About UNIMAS » Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) » Department of Politics & International Relations

Department of Politics & International Relations

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The department under Faculty of Social Sciences (FSS) combines the two disciplines of International Relations and Politics and Government Studies. Both are an increasingly important academic disciplines. Political issues and happenings change from time to time, and this department will brave the wave of change and research its impact and processes towards political institutions  and agents  in the present context. Political Science is the systematic study of how political values, both positive and negative, are allocated among individuals, groups, socio-economic classes, regions, and nation-states. Meanwhile the emergence  of the “global village” requires a proper  understanding of the linkages between nations and culture in this new world. No state can avoid from being integrated into a universal and interdependent world system. The department aims to expose students to the practical aspect of International Relations and offers a holistic and practical approach to the study of political science. It equips students with analytical tools to understand the complex political issues and relationships of the contemporary era. It is also designed to accommodate a range of professional and intellectual needs. The members of the department also conduct research based on niche areas. One of the niche areas is political culture and change in Borneo, specifically to explore the evolving developments in Sabah and Sarawak.

Department Governance

http://www.fss.unimas.my/images/stories/AStaf_2011/Faisal.pngHead of Department : Dr Mohd Faisal Syam b. Abdol Hazis
Qualification : 
*Ph.D (USM), M.A. (UKM), B.Sc (Hons) (Oregon)
Research Field : Political Science
Phone No : 082 584178 / 082592757
Email : ahfaisal@fss.unimas.myy 

http://www.fss.unimas.my/images/stories/AStaf_2011/Nizar.pngProgramme Coordinator (International Studies Programme) : Dr Ahmad Nizar b. Yakup
Qualification : Ph.D (Western Australia), M.Soc Sc (Waikato), B.A. (Hons) (Flinders)
Research Field : International Relations & Political Science
Phone No : 082 582755
Email : nizar@fss.unimas.my

http://www.fss.unimas.my/images/stories/AStaf_2011/Stanley.pngProgramme Coordinator (Politics and Government Programme) : Stanley Bye Kadam Kiai
Qualification : M.A. (Hull), B.A. (Hons) (York)
Research Field : Sociology of Developing Societies
Phone No : 082 592777
Email : bstanley@fss.unimas.my

Academic Programme

  1. International Studies Programme
  2. Politics and Government Programme

1. International Studies Programme

Courses offered during the three years program are as below:

 

Year 1

 

  • SSF 1023 Contemporary Psychology
    The course introduces students to the application of psychological concepts in contemporary society. Main areas of psychology taught in this course are general psychology, developmental, social and abnormal psychology. This also includes key topics such as learning, memory, social communication and motivation which will also be discussed in-depth in order to bring about understanding their relevancy to everyday life and work. Different core psychological domains such as cognition, social, perception and emotion that are fundamental to understanding of human behaviour will be examined.
  • SSF 1044 Introduction to Anthropology and Sociology
    Anthropology and sociology are two distinctive disciplines BUT at the same time fundamentally share one common characteristic, that is, the study of human phenomena. More often than not sociology is perceived as the study of human social life in urban societies whereas anthropology is the study of human cultures and rural communities. While sociology is usually perceived to study social behaviors such as juvenile delinquency, family structure and criminal behaviors, anthropology tends to study cultural functions such as the rites of passage, kinship and ritual chastisement.

