Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POC2061: Order out of Chaos: Radical Democracy in Theory

This module descriptor refers to the 2018/9 academic year.

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


NQF Level 5
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 1 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Joanie Willett (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


With its partner Radical Democracy in Practice this is a truly innovative module, representing a unique opportunity to apply exciting new developments in political theory to empirical research problems. This module is a theoretical exploration of Complexity Theory, raising questions about how far the body politic extends, and where the limits to political agency can be found.  For example, can non-humans also be political actors?  And if they can, what does this mean for political ideas and research?  Might this mean that all politics is really a politics of the environment? 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.

Please note however, that in providing the theoretical context for POC2062, it is a pre-requisite for the work placement module Order Out of Chaos: Radical Democracy in Practice. Please note that you can take this module without completing the follow up module (Order Out of Chaos: Radical Democracy in Practice) if you want. In addressing questions about the nature of the world around us, it is also complementary to Research Inquiry in Practice and Doing Political Research. Additionally previous students have found that it provides a deeper look into methodological tools introduced in many other modules, particularly in critical international relations.

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