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IR4565   Contemporary Political Theory: from revolution to recognition

Academic year(s): 2023-2024

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: 2

Availability restrictions: Not automatically available to General Degree students

Planned timetable: Friday 12 – 2 pm Friday 3 – 5 pm

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.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass 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.

Scheduled learning hours: 26

Guided independent study hours: 274

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 0%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 100%

Re-assessment: 3-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module teaching staff: Dr B Tsokov

Intended learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate understanding of the main arguments and approaches of key 20th century political thinkers
  • Link the approaches of these thinkers to the contestation of dominant assumptions about politics and social life
  • Demonstrate understanding of the historical context in which the ideas of these thinkers emerged, and be able to identify their relevance for contemporary politics
  • Articulate reasoned and factually supported arguments both orally and in writing