Politics and Power
Undergraduate: Level 4
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
14 March 2023
Requisites for this module
BA L2CH Social Sciences,
BA LFCH Social Sciences,
BSC LL20 Politics with Data Science,
BSC LL21 Politics with Data Science,
BSC LL22 Politics with Data Science
We study some fundamental texts of the `Western` philosophical tradition and seek to examine the assumptions underlying these texts as well as the implications they have for us today.
We will explore profound themes such as class, freedom, violence, the meanings of labour and gender, and the effects of modern, mass society on the individual. We will locate these texts in their respective historical contexts to better understand them as political acts. That is, these authors were responding to their particular contexts and trying to effect change. Our purpose in engaging with these texts is not to canonize them; rather, it is to understand their contribution to the history of the western world – for better or for worse.
1. To introduce students to critics of liberalism and to stimulate interest in the topic
2. To familiarise students with key concepts in modern political theory and with debates that surround these concepts.
3. To equip students with the understanding of the relevance of political theory to the study of politics. These are not esoteric texts; they are profound political acts with current relevance.
The concepts and debates taught in this module constitute the bread and butter issues of politics. Anyone interested in politics and related fields should therefore find the content of value both as a citizen, and across numerous professions, including positions in the law, and with NGOs, think tanks, political parties, and the civil services.
If a student’s specialisation is in empirical political science, the normative study of politics develops students’ sense of which empirical questions and topics are morally important and why. Thus, the course is useful for students preparing to undertake postgraduate research in political science.
GV151 is highly recommended as a pre-requisite
Mills, C.W. (2014) The racial contract
. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Available at: https://www.degruyter.com/doi/book/10.7591/9780801471353
Patricia (2000) ‘Chapter 3: Work, Family, and Black Women’s Oppression’, in Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment
. Second edition. New York, NY: Routledge. Available at: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9780203900055
Fanon, F. (1961) ‘The Wretched of the Earth’, in M. Cohen (ed.) Princeton Readings in Political Thought: Essential Texts from Plato to Populism
. 2nd edn. Woodstock, UK: Princeton University Press, pp. 614–620. Available at: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/universityofessex-ebooks/reader.action?docID=6396131&ppg=631
King, M.L. (no date) ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’, in M. Cohen (ed.) Princeton Readings in Political Thought: Essential Texts from Plato to Populism
. 2nd edn. Woodstock, UK: Princeton University Press, pp. 621–631. Available at: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/universityofessex-ebooks/reader.action?docID=6396131&ppg=638
Barbara Arneil (2009) ‘Disability, Self Image, and Modern Political Theory’, Political Theory
, 37(2), pp. 218–242. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/25655473?sid=primo
The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
Exam format definitions
- Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
- In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
- In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
- In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary,
for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.
Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Laura Montanaro, email: email@example.com.
Dr Laura Montanaro
Module Supervisor: Dr Montanaro, firstname.lastname@example.org
Module Administrator: Nicola Rowley, email@example.com
No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 371 hours, 20 (5.4%) hours available to students:
351 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).
Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can
be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements,
industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist
of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules.
The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.
The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.