Not available in 2016/17
GV476      Half Unit
Twentieth Century European Liberal Thought

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Chandran Kukathas


This course is available on the MSc in European Studies: Ideas, Ideologies and Identities, MSc in European Studies: Ideas, Ideologies and Identities (LSE and Sciences Po) and MSc in Political Theory. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

The course will be capped at one class with a maximum number of 15 students.

Course content

The course will critically examine the ideas of a selection of twentieth century European Liberal Thinkers including Isaiah Berlin, Karl Popper, F.A. Hayek and Michael Oakeshott.


20 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

One 1500 word essay.

Indicative reading

Paul Kelly, Liberalism, Polity Press, 2005; John Gray, Two Faces of Liberalism, Polity Press, 2000; Isaiah Berlin, Two Concepts of Liberty. Karl Popper, Open Society and Its Enemies; Conjectures and Refutations; F.A. Hayek, The Constitution of Liberty; Law, Legislation and Liberty; Michael Oakeshott, Rationalism in Politics; On Human Conduct.Carl Schmitt, The Concept of the Political; Political Theology.


Essay (100%, 5000 words).

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 25
Merit 62.5
Pass 12.5
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2015/16: Unavailable

Average class size 2015/16: Unavailable

Controlled access 2015/16: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication