dissertation outline should include the following:
1. Name:

2. Working Title:

3. Statement of the research hypothesis/argument (max. 40 words)

4. A rationale for the topic, explaining the theoretical or practical relevance of the topic and its relation to the existing literature (max. 300 words)

5. A brief outline of the dissertation, indicating the principal sections into which it will be divided (max. 300 words)

6. Methodology. State the methods of investigation to be employed, including an indication of the sources to be consulted. Students should here raise any problems which they foresee in collecting adequate data (max. 150 words)

7. Bibliography. This should include at least 10 readily accessible items of direct relevance to your topic.
Following discussion of the proposal with the supervisor, and its modification where necessary, students will then carry out the programme of research required and write up the results. Since the dissertation is substantially longer than an essay, it is particularly important for students to take notes accurately and file them carefully, in order to ensure that they have access to the right information at the right time. It is good practice to keep a list of sources consulted and to file notes either by source, or according to the place at which the material is to be used in the dissertation. Where word-processing makes it easy to make duplicate copies of notes, it may be helpful to do both.
The Role of the Supervisor
The main responsibilities of the supervisor are as follows:

1. to meet with the student at least three times, once before and twice after reading week in the second term;

2. to discuss and approve the choice of topic and dissertation plan;

3. to provide guidance on the preparation of the dissertation (sources to be used, method of analysis);

4. to read and comment on the dissertation outline and at least one chapter of the dissertation draft;

5. to act as the first marker following the 15th September 2011 submission deadline. (All dissertations will be assessed by two internal examiners as well as an external examiner.)


The supervisor does not, however, have any responsibility for the preparation of the dissertation itself, for the ideas and material that it contains, or for the standard that it attains; the dissertation must be entirely the student's own work, and the help given by the supervisor must necessarily be limited.
Presentation
The presentation of the dissertation in a clean and correct form is an important part of the dissertation-writing process, and examiners will take it into account in awarding marks. The final text should be carefully examined for typing errors before it is submitted.
TWO copies of the dissertation should be submitted to the Department of Politics and International Studies for marking and should be bound in secure and firm folders. One copy may be retained by the Department for consultation by future MSc students. Students are advised to make an additional copy or copies for themselves.
Dissertations should be word-processed in order to permit easy amendment or correction in the course of preparation. All material in the main part of the dissertation, excluding only the footnotes and bibliography, should be double-spaced.

The dissertation should include the following elements:

1. Cover: this should state the title of the dissertation, the name of the student, the degree scheme for which it is submitted (e.g. MSc in Asian Politics).

2. Title Page: this should give the same information as on the cover, together with the statement: "This dissertation is submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MSc (full title of the degree for which you are registered) of the University of London", followed by the date.

3. Table of Contents: this should list the contents of the dissertation by chapters or sections where appropriate, and the page number for each, together with the page number for the notes, bibliography, and any maps, figures and tables.

4. Abstract: this should provide a brief statement, of not more than two hundred words, of the main themes or findings of the dissertation.

5. Acknowledgements: students may wish to acknowledge any help that they have received in the preparation of their dissertation.

6. Main Text: each main heading (sections, references, bibliography) should start on a new page; sections within main headings may continue on the same page.

7. References: footnotes should be numbered consecutively and the references to which they refer should be placed in order after the main text, and before the bibliography.

8. Bibliography: the bibliography should list all works used in the preparation of the dissertation, including all those noted in the references; further guidance on the bibliography is given below.

Bibliography and References
Preparation of the Bibliography is an important part of the dissertation; it should be presented in the following form:

1. Documentary sources: official documents and reports, by origin in alphabetical order;

2. Books and Articles: these should be listed by author in alphabetical order, in the form given below;

3. Newspapers and Periodicals: these should be listed in alphabetical order, with their place of publication;

4. Interviews: people interviewed, where appropriate, should be listed in alphabetical order, with a brief description of their standing.

