The study of Politics and International Relations focuses on the workings of government and global politics, and will help you understand the most pressing challenges facing the world today, including peace and security, climate change, development, human rights, governance and inequality. The solutions to many national and global problems are often intricately connected with regional and global processes, structures, mechanisms, forces, interests, customs and institutions. Knowing how to identify these solutions, their context and histories, is often challenging, frequently rewarding, and always interesting. Studying Politics and International Relations will give you insight into the complex relationships between state and non-state actors, individuals and organisations in national and international contexts, and you will learn how to think critically about the nature of power in contemporary and historical perspective. The study of Politics and International Relations equips future policy-makers (as well as concerned citizens) with the tools to understand the complexities of the world.

The academic disciplines of Politics and International Relations include the study of

  • The changing nature of governance and political engagement in an increasingly globalised world
  • Foreign policy, diplomacy and statecraft
  • War, violence and conflict
  • Security and peacebuilding
  • International political economy
  • International organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
  • Inequalities, injustice and political alienation
  • The different roles and strategies of different political actor

At UNSW, the study of Politics and International Relations addresses challenges of governance at both the global and national level, offering historical, comparative and theoretical perspectives through which to understand and analyse what happens in the world.