Introduction to Political Theory
This information is for the 2018/19 session.
Prof Katrin Flikschuh
This course is compulsory on the BSc in Government, BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics, BSc in Politics and Economics, BSc in Politics and History, BSc in Politics and International Relations, BSc in Politics and Philosophy and BSc in Social Policy with Government. This course is available on the BA in Social Anthropology, BSc in Environment and Development, BSc in Government and Economics, BSc in Government and History, BSc in Social Anthropology and BSc in Social Policy. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.
An introduction to the study of politics and political theory through the thought and texts of some of the most important western political theorists. A study of the ideas of some of the major political theorists from the ancient Greeks to the 20th Century. Topics will include theories of human nature, the origin of government and law, man's relation to society and the state, the rise, development and comparison of different constitutions (democracy, monarchy, republic etc), the nature of just and unjust government, the relation between the spiritual and the secular in thinkers, classical and modern natural law and natural rights, the basis of political obligation, the idea of social contract and the theory of utility. The thinkers discussed this year will include Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Machiavelli, Nietzsche, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, J S Mill, and Marx.
10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.
There will be a reading week in Week 6 of both terms.
The lecture in ST1 will be a revision lecture and the class in ST1 will be a revision class.
Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT.
D. Boucher and P. Kelly, Political Thinkers: From Socrates to the Present (Oxford 2009); Plato, Republic; Aristotle, Politics; Cicero, The Republic and On Duties; Machiavelli, The Prince; Hobbes, Leviathan; Locke, 2nd Treatise of Government; Rousseau, Discourse on the Origins of Inequality and The Social Contract; J S Mill, Utilitarianism, The Subjection of Women, and On Liberty; Marx, Selected Writings (Ed D McLellan); Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals; Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism; Fanon, Black Skins, White Masks.
Exam (60%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (40%, 2000 words) in the LT.
GENERAL COURSE STUDENTS ONLY:
The Class Summary Grade for General Course students will be calculated as follows: 15% class participation, 5% attendance and 80% formative coursework (50% for the MT essay and 30% for the LT textual analysis).
Student performance results
(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)
|Classification||% of students|
Total students 2017/18: 292
Average class size 2017/18: 14
Capped 2017/18: No
Lecture capture used 2017/18: Yes (MT & LT)
Value: One Unit
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills