LL4BW      Half Unit
Law and Political Thought

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Thomas Poole


This course is available on the Master of Laws and Master of Laws (extended part-time study). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 30 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSEforYou.

This course will be relevant to the following LLM specialisms:  Human Rights Law, Legal Theory and Public Law



Course content


This course examines the relationship between law and political theory. It does so through the study of classic texts of political thought: typically Hobbes, Leviathan, Rousseau, Social Contract; Tocqueville, Democracy in America; Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France; de Maistre, Considerations on France. In this way, the course deals with major topics of theoretical and juridical interest, such as the rule of law, liberalism and republicanism, cultural pluralism, theories of authority and legitimacy, revolution and the state, nationalism and cosmopolitanism.



20 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

There will be a reading week in week 6. 

Formative coursework

All students are expected to produce one 2,000 word formative essay during the course.

Indicative reading

The reading for the course consists of classic texts in political thought. Many are available online and the course is delivered through Moodle.


Essay (100%, 8000 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2015/16: 18

Average class size 2015/16: 18

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information