Module Identifier IPM5830  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Professor Andrew Linklater  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   1 x 2 hour seminars per week  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 3,000 word  40%
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 5,000 word  60%
Supplementary Exam Students may, subject to Faculty approval, have the opportunity to resit this module, normally during the supplementary examination period. For further clarification please contact the Teaching Programme Administrator in the Department of International Politics. 

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students will have a sophisticated understanding of contemporary thinking about political community. This will involve the development of interdisciplinary skills, since the literature on Sociology and Political Theory will be considered along with the recent International Relations literature.

Brief description

The primary aim of this module is to provide students with an advanced understanding of recent thinking about the future of domestic and international political community.


Seminars will introduce students to normative, sociological and praxeological reflections on how political communities are changing in the context of globalisation and demands for ethnic or cultural recognition. A central theme will be how far modern political communities are progressing in making unnecessary suffering a moral problem for the world as a whole.


The module begins by considering normative ideas which have been central to recent thinking about the transformation of political community. The main ideas are cosmopolitanism, notions of discourse and dialogue, and respect for human differences. The module then considers sociological analyses of the development of moral ideas in world politics. Particular attention will be paid to the thinking of Norbert Elias and Martin Wight. The concluding section considers how contemporary notions of justice are being used to imagine improved forms of political community.

Transferable skills

Students will acquire teamwork and communication skills by preparing joint seminar presentations. Skills in conceptual analysis and the ability to use these to reflect on concrete issues facing modern political communities will also be developed.

Reading Lists

D Archibugi, D Held and M Kohler (eds) (1998) Re-Imagining Political Community Polity Press, Cambridge
A Linklater (1998) The Transformation of Political Community Polity Press, Cambridge


This module is at CQFW Level 7