    In this course, the student is expected to understand that anthropology and sociology do not merely give them the academic insight to society but also plays a fundamental role in their lives as they attempt to understand the wider facets of social relationships and experiences. More importantly, introducing anthropology and sociology will hopefully enable the student to critically question what they already know and claim to understand as being part of their society.
  • SSF 1063 Communication  and Society
    This course will discuss the changes in patterns of communication within a society by focusing on the historical transition from traditional communication system, its transformation processes, to its contemporary modern forms. The characteristics of communication that will be focused in this course are human and mass communication. Among the topics that will be discussed will be culture and society, media literacy, general opinion, persuasion, new communication technology and its effects on society, and towards information society.
  • SSF 1083 Gender, Ethnicity and Class
    Societies are not just simply an amorphous mass of people. A society is characterised by differentiation of people into various categories according to social divisions such as gender, ethnicity and class. These divisions form the basis for the distribution of power, status and opportunities. Who we are depends on how and where we fit into society. An understanding of how the intersection of these forces work in the life of an individual is imperative for all students of social sciences.
  • SSF 1093 Statistics for Social Sciences
    This course is an introduction to statistical concepts in various fields of the social sciences.  The course consists of: (1) Descriptive statistics which cover univariate and multivariate data, probabilities, the normal distribution and variability sampling; (2) Inferential statistics which deal with hypothesis testing, analysis of variance (ANOVA), linear correlation and regression analysis.
  • SSF 1013 Introduction to Social Science
    This course contextualises the historical development of the social sciences within world civilization. It introduces students to important social science terminology in preparation for the understanding of other courses in the faculty. It also gives students an opportunity to conceptualise and explain social reality through social science perspectives.
  • SSF 1033 Introduction to Malaysian Social History
    This is not a conventional history course which deals with events in a chronological order.  Instead, it discusses history thematically and exposes the student to the processes of social and historical transformation.
  • SSF 1053 Introduction to Politicial Science
    This course highlights in detail the range of academic topics in political science to include theoretical approaches, basic concepts and definition of politics in the context of formal government institutions, power relations, value distribution systems and public policies. In addition, concepts about power, states, sovereignty and political culture will be covered. This course also discusses basic political concepts which later pave the way for constructing debates and discussions of current political affairs. There are four components in this introductory course namely; the field of political science, political institutions, political processes and politics and society. With emphasis on these four areas, it is hoped that students will be able to critically analyse and understand the subject of political science.
  • SSF 1074 Modern Economics
    This course is divided into three major sections, namely, Section I: Understanding basic economic concepts, principles and theories; Section II: Understanding national and global Economy, and Section III: Analysing social issues from the economic perspective. Section I exposes students to topics related to the definition of economics, some basic economic concepts, principles and theories and their relationship to us.  Theories of demand and supply, the application of elasticity concept, as well as different market structures will be discussed in Section I. Section II helps students to relate national economy to their daily lives. Topics covered in this section include measuring a nation?s income, measuring the cost of living, money and banking system, unemployment, foreign exchange, international trade and its importance among nations. Some basic concepts of open-economy macroeconomics as well as economic growth and public policy will also be discussed in Section II. The final section provides students with the opportunity to apply their understanding and knowledge concerning basic economic principles on contemporary social issues that are related to their respective field of study.

 

Year 2

  • SSF 2014 Research Methods in Social Sciences 
  • SSA 2014 Introduction to International Relations
    The core of the course will be focused on the direction and development of history which have significant contribution in the formation of contemporary international relations. The course discusses how the world shifts from emphasizing on the ?hard power? of military force to the ?soft power? of economic influence. Finally, the course will also look at the evolution of the world system, the various forms of new world order as well as analysing the trends of international relations in the 21st century.
  • SSA 2024 Foreign  Policy  Analysis and International Relations
  • SSA 2033 International Relations: Theory and Practice
  • SSF 2063 Approaches to Social Inquiry
    This course examines the philosophical foundation for the creation of knowledge in the social sciences. Students will be exposed to the major school of thoughts concerning social sciences as a science. The course explores the intersection between knowledge, society and culture, and interrogates knowledge production from a social science perspective. Topics that will be included in this course are the theoretical debates in sociology of knowledge, the relationship between empirical knowledge and cultural values or ideologies.
  • SSF 2034 Social Theory
  • SSA 2044 Introduction to International Economics
    International economics is a field of study which assesses the implications of international trade in goods and services and international finance. There are two broad sub-areas under within the study of international economics. Therefore, in the first half of the course, sources of comparative advantage, gains and losses from trade, the impact of trade on economic growth and effects of trade policy interventions such as tariff, quota, export subsidies and voluntary export restraints will be highlighted. International agreements on regional economic cooperation particularly on custom union will also be discussed. In the second half of the course, topics on international finance will include balance of payments, macroeconomic policy in the open economy under different exchange rate regimes and the issue of growth, crisis and reform in developing countries.
  • SSA 2054 International Politics of Asia Pacific

