MAN-BCU2026EN
A History of Political Thought
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleMAN-BCU2026EN
Credits (ECTS)6
Category-
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Nijmegen School of Management; Bachelor Political Science;
Lecturer(s)
Lecturer
K. Kolman
Other course modules lecturer
Examiner
dr. T.H. Tempels
Other course modules lecturer
Lecturer
dr. T.H. Tempels
Other course modules lecturer
Coordinator
dr. T.H. Tempels
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. T.H. Tempels
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2023
Period
2  (06/11/2023 to 28/01/2024)
Starting block
2
Course mode
full-time
Remarks-
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesNo
Pre-registrationNo
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
Aims
After this course, you will be able to
  • distinguish between and describe the work of a selection of the most influential thinkers and philosophies from the history of political thought until the early twentieth century;
  • relate and compare the ideas discussed in the course;
  • critically evaluate these philosophies and the ideas of these political thinkers;
  • apply these ideas to current political and social affairs;
  • explain and interpret original texts by the authors discussed in the course.
Content
The course A History of Political Thought offers a non-exhaustive overview of political theories and philosophies from antiquity until the first half of the twentieth century. We will follow some of the highlights of Western political philosophy, commonly referred to as “The Canon”. In addition to these thinkers we will cover a selection of philosophies that are often excluded from this canon, but are nevertheless important for understanding political philosophy today. As such we will not only trace the highlights of Western political thought by looking into scholars such as Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Marx, Arendt and Foucault, but also attempt to move beyond this by looking into other strands of thought such as Confucianism, Ubuntu and indigenous philosophies. We will explore several original texts from these thinkers and schools of thought in order to grasp the development of political philosophy to political science and ideology.

Some of the issues that will be discussed are: the nature and meaning of democracy; possible justifications for political authority; competing conceptions of nature in political theory; the role of citizens in government; the racial and colonial bias in Western philosophies; the different understandings of political action; the moral-political limits to individual freedom, as well as the difference between acceptable and unacceptable exercise of power.
Level
Premaster
Presumed foreknowledge

Test information
Schriftelijk tentamen
Specifics
This course is open only to pre-master students of Political Science.
Level
PM

Instructional modes
Interactive lecture

Seminar

Working group

Tests
Tentamen
Test weight1
Test typeDigital exam with CIRRUS
OpportunitiesBlock 2, Block 3