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Online course

Cooperation in the Contemporary World: Unlocking International Politics

Why do we cooperate? How can we achieve more lasting cooperation? This course explores the puzzle in international politics today.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Statement of Participation when you complete over half the course

Find out more

Cooperation in the Contemporary World: Unlocking International Politics

Why join the course?

As world leaders seek to find a solution to crises in Syria and Ukraine; economists try to reinvigorate stalling global financial markets; and a range of actors gather to find a consensus on climate change, there has never been a better time to understand the puzzle of cooperation.

Achieving cooperation on such issues is the defining concern of international politics in the 21st century. This free online course will introduce you to the range of political strategies that have been employed to meet these challenges.

Understand the diverse forms of cooperation in international politics today

From institutions that bring together partners in meaningful and lasting agreements, to more fragile and limited attempts to open dialogue between adversaries, we will offer you an insight into the diverse forms of cooperation that make up international politics today.

We will also explore a number of the major theoretical approaches, which can help us make sense of the opportunities for and limitations of cooperation in an increasingly globalised and interdependent world.

Learn according to your interests and available time

The course offers you the opportunity to learn according to your interests and available time. We’ve split each week into activities, which can be completed together or individually. We will explore cooperation through six case study puzzles (each lead by an expert from within the University of Birmingham), which reflect the issues and concerns that dominate current international agendas.

Optional Pre-course Materials - Underpinning Theory
- Professor Nicholas J Wheeler provides an insight into theory that underpins the study of cooperation in international politics. View pre-course materials

Week 1 - Cooperation between Partners
- NATO (Professor Mark Webber)
- The European Union (Dr Graham Timmins)

Week 2 - Cooperation between Diverse Actors
- Climate Change (Dr Fiona Nunan and Dr Sevasti-Eleni Vezirgiannidou)
- Peace Building (Professor Paul Jackson)

Week 3 - Cooperation between Enemies
- The Cold War (Professor Nicholas J Wheeler)
- Sino-Japanese Security (Dr Julie Gilson)

So whichever parts you choose, you will experience a practical, interactive and personal encounter with the politics of cooperation in the contemporary world.

Learn from the insights of leading researchers and practitioners

This course draws on the insights of leading researchers and practitioners from the Institute for Conflict, Cooperation and Security (ICCS); Department of Political Science and International Studies (POLSIS); and International Development Department (IDD) within the School of Government and Society, University of Birmingham.

See why cooperation is so important and relevant by following us on Twitter.

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at anyone interested in developing their understanding of cooperation and/or contemporary international politics. It will be of particular interest to those considering or currently studying politics, international development or related fields.

Whilst no prior knowledge is required, we actively encourage the participation of individuals with practical experience within NGOs, the armed forces, aid/donor agencies, government agencies, policy making and think tanks.

Who will you learn with?

Scott Lucas

I am Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor of EA WorldView (www.eaworldview), a news and analysis website on international relations.

Who developed the course?

The University of Birmingham is a public research university, consistently listed as a leading UK university and ranked among the top 100 in the world.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate

You can buy a Statement of Participation for this course — a personalised certificate in both digital and printed formats, to celebrate taking part.

£34.00 + shipping

Estimate prices in preferred currency

Charges to your account will be made in GBP. Prices in local currency are provided as a convenience and are only an estimate based on current exchange rates.