GV316      Half Unit
Advanced Issues in Applied Political Theory

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Chandran Kukathas


This course is available on the BSc in Government, BSc in Government and Economics, BSc in Government and History, 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 and BSc in Politics and Philosophy. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.

This course is capped at one group. The deadline for enrolments is 12:00 noon on Friday 5 October 2018.

Course content

An investigation of contemporary questions in applied political theory. Taking as a starting point a pressing social and political challenge, the course instructs students to systematically apply different political theories to approach the problem, to understand and critically discuss different normative viewpoints, and to develop and defend their own position in these debates.

Examples of such themes include environmental and climate change, free speech, multiculturalism and toleration, poverty and global justice, colonialism, or surveillance and privacy. The topics are selected each year to reflect current debates and the interests of the course convener. The course gives students the opportunity to experience research-led teaching, as the course convener will typically create a syllabus to reflect their current research projects.

In 2018-19 the focus on the course will be on multiculturalism and immigration.


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT.

During the reading week (week 6), all students have the opportunity for a one-on-one meeting with the convener to plan for their formative essay.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay.

Indicative reading

Will, Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship

Chandran Kukathas, The Liberal Archipelago

Joseph Carens, The Ethics of Immigration

David Miller, Strangers in Our Midst: A Political Philosophy of Immigration


Essay (100%, 3000 words).

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
First 37.5
2:1 50
2:2 9.4
Third 3.1
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Government

Total students 2017/18: 11

Average class size 2017/18: 11

Capped 2017/18: Yes (15)

Lecture capture used 2017/18: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness