Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 16 x 1 hour lectures
Seminars / Tutorials 7 x 1 hour seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 1 x 3000 word essay  50%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   1 x 2 hour exam  50%
Supplementary Assessment 2 Hours   Students failing the module will repeat only the failed component(s); those re-sitting failed coursework are required to select a different essay/assignment title and must not submit re-written versions of the original essay/assignment. 

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to.
1. Demonstrate an understanding of how recognition, and in particular cultural recognition, has emerged a central concern in the field of political theory.
2. Discuss why the growing emphasis on cultural issues proved to be particularly contentious within liberal circles.
3. Critically assess the main features of Kymlicka¿s Liberal Multiculturalism
4. Demonstrate an understanding of how these ideas represented a change of direction in terms of how many liberals believed that states should approach issues of cultural diversity.
5. Critically assess the main features of the alternative approaches to Kymlicka¿s Liberal Multiculturalism discussed during the module (Young, Parekh and Barry).
6. Compare and contrast the features of these various theoretical approaches to multiculturalism.
7. Examine a number of the important normative questions that any theory of multiculturalism must address
8. Evaluate to what extent the growing emphasis on cultural recognition has implications for social unity and the workings of democracy.

Brief description

Firstly, the module will examine how recognition, and in particular cultural recognition, has emerged a central concern in the field of political theory over the past twenty years. It will then analyze the features of the main theoretical approach to cultural diversity available in the literature, that of Liberal Multiculturalism. Following that, a series of critiques of liberal multiculturalism will be examined ¿ some from within the liberal tradition itself and others from without. Finally, the module will consider how some of the ideas concerning multiculturalism that have been discussed, relate to other important issues such as social unity and democracy. This module will be available to students studying through the medium of Welsh and English.


  • Outline the various forms that cultural diversity can take.
  • Examine how the focus of normative political theory has shifted recently from socioeconomic redistribution to cultural recognition.
  • Examine the original response of liberal theorists to the challenge of multiculturalism.
  • Outline the features of Kymlicka¿s liberal multiculturalism and examine how this approach differs from previous liberal discussions.
  • Examine how liberals such as Kymlicka respond to cultural claims that challenge liberal norms.
  • Outline the features of Iris Marion Young¿s Radical Citizenship.
  • Outline the features of Bhikhu Parekh¿s Intercultural Dialogue.
  • Outline the features of Brian Barry¿s Egalitarian Critique.
  • Examine what implications cultural recognition has for social unity and the workings of democracy.

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. Seminars will be run in groups where oral discussion and presentations will form the main medium of teaching and the emphasis throughout the module will be on student participation and communication. Fellow students will be encouraged to question the paper-giver to critique their approach or to suggest areas for the development of the chosen topic; in turn each will discuss the contributions and ideas of the other.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context of assistance from both the convenor 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 a seminar presentation and to meet an essay deadline 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 an essay 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. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of the student¿s ability to work alone can be undertaken.
Research skills The submission of an essay 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 a seminar presentation will also enable the student to develop independent project skills. A final examination will ensure that an assessment of the student¿s ability to work alone can be undertaken.
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 6