Department of Political Science


POLS0058 Identity Politics: Prejudice, Inclusion and Equal Rights (BSc Politics and International Relations students only)

Course Code: POLS0058

Course Tutor: Dr Adam Harris (Department of Political Science)

Length: One term (Autumn Term)

Teaching: 20 contact hours

Assessment: TBC

Credits: 15 credits, 4 (US) 7.5 (ECTS) 

Module Level: L4 (Introductory)

About this course

Only open to first year BSc Politics and International Relations students in the Department of Political Science.

This module explores a set of empirical and normative questions about key markers of social and political difference: sex, race, ethnicity, and nationality. It begins by investigating what, exactly these identities are. It explores the difference between sex and gender, and debates about the social construction of race and ethnicity. It proceeds to explore what, exactly, racism, sexism, and xenophobia are. Then, it turns to contemporary politics to assess the role of these divisions in prevailing political institutions and dynamics. How are these identities used/exploited by political elites through the use of stereotypes and propaganda? How can institutional design ensure inclusion? How have social movements altered conversations around these identities? What are the negative externalities of progress toward inclusion and equal rights? What does the future hold regarding equal rights and inclusion? How do we address widespread anti-immigrant sentiment across the developed world? We connect the empirical discussion to normative and current debates about institutional racism and sexism, and what policy proposals should be pursued to redress existing injustices.