This unit provides an introduction to key historical events and concepts relating to international politics. It is designed to help students understand the origins of the political systems in which we live today, and to recognise the importance of political science as a means of investigating and evaluating political structures and practices at local, national, regional and global levels. We examine the origins of nation-states, corporations, and key international and non-governmental organisations, discussing how, where, when and why these political forms emerged and why they have persisted and proliferated.

Unit details

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Students enrolled in course code ABAB must complete at least 72 credit points (equivalent to 6 units) in Year 1 before undertaking any Level 2 units.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Investigate the origin and character of key political structures, including nation-states, corporations, and international and non-governmental organisations;  
  2. Explain the emergence and persistence of such political structures to relevant theories drawn from Political Science and International Relations;  
  3. Locate, review and employ a range of primary and secondary sources related to the study of political structures; and  
  4. Articulate, orally and in writing, clear and convincing arguments regarding the origin, persistence and normative value of the political structures noted above.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Assignment Reflective paper: My involvement in international affairs (500 words) 20%
Essay A fully referenced, academic essay (1500 words) 40%
Examination Short answer, end of semester exam (90 minutes) 40%

Required reading

Students will also be supplied with electronic copies of further readings as well as guidance on engaging with online news sources.

The globalization of world politics, 6th edn,
Baylis, J, Smith S & Owens, P 2014,
Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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