European Political Science

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 415–429 | Cite as

re-visualising international relations: audio-visual projects and direct encounters with the political in security studies

Teaching and Training


In this paper we discuss how an innovative audio-visual project was adopted to foster active, rather than declarative learning, in critical International Relations (IR). First, we explore the aesthetic turn in IR, to contrast this with forms of representation that have dominated IR scholarship. Second, we describe how students were asked to record short audio or video projects to explore their own insights through aesthetic and non-written formats. Third, we explain how these projects are understood to be deeply embedded in social science methodologies. We cite our inspiration from applying a personal sociological imagination, as a way to counterbalance a ‘marketised’ slant in higher education, in a global economy where students are often encouraged to consume, rather than produce knowledge. Finally, we draw conclusions in terms of deeper forms of student engagement leading to new ways of thinking and presenting new skills and new connections between theory and practice.


teaching critical security studies audio-visual assessments sociological imagination 


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Copyright information

© European Consortium for Political Research 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Politics and International Relations, School of Languages and Social Sciences, Aston UniversityBirminghamUK
  2. 2.Centre for Learning, Innovation and Professional Practice, School of Languages and Social Sciences, Aston UniversityBirminghamUK

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