Modern Political Thought - PO623

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
5 15 (7.5) DR B Turner







This module provides an introduction to some of the major developments in Western political thought by discussing the work and impact of key figures such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Wollstonecraft, Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche. Focusing on reading the primary works of these thinkers, putting them in their historical context, and understanding their reception in contemporary scholarship, this module addresses the overall problems which ‘modernity’ poses for political theory in Western societies.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

22 hours lecture/seminar

Method of assessment

100% coursework (2 essays of 2,000 words each (50% each))

Indicative reading

Boucher D & Kelly P (eds.) Political Thinkers: from Socrates to the Present 2nd edition ( Oxford, OUP 2009)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Students will be:
- aware of key developments in the history of modern Western political thought;
- able to identify the main thinkers representing these development;
- able to summarise the political ideas of these thinkers;
- able to situate these developments within the relevant historical context;
- able to evaluate the ethical meaning and implications of these developments;
- able to assess the intellectual legacy of the thinkers discussed in this module;

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