Work in the 21st century (add-on)
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleFTR-FIMAWORK21A
Credits (ECTS)4
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies; Opleiding Filosofie;
dr. J.J.M. van de Sande
Other course modules lecturer
dr. J.J.M. van de Sande
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. J.J.M. van de Sande
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2023
SEM2  (29/01/2024 to 01/09/2024)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
In this add-on (which can only be followed by philosophy students in combination with the course "Work in the 21st Century" (MAN-EDU-MW004), you will:
  • obtain knowledge of, and insight in, the place and meaning of 'work' in canonical as well as contemporary social and political philosophy;
  • obtain philosophical background knowledge that can be employed for the 6 EC course "Work in the 21st Century";
  • conduct individual research on, and write an academic paper on the subject of 'work' and (political) philosophy.
This is a 4 EC add-on to the 6 EC course “Work in the 21st Century” (MAN-EDU-MW004) that is offered in collaboration with the Nijmegen School of Management and the Faculty of Law. The add-on, which focuses on philosophical conceptualisations of work in, can only be followed in combination with the main course (which is offered at the Nijmegen School of Management). Together, they constitute a full 10 EC MA philosophy seminar.

The interdisciplinary course “Work in the 21st Century” (MAN-EDU-MW004) seeks to address questions on work, flexibilisation, and a changing labour market from a legal, sociological, economical, and philosophical perspective. Today, a growing number of people are either employed on a temporary or flexible basis, or work as freelancers – for instance for ‘platform companies’ such as Uber and Deliveroo. The Corona crisis has painfully demonstrated the vulnerabilities and shortcomings of this increasing flexibility. National governments had to resort to emergency measures to keep the economy running and to prevent solo self-employed from falling into poverty. In short: the world of work has changed. This gives rise to a variety of scientific and normative questions. What are the consequences of the new way of working at individual and societal level? How should legislation and labour market institutions adapt and how can they ensure fair and durable outcomes?

The aim of this add-on is to deepen students’ philosophical understanding of ‘work’ and its place and meaning in the history of social and political philosophy of the past decades. To this end, we will read a number of classical (such as Karl Marx, Hannah Arendt, and Max Weber) as well as contemporary sources on the nature and future of work. Topics to be discussed are the effects of digitisation and automation on (the experience of) work, reproductive labour and feminist critiques of work, workplace democracy and the organisation of work in the 21st century (e.g. cooperative platforms).

We meet 6 times for reading and discussion sessions. Students will close this add-on by writing an academic paper, based on the prescribed reading material and additional sources.
This 4 EC add-on is open to MA-students in philosophy (MA Filosofie; Re-MA philosophy; MA 120EC ('Filosofie van een Bepaald Wetenschapsgebied') and MA Philosophy, Politics and Society (PPS)) who also take part in the 6 EC, interdisciplinary course "Work in the 21st Century" (MAN-EDU-MW004). It cannot be followed as a separate course.
Presumed foreknowledge
Test information
Students will write an academic paper, based on the literature discussed in this course. The use of AI writing software (such as Chat GPT) is not permitted.
Instructional modes
Attendance MandatoryYes

Test weight1
Test typePaper
OpportunitiesBlock SEM2, Block SEM2