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IR4565 Contemporary Political Theory: from revolution to recognition

SCOTCAT credits:30
Academic year(s):2017/8
SCQF Level 10
Planned timetable:10.00 am - 12.00 noon Tue or Wed

This module explores the political and social thought of the twentieth century - a century of turmoil and paradox. Rather than the stereotype image of ivory-tower intellectuals unconnected to 'the real world', the thinkers examined in this module were (and are) thoroughly immersed in the unfolding of some of the twentieth century's formative events - from the rise of Communism, to war, occupation and genocide, decolonisation, and the civil rights movement - and their work is dedicated to understanding these events and resolving the concrete political problems that these events revealed or created. Aiming to bridge the 'theory-practice' divide, the module examines how these thinkers grappled with power, class, race, gender, and culture, and in doing so contested the orthodoxies of politics and political theory, and have provided inspiration and critical tools for political action moving forward.

Place in programme(s) and relationship to other modules


Optional for International Relations and BA (Intl Hons) International Relations

UG Pre-requisite(s):IR2005 and IR2006

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact:2-hour seminar (x 10 weeks). 2-hour film/video viewing (x 3 weeks) 2 consultation hours with Coordinator (x 12 weeks). 2 hours examination feedback in week 1 of following semester.
Total module hours:
  • Scheduled learning: 26
  • Guided independent study: 274

Assessment pattern

UG As defined by QAA:
  • Written examinations: 0%
  • Practical examinations: 0%
  • Coursework: 100%
UG As used by St Andrews:Coursework = 100%
UG Re-assessment:3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator:Dr N Saunders
Module teaching staff:Dr N Saunders