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Dr. Karen Devine, Lecturer in International Relations and Political Science: Current Modules


Gender and Politics

This module is about systems of thought and practices that define, constrain, or facilitate roles of human beings at the individual and mass level, based on perceived traits of biological sex and socially constructed gender identities and roles.  Those systems are economic, social, political, environmental, educational and cultural in nature.  LG340 explores themes and questions such as: Entitlement. Privilege. Oppression. Colonialism. Equality. Opportunity. Change. Thriving. Intersectionality - race and class. What constitutes the structure? Who has agency? Whose interests are served by the system?  Who resists? How? With what outcomes?


Issues in European Integration

The purpose of this module is to provide an in-depth analysis of the key issues and debates in European integration.  It covers the five main institutions and the decision-making processes of the EU and develops students’ knowledge by focusing on important policy areas such as agriculture, trade, environment, fisheries, area of freedom, security and justice, and finally, security and defence. This advanced course on European integration addresses current and future issues of European integration in the post-Cold war era and beyond


Irish Foreign Policy

This course on Irish Foreign Policy provides an overview of the activities, themes, interests and values that make up Irish foreign policy (IFP).    A key objective of this course is to develop the knowledge base and analytical skills of students in order to undertake (1) rigorous assessments of the disparate positions within IFP analysis and (2) an evaluation of the motivations and effectiveness of Irish foreign policy goals.  Students are encouraged to explore aspects of Irish foreign policy (IFP) that are of particular interest and to produce new interpretations and understandings of IFP.  Another key objective is to enable students to take a ‘critical’ theoretical approach to analysing IFP in terms of understanding (3) ‘mainstream’ or traditional debates in IFP as one among several valid interpretations of IFP, in order to facilitate (4) the identification of alternative ways of thinking that can account for policies and approaches that encompass a plurality of views on Irish Foreign Policy in addition to the ‘official’, state-centric delineated scope of policy.


Gender and Security


Introduction to European Integration

Gender is one of the most influential social constructs in Politics and International Relations, broadly conceived. "Gender" and "Security" are two concepts that have been studied in fundamentally distinct disciplinary fields and until recently, their paths have rarely crossed. LG5043 is designed to interrogate taken-for-granted understandings of security through gender-based perspectives, using a number of theoretical perspectives, with a particular focus on radical feminism.  LG5043 is a course that explores topics and themes and questions arising from the gendered politics of Violence, War and Militarism, Security and Peace[keeping], Colonialism, International Organisations and Law, the Nation-state and Varieties of Foreign Policies. Students may learn to appreciate the need for a radical overhaul of security literature and practices to truly appreciate the importance of gender to international relations and security.

LG104 Introduction to European Integration is a first year module aimed at providing an in-depth introduction to the institutions and policy-making processes of the European Union. To make the course relevant to 'real time' and 'real life' social, political and economic situations, we will also take a critical look at the role of the EU and its institutions in contemporary crises ranging from internal corruption to the refugee crisis and the Financial Crisis, Brexit, and Ireland's relationship with the European Union.


Research Methodologies /


Analysing Text and Talk: a methodological spectrum of theory and practice

LG603 is a theoretical and empirical course is designed to introduce students to the qualitative approach and the applied analysis of text and discourse in positivist, critical, postmodern and poststructuralist guises, specifically, the approaches of (1) process tracing (2) content analysis, (3) critical discourse analysis (4) discourse theory: poststructuralist discourse analysis/deconstruction. Each of the four approaches has two seminars dedicated to it: the first seminar of the four topics explores the basic ‘what is ...[insert methodology]’ question; the second seminar examines some examples of the approach in practice.  The course will locate each of the approaches in relation to different epistemological positions and recent developments in empirical research in the social sciences, including politics and international relations. Methods to analyse talk and text have been used to examine issues such as gender-based violence, terrorism and the events of 9/11, Israeli-Palestinian relations, European Union politics, US foreign policy, etc., and international dimensions of domestic policy, e.g. immigration.The readings are carefully selected to cover a broad range of research subjects in IR/Political Science: in this course, we shall examine these and other issues, through one of the four analytical approaches.


Students will learn to appreciate the advantages and suitability of each approach in application to particular research questions.


Dr. Karen Devine


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