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Module Code: POU22012

Module Name: History of Political Thought B 2023-24

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Semester 2
  • Contact Hours: 2 lectures per week; 1 tutorial per fortnight
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Prof Peter Stone
  • Module Prerequisite: either POU11012 Introduction to Political Science or POU11022 Politics & Irish Society

Module Content

The focus of the module will be on the social contract, both its uses and limitations.

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Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this module, it is expected that students should have:

  • Acquired an overview of the history of political thought, from early modern times to the present;
  • Become familiar with major political theorists from that history, such as Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau;
  • Become familiar with some of the major concepts that appear in political theory, such as liberalism, the social contract, and feminism;
  • Developed skills at analysing and critiquing political arguments; and
  • Reflected upon the implications of ideas from the history of political thought for contemporary politics.

Module Learning Aims

This module will introduce students to the history of political thought from the 17th century to the present day.

Recommended Reading List (TBC)

Useful introductory readings covering many of the thinkers and concepts included in the module can be found below:

Boucher, David and Kelly, Paul, eds. Political Thinkers: From Socrates to the Present. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Rawls, John. Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2007.

S. S. Wolin, Politics and Vision, , Expanded Edition, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004  consists of a series of sophisticated interpretative essays. A serious work, well worth close study.

A useful source book for primary texts is:

Classics of Moral and Political Theory, Michael L. Morgan (ed.), Hackett Publishing Company, Indianapolis (Cambridge,1992).

(This is an excellent collection of, in many cases, the complete texts of the relevant political thinkers).

Assessment Details (TBC)

3 Short Papers: 45% (15% each) 

Final Paper: 55%

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