International Political Communication POLITIC4103

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces students to theories and empirical research about the media's role in relations between states. The course encourages scrutiny of governments' use of the media as a foreign policy tool, both historically and in the contemporary period. It invites students to consider factors that influence the reporting of foreign news and international conflicts, as well as challenges generated by globalisation of the media.


This course may not be running this year.

For further information please check the Politics Moodle page or contact the subject directly.

Requirements of Entry

Entry to Honours Politics requires a grade point average of 12 (Grade C) over Politics 2A and Politics 2B as a first attempt.

Excluded Courses

POLITIC3025 - International Political Communication




One essay of up to 2,000 words (40%);

One policy memo of up to 750 words, written under open-book exam conditions (40%).

Completing weekly questions about readings in the peer-review tool Aropä and responding to the answers submitted by peers (20%).

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses


Course Aims

This course aims to introduce students to theories and empirical research relating to the media's role in relations between states. Students will develop a critical understanding of concepts including propaganda, public diplomacy and strategic narratives, while evaluating related arguments about the media's role as a source of power in international politics. Students will investigate how democratic and non-democratic governments have deployed the media as tools of foreign policy, considering historical and contemporary examples. They will also learn about factors which influence foreign news reporting and the reporting of international conflicts.

The course aims to give students the skills, knowledge and confidence to develop their own well-informed arguments about the power and influence of the media in international politics.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

■ Critically evaluate concepts and theories which feature in research on the media's role in international politics, including propaganda, public diplomacy, soft power and strategic narratives.

■ Interpret the findings of qualitative and quantitative empirical research explaining patterns in foreign news coverage, international conflict reporting and the impact of the media on a range of outcomes in international politics.

■ Apply relevant concepts, theories and empirical evidence appropriately when analysing the strategic communication activities of governments and other actors across a range of international political contexts, both historical and contemporary.

■ Produce sophisticated, well-informed arguments in speech and in writing in response to questions raised during the course, making sound judgments in the absence of complete data.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.