PIR-20062 - INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF EURASIA: Challenges of Globalisation and Geopolitics
Coordinator: Bulent Gokay Room: CBA2.002 Tel: +44 1782 7 33512
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 5
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective





Barred Combinations

Description for 2022/23

Eurasia, the vast lands between China and Germany, has emerged as the world's axial super-continent, which is now serving as the decisive geopolitical chessboard, both for political/military and economic reasons. Eurasia accounts for 75 percent of the world's population, 60 percent of its GNP, and 75 percent of its energy resources. Collectively, Eurasia's power overshadows even America's. The geopolitics of the region is therefore a significant matter. On a lighter note, it is even the setting and plot device for one of the latest James Bond movies.
This module looks at the struggle between the processes of globalisation and geopolitical forces since the end of the Second World War. One of the most significant characteristics of the Eurasian heartland is its central location in relation to the major sedentary civilisations of the past and present. Over the centuries, these lands have come under the sway of several great world-historical civilisations and empires: the Eastern Roman or Byzantine, Mongolian, Ottoman, Holy Roman, Austro-Hungarian, Russian, and Soviet. These lands have felt the influence of Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, Protestanism, Judaism, Islam, and world communism.
At the intersection of many powerful global forces, these lands have experienced with particular sharpness what is called and its challenge to customary ways of life. In addition, the collapse of Soviet domination and communist regimes across this region has dramatically increased its importance for the global economy. The Eurasian heartland, which has for a number of years been in the process of becoming a region of major strategic importance, has often been treated as peripheral to other fields of study such as study of Russia or China. Perhaps more than any other region of the world, the Eurasian heartland has become an avenue of the much-mentioned condition of multipolarity in world affairs.

To introduce students to the history and politics of a Europe and Asia that has been divided into an East and a West during the Cold War years and is now subject to new regional divisions.
To examine the slowly changing geopolitical forces, power distributions and relational networks in Europe and its immediate neighbourhood.
To encourage students to participate in a critical engagement of an appropriate conceptual framework which will enable them to make meaningful judgements about the important processes of change in the region which are affecting the lives of all of us today.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

recognise and evaluate a conceptual framework enabling them to analyse important geopolitical and political economy processes in the Eurasian region: 1,2
develop a clear research question and a research strategy to enable the question to be effectively addressed in relation to the modern history and politics of Eurasia: 1,2
critically analyse current developments in Eurasia, placing them in a social, political and political economy context: 1,2

Study hours

20 contact hours (15 hours lectures + 5 hours seminars)
40 hours lecture and seminar preparation (including preparation for assessed tutorial)
30 hours short paper preparation
60 hours long paper preparation

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Review weighted 25%
Short paper (review article)
The short paper (1,000 words) is a review article on one or more of the core texts specifically identified (listed) in the module guide. A review article is not primarily a summary of a text; rather, it comments on and evaluates the text in the light of specific issues and theoretical concerns in a field. When preparing your review article, keep questions like the following in mind as you read, make notes, and write the review: 1.What is the specific topic of the book/or article? 2. What overall purpose does it seem to have? 3. For what readership is it written? 4. Does the author state an explicit thesis? 5. What are the theoretical assumptions, and are they discussed explicitly? 6. What exactly does the work contribute to the overall topic of this module? 7. What general problems and concepts in the field of International Relations does it engage with? 8. What kinds of material does the work present (e.g. primary documents or secondary material, literary analysis, personal observation, historical accounts, etc.)? 9. How is this material used to demonstrate and argue the thesis? 10. What are your own reactions and considered opinions regarding the work?

2: Research Paper weighted 75%
Long (research) paper (2,000 words)
The research paper is a long essay (2,000 words). The research paper (long essay) is a full and detailed response to one of the essay questions provided in the module hand-book. To write a research paper you must first do some research, that is, investigate your topic by reading about it in many different sources, including books, magazines, newspapers, and the Internet. The information you gather from these sources is then used to support the points you make in your paper. Writing a research paper also involves documenting your sources of information in footnotes or endnotes. This way the reader knows where you got your information and can judge whether it is reliable. It must be presented in an appropriate scholarly style including full bibliographic details and references. It should include a critical survey of the field of knowledge in order to present a detailed discussion of findings.