Politics and Power

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Monday 13 January 2025
Friday 21 March 2025
23 April 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

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

Module description

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.

Module aims

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.

Module learning outcomes

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.

Module information

GV151 is highly recommended as a pre-requisite

Learning and teaching methods

2 hour seminar


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Quiz 1    40% 
Coursework   Quiz 2    60% 

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.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Laura Montanaro, email: lmonta@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Laura Montanaro
Module Supervisor: Dr Montanaro, lmonta@essex.ac.uk Module Administrator: Nicole Hicks govquery@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

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).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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.