Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3124: Anarchism and World Ordering

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.


NQF Level 6
Credits 30 ECTS Value 15
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks) and term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Alex Prichard (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


With the end of the Cold War and the collapsing hegemony of Marxist-Leninism on the left, many on the right claim that the neo-liberal world order constitutes the ‘end of history’ (Fukuyama 1989). And yet capitalism is in crisis and protest erupts everywhere. In the aftermath of the so-called ‘battle for Seattle’ in 1999, Occupy Wall Street and the anti-G8 demonstrations, this liberal triumphalism is once again contested. Today it is the anarchists and anarchism that provides the intellectual and practical framework for thinking about alternatives to capitalism across large swaths of the left. Once consigned to Trotsky’s ‘dustbin of history’, the development of ideas of horizontalism, general assemblies, anti-hierarchical organising and a DIY philosophy, has caught many by surprise. Few if any have more than a superficial understanding of this infamous tradition in the history of political thought.  Moreover, and ironically from the perspective of a discipline that has anarchy at its heart, IR has failed routinely to engage with anarchist thought. This research-led module will provide you with a unique account of this resurgence by locating anarchism as a social practice in the historical development of ‘the international’.

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