|Module Title||POLITICS 1:POLITICAL IDEAS AND IDEOLOGIES|
|Co-ordinator||Professor Howard Williams|
|Course delivery||Lecture||18 Hours Number of Lectures 18 x 1|
|Seminars / Tutorials||5 Hours Seminars/Tutorials 5 x 1 hour|
|Assessment||Exam||2 Hours 1 x 2 hour exam.||70%|
|Essay||1 x 2,000 word essay.||30%|
All our political actions, whether we be ordinary citizens, Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher or Fidel Castro, are guided by how we
understand the world works and how we think that it should work ideally. This module explores some of the key ideas which underpin the political decisions that are made and which go on to have major repercussions on all our lives. The course
begins with an introduction to the ideas proposed by a whole range of important political thinkers whose writings formed the
inspiration for liberal democracy, communism and women's emancipation. You will learn about Machiavelli, Rousseau,
Marx and Mary Wollstonecraft among many other thinkers who have moulded present-day politics. The second section
explores some key political ideas; equality, liberty and justice.
These notions lie at the heart of how political life is organised, especially in a democracy, and they continue to pose intriguing questions about the best way of 'doing' politics and what it means to be a citizen. The third section looks at political
ideologies. When a set of ideas becomes a coherent whole and when the theory can become a set of concrete proposals, then
we can speak of an ideology. The ideologies which we examine are central to understanding twentieth century, and indeed
twenty first century, politics; liberalism, socialism, feminism, conservatism and environmentalism. Overall, the module
provides a solid foundation for the study of politics and international relations because it explores the founding ideas
upon which both real governments and dreams of a 'better world' are built.
Aims of the module
The central aims of the module are:
- to introduce students to the important thinkers, key ideas and most influential political ideologies of political theory and
- to facilitate students' understanding of the ideational element which infuses political decision making, institutional design and
At the end of this module you should be able to:
- demonstrate a basic understanding of the work of at least two political thinkers
- identify and assess different interpretations of some key ideas in political thought.
- describe and critically assess the main characteristics of at least one political ideology.
to express such knowledge in a coherent and cogent manner.
Incompatible Modules - GW11210
H Williams. International Relations in Political Theory. OUP 1995
A Vincent. Modern Political Ideologies. Blackwell 1992
R Goodwin. Using Political Ideas. Wiley 1992
G Sabine & T Thorson. A History of Political Ideas. Dryden Press 1973
I Hampsher-Monk. A History of Modern Political Thought. Blackwell 1992
K Marx and F Engles. Manifesto of the Communist Party. Penguin 1996