State and Revolution: Foundations of Modern Political Thought - POLI6001

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) Charles Devellennes checkmark-circle


What does the modern state look like? How has the legitimacy of the state, as an institution, been justified in the history of political thought? How have ideas shaped and influenced revolutionary movements? How have revolutions in turn shaped the thinking of those who lived through them? When are revolutions ever justified? By critically analysing the key thinkers and texts in the history of political thought, this module gives students the key tools to think through two of the most important forces that have shaped modern politics: the rise of the state, and the revolutions that followed it.


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
• LLB (Hons) Law and Politics

Also available as an elective module and to short term credit students

Any student who has previously taken POLI6230 restricted from taking this module

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Research question and bibliography (1000 words) 20%*
Long essay (4,000 words) 80%*
*Both elements are pass compulsory and must be passed to achieve the learning outcomes of the module

Reassessment methods
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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 Identify key issues in the political theory literature and demonstrate an ability to synthesise them;
2 Understand how the state and revolution have developed as historical concepts and how they have changed over time;
3 Evaluate different interpretations by critically assessing descriptive and normative arguments in the history of political thought;
4 Apply concepts from political theory to the analysis of political ideas, institutions and practices, relative to the historical and contemporary context;
5 Critically evaluate different approaches to collecting, analysing and presenting information in the history of political thought, particularly by developing well supported theoretical arguments.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 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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