Module Identifier IP38020  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Professor Howard L Williams  
Semester Semester 1  
Other staff Huw Lloyd Williams  
Course delivery Lecture   11 Hours. (11 x 1 hour)  
  Seminars / Tutorials   11 Hours. (11 x 1 hour)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  60%
Semester Assessment Essay: 1 x 3,000 words  40%
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

The objectives of this module are:

- to develop in students an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments of key modern political theorists
- to encourage students to evaluate critically their own views on politics in the light of the ideas of major theorists.

Brief description

A continuation and examination of the issues introduced in Year 1 Political Philosophy and Political Theory (Year 2 &3). Particular attention is paid to the Enlightenment and the issue of the nature of modernity.


The module will look at the ideas of civil society and state in the political theories of Hegel and Marx. Their political philosophies will be explored as accounts of the relation between individual and society, and Marx's understanding of the relation between modernity and capitalism will be critically evaluated. In the session 2007-8 the module will contrast the political philosophies of Hegel and Marx with those of the post-modernists M. Foucault and Jean-Francois Lyotard.

1. Introduction: Twentieth Century Marxism
2. Hegel and German Idealism
3. Hegel on political theory and political practice
4. Hegel's concept of civil society
5. Hegel on the state
6. Introduction to Marx: Feuerbach and the criticism of religion
7. Marx's early writings: the theory of alienation
8. Marx's historical materialism
9. Marx's theory of the state and the collapse of capitalism
10. The post-modernist response: Lyotard and Foucault


The aims of this module are to take further the study of some principal texts in late modern political thought by looking closely at the main political writings of Marx, Hegel, Nietzsche, Foucault and Lyotard and to develop a critical awareness of the complexities and problems of modernity. The thinkers looked at will vary from time to time.

Transferable skills

This module will provide the opportunity for students to develop their oral, intellectual and communication skills. In the lectures emphasis will be placed on understanding, following the argument and summarizing it concisely. In the seminars emphasis will be placed on developing clear, cogent and persuasive arguments. The seminars offer the opportunity for students to show independent reasoning and judgement. Essay writing will encourage students to carry out research on their own initiative and to develop their IT presentation skills. The examination will test knowledge retention, comprehension and skills of analysis under conditions of time constraint.

10 ECTS Credits

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
H Williams/D Sullivan/G Matthews Francis Fukuyama and The End of History
Hegel, G.W.F. (ed A.Wood) Philosophy of Right LUP
Immanuel Kant (1999) What is Enlightenment in Kant's Practical Philosophy Cambridge University Press
Lawrence and Wishart Karl Marx 1818-1883. Selected Works in One Volume - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels


This module is at CQFW Level 6