Department of Political Science


Contemporary Political Philosophy 1: Authority, Obligation and Democracy

Course Code


Course Tutor

Dr Helen Brown Coverdale (Department of Political Science)


1,000 word essay (30%) + 3,000 word essay (70%)

Credit Value


About this course

Why shouldn’t we be anarchists? What good reasons are there for obeying the state and the law? Under what circumstances may we break the law? When, if ever, is revolution or secession justified? What is democracy? What is valuable about democracy? What makes a democratic state legitimate? 

This module will explore how these and other questions have been addressed in contemporary Anglo-American political philosophy, and explore their application to, and implications for, concrete, real-world cases such as: protests, referendums, political disagreements and constitutional law.