Contemporary Political Theory - POLI5004

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 5 15 (7.5) Sean Molloy checkmark-circle


Many of the political ideas we take to be the most important were developed in early modern, or even ancient periods. Can concepts like democracy, liberty and justice help us understand the distinct political problems posed by issues such as global warming, artificial intelligence, or decolonization? In this module you will explore how political theorists are conceptualising contemporary political questions and shaping the way that we are responding to them. In doing so you will gain knowledge of contemporary political thought and develop your ability to understand how theorists make sense of rapidly changing circumstances in politics.


Contact hours

Private Study: 128
Contact Hours: 22
Total: 150


Optional to the following courses:
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations (Bidiplôme)
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Placement Year
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Foundation Year
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Year in Continental Europe or North America
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Language
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with a Year in Asia-Pacific
• BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations with Quantitative Research
• BA (Hons) Economics and Politics
• BA (Hons) History and Politics
• BA (Hons) Philosophy and Politics
• BA (Hons) Sociology and Politics
• BA (Hons) Social Policy and Social Change and Politics
• LLB (Hons) Law and Politics

Also available as an elective module

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Blog Post 1 (500 words) 15%
Blog Post 2 (500 words) 15%
Written Assignment (2,000 words) 70%

Reassessment methods
100% Coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices.

The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Understand the nature and significance of politics, by developing knowledge of contemporary political theory;
2 Apply concepts and theories to the analysis of political ideas, institutions and practices, relative to the contemporary context;
3 Describe and evaluate how contemporary political theory draws on previous work in the tradition of political thought;
4 Use contemporary work in political theory to understand and evaluate different interpretations of contemporary political issues and events;
5 Describe, evaluate and apply different approaches to collecting, analysing and presenting political information, by making arguments that intervene within debates in contemporary political thought.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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