Contemporary Political Thought

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

College of Social Sciences


Code 20906

Level of study Third/Final year

Credit value 20

Semester 1+2

Pre-requisite modules Where students take this course as a 10 credit unit they will be expected to undertake self directed study of the material not covered from the readin

Module description

The aim of this module is to examine some of the fundamental issues discussed by contemporary political theorists. We shall approach this by focusing on some of the most pressing political problems facing western societies at present, including: the nature and justification of justice, law and rights; the role of the modern state and citizen; the political significance of religion and multiculturalism; democracy and participation; welfarism, markets and the distribution of wealth; the importance of community, tradition and civic virtue. An examination of these issues through the texts of a number of important political theorists writing over the last thirty years or so will help us to understand and assess many of the complex debates in contemporary political theory as well providing insight into how political theory can clarify important policy issues.

Teaching and learning methods

These courses are taught by a combination of lectures, classes and directed reading.

This module is available as:
Autumn term only 10 credit unit – 3,000 word assessed essay
Spring term only 10 credit unit – 3,000 word assessed essay
Whole Year 20 credit unit – 1 x 4000 word essay (50%), Presentation (10%) plus 2 hour examination (40%)