Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL3283: Hope and Politics

This module descriptor refers to the 2022/3 academic year.

Module Aims

This module will approach the relationship between hope and politics from a variety of historical and philosophical perspectives, asking students to consider a series of profoundly important questions, including: what is political hope, and what is its value?; what is the difference between hope and optimism?; is a commitment to hope compatible with any political worldview?; does it make sense to think of hope as a political virtue?; how should we understand the relationship between hope and political privilege?; and what are the normative – ethical or institutional – implications of a commitment to political hope? We will look at how hope is construed and contested across the traditions of modern political thought (liberalism, socialism, feminism, conservatism, etc) and read a variety of texts that will speak to its importance for confronting both specific and urgent civic challenges (such as climate change), as well as the general problem of establishing and maintaining political community.  

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here – you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Demonstrate understanding of the historical and philosophical underpinnings of a prominent political phenomenon.
2. Display critical awareness of different conceptions of hope.
Discipline-Specific Skills3. Acquire the ability to analyze texts in moral, legal and political philosophy at an advanced level.
4. Acquire the ability to criticize philosophical arguments effectively and at an advanced level.
Personal and Key Skills5. Formulate and express ideas at different levels of abstraction.
6. Demonstrate proficiency in written communication according to scholarly conventions.