Department of Political Science


POLS0024 Theories & Concepts of Politics - (module not running in 2019/20)

Course Code: POLS0024

Course Tutor:

Length: One term 

Teaching: 20 hours lectures/seminars

Assessment: Two 2,000 word essays (40/60%)

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

Module Level:

About this course

This course introduces students to key concepts in contemporary political theory, and to some of the leading political ideologies that have guided political actors in modern liberal societies. It is course in normative political theory, defined as the study of the norms and principles that should guide political societies. By attending the course, students will familiarize themselves with key political concepts and ideologies, including: authority, political obligations, freedom, equality, democracy, liberalism, socialism, feminism and green ideology. Issues and questions that are covered in the course include: Do we have an obligation to obey the law? Should societies strive for socio-economic equality? Why is democracy valuable? Is socialist utopia desirable? Is the family a political institution? Do animals have rights?

By the end of the course, students should have attained:

·       a clear grasp of certain key theories and concepts in political theory;

·       knowledge of some of the main debates surrounding these theories and concepts;

·       an ability to critically analyse, compare and deploy these theories and concepts.

This module will not be running in 2019/20.

Note: this module is not available to students who have previously completed POLS0032 Authority, Democracy and Resistance, due to overlap in course content.