Politics, Philosophy and Economics - PL652

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
5 30 (15) MS A Couto







The present module will introduce students to classical as well as contemporary discussions in the intersection between politics, philosophy, and economics. Topics to be covered will vary from year to year, in light of the expertise of the person convening it and student feedback from previous years. That said, the relevant variations will be constrained by considerations ensuring that one cohort will not be disadvantaged compared to the next, and are likely to consistently include some sub-set of the following:

  • Authoritarianism
  • Behavioural economics
  • Collective action
  • Federal and non-federal unions
  • Game theory
  • Liberalism, illiberalism, and paternalism
  • Markets and trade
  • Money and finance
  • Philosophy of Power
  • Property
  • Public choice
  • Rational choice
  • States and corporations
  • Terrorism
  • Theocracy
  • Voting
  • Work and capital

  • Through these and related topics, students will gain a good understanding of the complementary and in some cases conflicting perspectives and methodologies contained in politics, philosophy, and economics, and enable them to evaluate contemporary issues in a manner that's informed by a comprehensive set of relevant traditions.


    This module appears in:

    Contact hours

    This module will be taught by means of a two-hour lecture and a one-hour seminar for ten weeks.
    Total Contact Hours: 30
    Private Study Hours: 270
    Total Study Hours: 300
    The lectures will provide students with the overall framework and an understanding of the central issues to be covered.
    Seminars may include student presentations and discussion of the lecture topics and background reading. These seminars will enable students to engage in in-depth analysis of texts and arguments and will help students to develop their skills in philosophical analysis.


    Also available at Level 6 (PL653)

    Method of assessment

    This module will be assessed by 100% coursework:
    • Mid-term essay – 30%
    • Final essay – 50%
    • Seminar Participation – 10%
    • Blog post responding to current problems in the media relating to at least one of the topics covered – 10%
    Seminar participation will be evaluated in line with the Department's Seminar Participation Criteria.
    The essays and blog post will assess students' knowledge and understanding of the material as well as their ability to engage in critical analysis and argument, and to present independent ideas. Essay questions will differentiate between Level 5 and Level 6 in assessment.
    Feedback will be offered throughout the module, e.g., through seminars, office hours, and written comments on the essays.

    Preliminary reading

    Philosophy, Politics, and Economics: An Anthology, by Jonathan, Geoffrey Brennan, Michael C Munger, and Geoffrey Sayre-McCord (Oxford University Press, 2015).
    Additional texts will be made available through library scans.

    See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

    See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

    Learning outcomes

    On successfully completing the module Level 5 students will be able to:
    8.1 Understand the major controversies in this area;
    8.2 Engage critically with some of the central issues in this field, through their study of the relevant arguments;
    8.3 Demonstrate their understanding of the proposed solutions to the issues in this area, through their study of these arguments;
    8.4 Demonstrate the ability to engage in a close critical reading of some of major texts in the field.

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