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This subject examines the development of political theory in the last thirty years. It focuses on the emergence of key theoretical paradigms such as contemporary liberalism, communitarianism, multiculturalism, radical pluralism, post-structuralism and post-modernism and the ways in which these schools of thought have framed key conceptual debates on ideology, power and sovereignty. The subject maps this terrain and analyses it through examples such as immigration, violence, the role of religion in public life, markets and economic rationality, the environment and welfare reform. Contemporary political theory emerges as vibrant and dynamic and the subject demonstrates how theory is integral to a developed understanding of current political events.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should:
- Be able to coherently explain key concepts in political theory;
- Be able to identify, interpret and discuss major trends and debates in contemporary political theory;
- Be able to critically analyse and apply key theoretical concepts to contemporary political problems;
- Be able to demonstrate qualitative research skills, drawing upon empirical and theoretical scholarship in the social and political sciences.
Last updated: 16 May 2020