Classical Political Thought

Department of Political Science and International Studies, School of Government and Society

College of Social Sciences


Code 20889

Level of study First Year

Credit value 20

Semester 1+2

Module description

The course is an introduction to the development of Western political philosophy from Plato to Rousseau. It is concerned with an examination of the most important ideas and theories concerning the relationship between man, state and society in the political thought of the Ancient Greeks, the early Christians, the later Middle Ages, and the early modern state. The course is text based. It is expected that students will become familiar with the key texts of political thought.

Topics covered will be selected from the following:

  • the nature of political society and of political activity;
  • the relationship between moral, religious and political ideas;
  • the nature of the state, government and authority;
  • justice; liberty and equality;
  • human nature and politics;
  • law and politics;
  • political argument and political deliberation

Teaching and learning methods

One-hour lecture; one-hour seminar; written materials supporting the seminar and provided by the lecturer.