Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials 10 x 2 hour seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 4,000 word essay  50%
Semester Assessment 1 x 4,000 word essay  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of how recognition, and in particular ethnocultural recognition, has emerged as central concern in the field of political theory.
2. Discuss how claims for ethnocultural recognition have challenged traditional models of citizenship based on a uniform set of civil, political and socio-economic rights.
3. Identify the key themes and questions around which the contemporary normative debate regarding ethnocultural diversity has developed.
4. Compare and contrast the arguments advanced by a number of prominent political theorists regarding how we should respond to the existence of ethnocultural diversity.
5. Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these various approaches to ethnocultural diversity.

Brief description

There will be ten two-hour seminars. The first seminar will introduce students to the contemporary normative debate regarding ethnocultural diversity and will consider various understandings of the term multiculturalism. Following that, the module will go on to look at the work of eight key thinkers and to evaluate their respective arguments regarding how we should respond to ethnocultural diversity. While doing this the students will be asked to reflect on the extent to which diversity should influence our understanding of key principles such as freedom and equality. The final session will look back over the module and will seek to draw out key themes and arguments.
This module will be available to students studying through the medium of Welsh and English.


1. Introduction
2. What is Multiculturalism?
3. Charles Taylor: The Politics of Recognition
4. Will Kymlicka: Liberal Multiculturalism
5. Bhikhu Parekh: The Intercultural Dialogue
6. Chandran Kukathas: Libertarian Multiculturalism
7. Michael Walzer: On Toleration
8. Iris Marion Young: Differentiated Citizenship
9. Susan Okin: Is Multiculturalism Bad for Women?
10. Brian Barry: The Egalitarian Critique
11. Conclusions


The module will add to the department's Masters provision in the field of normative political theory. It will enable students to develop an understanding of how the recognition of ethnocultural differences has emerged as a central concern in the field of political theory over the past twenty years. It will also introduce students to a range of important normative questions that political theorists have faced as they grapple with this new issue. These questions include: How should democratic societies react to the fact of ethnocultural diversity? Can states hope to manage ethnocultural diversity in a neutral manner? Does extending a measure of cultural recognition to certain groups mean that the state is not treating everyone equally? Should we differentiate between the claims made by various cultural groups, for example national minorities and immigrant minorities? How do we judge which cultural claims are acceptable and which ones go too far? To what extent should liberal societies respect cultural practices that are deemed oppressive?

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Numerical data collection will not be a central component of this module.
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to assert themselves to advantage. They will understand the importance of information and clear communication. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to the best advantage. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the convener and the fellow students alike. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their essay and presentation topics. The need to conduct seminar presentations and to meet essay deadlines will focus students' attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science and OCLC).
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students' verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning an essay and a presentation, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing the projects and seeing through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable skills.
Problem solving Independent project work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; the submission of essays will require that the student develops independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The need to research and prepare seminar presentations will also enable the student to develop independent project skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; consider extreme cases; reason logically; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills The submission of the essays will reflect the independent research skills of the student. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills. Research preparation for seminar presentations will also enable the student to develop independent project skills.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualize and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: - Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module - Ability to evaluate competing perspectives - Demonstrate subject specific research techniques - Apply a range of methodologies to complex political problems
Team work Seminars will consist in part of small-group discussion where students will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to seminar topics. Such class room debates and discussions are a vital component of the module.


This module is at CQFW Level 7