Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC3023: Entangled Life: Radical Democracy in Theory

This module descriptor refers to the 2023/4 academic year.

Please note that this module is only delivered on the Penryn Campus.


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module will run during term 1 (12 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Joanie Willett (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


This is an innovative module which uses New Materialisms thinking around political/ecological complex adaptive systems to explore how our environments shape human societies and politics. Drawing on research in Appalachia (USA), you will explore the ways that human community, political and economic lives are entangled with the environments that we are a part of.  As we introduce new concepts, we explore what they add to our understanding of our Appalachian case study, and analyse what this means for our emerging (re) conception of ecological politics.

The module asks questions such as, ‘can we understand political culture and institutions without understanding how we have been shaped by nature?’ ‘Do entangled perspectives help us to better understand rural America?’ ‘Does this mean that all politics is really a politics of the environment?’ ‘If so, should the environment be given political agency in decision-making processes?’  To do this, we address how power operates within the social political and ecological system; explore ontological questions such as how we know what we know; raise questions about time, and consider if this improves our understanding of the world around us.

No prior knowledge skills or experience are required to take this module and it is suitable for specialist and non-specialist students.

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