Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL2059: Political Thought of Modernity

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

Module Aims

To introduce you to the major idioms of political theorising and ideological discourses (e.g. Republicanism, Liberalism, Romanticism, Idealism, Historicism - idealist and materialist, Utilitarianism) from C18th and C19th Europe through the study of selected texts by the major thinkers in the period. To introduce you to the major themes and issues addressed in these texts and some of the major interpretations offered of those texts. To develop your ability to critically assess such interpretations against the texts themselves. To understand the significance of some of the major historical events and contexts both in reading and understanding those texts and as topics addressed in the formation of early modern and modern states, the role of religious controversy, civil war, emergence of commercial society, the French Revolution, industrial capitalism.

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 knowledge of major Western political theories of the modern period (Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Marx and J.S. Mill);
2. understand, summarise and interpret complex and abstract arguments in politics and summarise and precis a political theory;
3. appreciate the part played by these theories in the emergence of modern understandings of the state and politics;
Discipline-Specific Skills4. identify and discuss the major concepts deployed in a theory and their argumentative articulation;
5. engage in both sympathetic interpretation and reasoned criticism of such theories, and to evaluate different interpretations in the light of appropriate evidence;
Personal and Key Skills6. evaluate ideas, arguments and texts;
7. prepare essays and presentations
8. learn from others by undertaking peer evaluation and take a critical attitude towards your work