LL4BW      Half Unit
Law and Political Thought

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Thomas Poole


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time), MSc in Political Theory and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. 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; Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France; Schmitt, Constitutional Theory; Oakeshott, On Human Conduct; Hayek, Law, Legislation and Liberty. 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 LT. 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 ST.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information