 

Year 3

  • SSF 3036 Final Year Project
  • SSA 3014 Introduction to International Law
    This course endeavors to introduce the system of international law to students whose interests lie in the arena of international relations. International law is pertinent to the study of governance – domestic as well as external. We will be learning the formation, development, application and effectiveness of international law.

    This course introduces international law and focuses on the various sources by which international law was formed. It also discusses the scope of international law (territory and jurisdiction) followed by the responsibility of states to their own citizens and to aliens or visitors. The Law of the Sea and problems in the implementation of international law will be covered quite comprehensively. Finally, the course will tackle some contemporary issues in international law such as laws of war, international humanitarian law and international environmental law.
  • SSA 3024 ASEAN Politics 
  • SSA 3033 Security and National Defence
    This course focuses on the concepts of security and its relevance to the national interest. The course identifies emerging issues which threaten national security such as the ?war on drug?, economic competition, national budget and arms race. Apart from that, the course will also study the structure, the changes, the control and the importance of nuclear arm balance.
  • SSA 3044 Contemporary Issues in International Relations 
  • SSF 3014 Sociology of Development
    It is imperative for social science students living in the developing world to have an understanding of the theories which govern development practices. Development is a controversial term and far from that which has a taken for granted meaning.  This course takes students not only through the various theories on development but also introduces feminist critiques to these development theories.  An understanding of these critiques is imperative as development is a gendered process.
  • SSF 3036 Final Year Project 
  • SSA 3054 Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in International Relations 
  • SSP 3034 Politics of Developing Countries 
  • SSP 3034 Political Ecology

2. Politics and Government Programme

Courses offered during the three years program are as below:

 

Year 1

  • SSF 1023 Contemporary Pschology
    The course introduces students to the application of psychological concepts in contemporary society. Main areas of psychology taught in this course are general psychology, developmental, social and abnormal psychology. This also includes key topics such as learning, memory, social communication and motivation which will also be discussed in-depth in order to bring about understanding their relevancy to everyday life and work. Different core psychological domains such as cognition, social, perception and emotion that are fundamental to understanding of human behaviour will be examined.
  • SSF 1044 Introduction to Anthropology and Sociology
    Anthropology and sociology are two distinctive disciplines BUT at the same time fundamentally share one common characteristic, that is, the study of human phenomena. More often than not sociology is perceived as the study of human social life in urban societies whereas anthropology is the study of human cultures and rural communities. While sociology is usually perceived to study social behaviors such as juvenile delinquency, family structure and criminal behaviors, anthropology tends to study cultural functions such as the rites of passage, kinship and ritual chastisement.

