Programme And Module Handbook
Course Details in 2018/19 Session

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Module Title LC Classical Political Thought
Department Political Sci & Intern'tl Stud
Module Code 08 20889
Module Lead
Level Certificate Level
Credits 20
Semester Full Term
Restrictions As a compulsory module: BA Political Science single/joint hon.

As an optional module: BA IR programmes
Contact Hours Lecture-20 hours
Seminar-20 hours
Guided independent study-160 hours
Total: 200 hours

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.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module the student should be able to:

  • Know and be able to discuss the central themes, concepts and ideas in the early development of the central tradition of Western Political thought (from Plato to Rousseau);
  • Understand and assess the structure and significance of particular texts produced within this tradition and be able to illustrate problems involved in their interpretation;
  • Be aware and illustrate the complexity, difficulty and contention associated with the activity of theorising.
  • Be able to address a number of key questions in political theory with reference to texts and arguments introduced in the course.
Assessment 20889-01 : Essay 2,000 Words : Coursework (50%)
20889-03 : Exam 2 hours : Exam (Centrally Timetabled) - Written Unseen (50%)
Assessment Methods & Exceptions 2,000 word essay (50%) 2 hr Examination (50%) Reassessment: 1 x 2hr Examination (100%)
Reading List Locke, J. 2nd Treatise of Government
Rousseau, J. J. The Social Contract
Aristotle, The Politics
Hobbes, T. Leviathan