References in the footnotes and bibliography should be presented in the following form:

1. Books: author, title of book, (place and date of publication); e.g.: R.H. Jackson, Quasi-states: Sovereignty, International Relations and the Third World (Cambridge, 1990). If you prefer you can use underlining instead of italics.

2. Articles in journals: author, 'title of article', title of journal, volume and number, year, pages; e.g. R.W. Cox, 'Multilateralism and world order', Review of International Studies, Vol. 18, No. 2, 1992, pp. 55-72.

3. Chapters in edited books: author, 'title of chapter', in editor, title of book, (place and year of publication); e.g. J. Herbst, 'The United States and Africa: Issues for the Future', in J.W. Harbeson and D. Rothchild, eds., Africa in World Politics (Boulder, 1991).

4. Documents: conform to the same pattern as far as possible (with appropriate variations); e.g. Correspondence respecting the Earl of Elgin's special missions to China and Japan, 1857 to 1859, Parliamentary Papers 1859, vol. xxxiii.

Where quoting documents directly, give a description of document as well as identifying source; e.g. Clarendon to Elgin, 20 April 1857, Parliamentary. Papers 1859, vol. xxxiii.

Where quoting documents at second hand, make this clear; e.g. Miller, quoted in Jackson, Quasi-states, p. 170.

5. These conventions may be adapted for other forms of publication; the essential requirement is that the principal title (title of book or periodical) should be underlined or italicised, while subtitles should be in inverted commas; dates and places should be included.


Abbreviations are a convenience to the writer, which should not inconvenience the reader (by being made cryptic or unintelligible).

1. Where you devise your own, make them self-evident (i.e. not requiring a separate key or explanation); however some journals have standard abbreviations; e.g. B.S.O.A.S.

2. ibid. This refers only to the immediately preceding note; it cites the same work (hence cannot be used if the previous note cited several); but you can vary the volume/page reference, e.g. ibid., p. 241 (where a different page was cited previously).

3. op.cit. This refers to a previously cited work by the same author and cannot be used where more than one work by that author has already been cited.


Some writers, especially in social sciences such as anthropology and economics but increasingly in other areas, use the author-date system, sometimes called the Harvard system. Here, references to secondary sources are made by author, date, and page number if necessary, and are placed in brackets in the main body of the text. The full reference can then easily be found in the bibliography at the back. For example: The political causes of economic stagnation are more controversial (Joshi and Little, 1987, pp. 371-8). An alternative way of setting out the reference is (Joshi and Little 1987: 371-8). If you use this system, then the bibliography must obviously be laid out in a way that makes it easy to identify each entry:

Joshi, Vijay and Little, I.M.D. 1987. 'Indian Macroeconomics Policies'. Economic and Political Weekly, 15, pp. 313-6

Where an author has published more than one item in a year, then it is usual to distinguish by lower case letters, 1987a, 1987b, etc.

Coursework submission and deadlines
All students are required to submit all elements of assessment to pass a course, and are required to submit all coursework as a pre-condition of exam entry.  The Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) may, at the request of the Head of Department, withdraw permission to take exams or terminate degree registration if you persistently fail to submit coursework without good cause.

Deadlines for course-work essays are set prior to the commencement of the academic year by the course teacher or (where more than one teacher is involved in a course) the course convenor.  The final deadline will not be later than the School's final deadline and will generally be earlier. Students will be informed of these deadlines at the beginning of the course - these can be confirmed on BLE or from the Faculty Office.

Coursework will either be manually submitted to your Faculty Office or online via Blackboard as confirmed by the Course Convenor. TFurther details of requirements will be made available closer to the time. Should this service not be available for your course(s) the following describes our manual submission procedures.

Two copies of every assessed essay must be submitted by students to the Faculty Office before 4.00 p.m. on the due date.  Students must see that the date of their essay submission is recorded on their receipt. Students who submit their essays on time are entitled to receive one copy of each essay back with comments and a provisional mark within at most three weeks in term time.  One copy will be retained by the Faculty Office (together with a copy of the general comments returned to the student) so that it is available at the time of the examination


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