    In this course, the student is expected to understand that anthropology and sociology do not merely give them the academic insight to society but also plays a fundamental role in their lives as they attempt to understand the wider facets of social relationships and experiences. More importantly, introducing anthropology and sociology will hopefully enable the student to critically question what they already know and claim to understand as being part of their society.
  • SSF 1063 Communication  and Society
    This course will discuss the changes in patterns of communication within a society by focusing on the historical transition from traditional communication system, its transformation processes, to its contemporary modern forms. The characteristics of communication that will be focused in this course are human and mass communication. Among the topics that will be discussed will be culture and society, media literacy, general opinion, persuasion, new communication technology and its effects on society, and towards information society.
  • SSF 1083  Gender, Ethnicity and Class
    Societies are not just simply an amorphous mass of people. A society is characterised by differentiation of people into various categories according to social divisions such as gender, ethnicity and class. These divisions form the basis for the distribution of power, status and opportunities. Who we are depends on how and where we fit into society. An understanding of how the intersection of these forces work in the life of an individual is imperative for all students of social sciences.
  • SSF 1093 Statistics for Social Sciences
    This course is an introduction to statistical concepts in various fields of the social sciences.  The course consists of: (1) Descriptive statistics which cover univariate and multivariate data, probabilities, the normal distribution and variability sampling; (2) Inferential statistics which deal with hypothesis testing, analysis of variance (ANOVA), linear correlation and regression analysis.
  • SSF 1013 Introduction to Social Science
    This course contextualises the historical development of the social sciences within world civilization. It introduces students to important social science terminology in preparation for the understanding of other courses in the faculty. It also gives students an opportunity to conceptualise and explain social reality through social science perspectives.
  • SSF 1033 Introduction to Malaysian Social History
    This is not a conventional history course which deals with events in a chronological order.  Instead, it discusses history thematically and exposes the student to the processes of social and historical transformation.
  • SSF 1053 Introduction to Politicial Science
    This course highlights in detail the range of academic topics in political science to include theoretical approaches, basic concepts and definition of politics in the context of formal government institutions, power relations, value distribution systems and public policies. In addition, concepts about power, states, sovereignty and political culture will be covered. This course also discusses basic political concepts which later pave the way for constructing debates and discussions of current political affairs. There are four components in this introductory course namely; the field of political science, political institutions, political processes and politics and society. With emphasis on these four areas, it is hoped that students will be able to critically analyse and understand the subject of political science.
  • SSF 1074 Modern Economics
    This course is divided into three major sections, namely, Section I: Understanding basic economic concepts, principles and theories; Section II: Understanding national and global Economy, and Section III: Analysing social issues from the economic perspective. Section I exposes students to topics related to the definition of economics, some basic economic concepts, principles and theories and their relationship to us.  Theories of demand and supply, the application of elasticity concept, as well as different market structures will be discussed in Section I. Section II helps students to relate national economy to their daily lives. Topics covered in this section include measuring a nation?s income, measuring the cost of living, money and banking system, unemployment, foreign exchange, international trade and its importance among nations. Some basic concepts of open-economy macroeconomics as well as economic growth and public policy will also be discussed in Section II. The final section provides students with the opportunity to apply their understanding and knowledge concerning basic economic principles on contemporary social issues that are related to their respective field of study.

 

Year 2

  • SSF 2014 Research Methods in Social Sciences
  • SSP 2013 Malaysian Political System 
  • SSP 2024 Malaysian Legal System 
  • SSP 2034 Modern Political Thoughts
  • SSF 2063 Approaches to Social Inquiry
    This course examines the philosophical foundation for the creation of knowledge in the social sciences. Students will be exposed to the major school of thoughts concerning social sciences as a science. The course explores the intersection between knowledge, society and culture, and interrogates knowledge production from a social science perspective. Topics that will be included in this course are the theoretical debates in sociology of knowledge, the relationship between empirical knowledge and cultural values or ideologies.
  • SSF 2034 Malaysian Social Theory
  • SSP 2043 Comparative Political System
  • SSP 2054 Public Policy

 

Year 3

 

  • SSF 3036 Final Year Project 
  • SSP 3014 Democracy and Social Movement 
  • SSP 3024 Politics and Local Government
  • SSR 3024 Public Sector and Corporate Management 
  • SSR 3044 Project Evaluation and Cost Benefit Analysis
  • SSF 3014 Sociology of Development
    It is imperative for social science students living in the developing world to have an understanding of the theories which govern development practices. Development is a controversial term and far from that which has a taken for granted meaning.  This course takes students not only through the various theories on development but also introduces feminist critiques to these development theories.  An understanding of these critiques is imperative as development is a gendered process.
  • SSF 3036 Final Year Project 
  • SSP 3034 Politics of Developing Countries 
  • SSP 3043 Political Ecology
  • SSP 3043 Public Finance


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