Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This introductory subject provides an overview of the major historical developments since the birth of the discipline of International Relations (IR) at the beginning of the 20th century. It focuses on surveying the major events that have shaped the international system, tracking the significant power shifts that have occurred during each period, and the theories that have been developed in response to this changing context. Topics include: the World Wars; post-War II construction of global institutions; the Cold War; decolonisation; post-Cold War globalisation; the 'war on terror'; humanitarian intervention; the Great Recession; and American decline and rising powers. Students will gain a comprehensive overview of the historical debates that have shaped the discipline of IR and an appreciation of the historical roots of contemporary international politics.

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorDaniel Bray

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Available as ElectiveNo

Learning ActivitiesPresentations by seminar leader; participation in seminar discussions; regular blog posts; Historical Brief; Seminar required readings.

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Enrolled in an Honours program or Postgraduate Coursework degree in the School of Humanities and Social Science Other students may enrol with permission of the subject coordinator


Incompatible subjectsPOL4CIR OR POL5CIR

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Learning resources

International Relations Since 1945: A Global History

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementRecommended

AuthorYoung, J.W and Kent, J.



PublisherOxford University Press


Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Understand the key historical events and theoretical developments that have shaped international relations.
02. Critically analyse historical texts on international relations.
03. Execute a substantial research project that investigates a key historical event in international relations.
04. Explain the contemporary political significance of key historical periods in international relations

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 1, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorDaniel Bray

Class requirements

SeminarWeek: 10 - 22
One 2.00 hours seminar per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

Regular Blog Posts (2000 words)Eight blog posts of 250 words worth 5% each.

N/AOtherIndividualNo40 SILO1, SILO2, SILO4

Historical Brief (3000 words)

N/AOtherIndividualNo60 SILO1, SILO3