POL20010 Individuals and the State: The Idea of Freedom in the History of Political Thought

Academic Year 2021/2022

The slogan of the French Revolution is still popular: Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. Liberty is usually the most glorious and most popular ideal, but what does it mean to be free? Free from what? Free to do what? How is my freedom from interference compatible with your freedom to act? How is the authority of the state compatible with my individual liberty? Equality also is still a very popular ideal but the question of what kind of equality matters when is very controversial. Are equal rights enough? Should there be equal opportunities? What about equality of well-being? Fraternity, finally, has a lovely ring to it, but is quite complicated to. And not just because of the sexist undertones. When is the idea of community and belonging important enough to allow compromising some liberties and/or some aspects of equality?
The key question of this model is how freedom is compatible with the authority of the state. Over the course of this module we will look at some classical responses to this question as well as to the related questions of how to organise statehood in a way that balances concerns for liberty, equality, and community.
In exploring the theoretical foundations of today’s debates on these issues, we will initially focus on a selection of historical thinkers from the pre-Enlightenment period onwards, later bringing the debate more up to date with scholarship by more modern thinkers.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On the completion of this module, you will be able to
• read and critically engage with historical and more modern normative political theory texts
• summarize and explain central positions in the history of political thought
• analyse and evaluate different arguments about balancing the authority of the state with individual liberty
• develop and defend your own normative political theory arguments in the form of a clearly structured normative political theory essay

Indicative Module Content:

Social Contract Theory
Liberalism
Republicanism
Feminism

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning

81

Lectures

22

Tutorial

8

Total

111

Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
• Reading
• Listening
• Contemplating
• Debating
• Writing
 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

Ideally, students would have taken INRL 10010 Introduction to Political Theory and International Relations or another module introducing the methods of normative political theory.


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
 
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Continuous Assessment: Weekly tests in form of multiple choice quizzes on the relevant required readings, lectures, and handouts. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No

30

Essay: 2000-2500 word normative political theory essay. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No

50

Assignment: 750-1000 word writing exercise. Week 7 n/a Graded No

20


Carry forward of passed components
Yes
 
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

In addition to any relevant comments in class, there will be automated feedback on the knowledge questions of the weekly quizzes informing the students which materials to re-read if they got the answer wrong. Further questions can be discussed in the office hour. For the writing exercise and the final essay, students will receive semi-automated but individualised feedback using a rubric.

Hobbes, Thomas. 1996 [1651]. Leviathan, edited by Richard Tuck. Cambridge University Press.

Locke, John. 1960 ]1689]. Two Treatises of Government, edited by Peter Laslett. Cambridge University Press.

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques. 1994 [1762]. The Social Contract, translated by Christopher Betts. Oxford University Press.

Karl Marx: Selected Writings Second Edition (2000), edited by David McLellan. Oxford University Press.

Berlin, Isiah. 1969. Four Essays on Liberty. Oxford University Press.

Arendt, Hannah. 1998 [1958]. The Human Condition, Second Edition. Chicago University Press.

Rawls, John. 1999 [1971]. A Theory of Justice, Revised Edition. Harvard University Press.

Rawls, John. 2005 [1993]. Political Liberalism Expanded Edition. Columbia University Press.

Hirschmann, Nancy J. 2003. The Subject of Liberty: Towards a Feminist Theory of Freedom. Princeton University Press.

Pettit, Philip. 1997. Republicanism: A Theory of Freedom and Government. Oxford University Press.

Boucher, David and Paul Kelly (eds). 1994. The Social Contract from Hobbes to Rawls. Routledge.

Hampsher-Monk, Ian. 1992 A History of Modern Political Thought. Blackwell Publishers.

Pateman, Carole. 1989. The Problem of Political Obligation: A Critique of Liberal Theory. Polity Press.

Rawls, John. 2007. Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy, edited by Samuel Freeman. Harvard University Press.

Morris, Christopher W. (ed.). 1999. The Social Contract Theorists: Critical Essays on Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau. Ch’s 1, 3 and 4. Rowman and Littlefield.
Name Role
Leticia Barbabela Tutor
Mr Isaac Bennett Tutor
Julia Cañas Martinez Tutor
Michael Coleman Tutor
Lisa Fay Tutor
Jeanette Garcia Tutor
Dana Guy Tutor
Junhyoung Lee Tutor
Letícia Meniconi Barbabela Tutor
Mr Redmond Scales Tutor
Carl Smith Tutor
Benjamin Swift Tutor
Jule Zeschky Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
 
Autumn
     
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 13:00 - 13:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1 Wed 13:00 - 13:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Wed 13:00 - 13:50
Tutorial Offering 1 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 14:00 - 14:50
Tutorial Offering 2 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 15:00 - 15:50
Tutorial Offering 3 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Tues 13:00 - 13:50
Tutorial Offering 4 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 12:00 - 12:50
Tutorial Offering 5 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Tues 10:00 - 10:50
Tutorial Offering 6 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Tues 12:00 - 12:50
Tutorial Offering 7 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Tues 14:00 - 14:50
Tutorial Offering 8 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Tues 15:00 - 15:50
Tutorial Offering 9 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 14:00 - 14:50
Tutorial Offering 10 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Wed 11:00 - 11:50
Tutorial Offering 11 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Wed 12:00 - 12:50
Tutorial Offering 12 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 11:00 - 11:50
Tutorial Offering 13 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Wed 14:00 - 14:50
Tutorial Offering 14 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 09:00 - 09:50
Tutorial Offering 15 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 11:00 - 11:50
Tutorial Offering 16 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 09:00 - 09:50
Tutorial Offering 17 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 11:00 - 11:50
Tutorial Offering 18 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 10:00 - 10:50
Tutorial Offering 20 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 13:00 - 13:50
Tutorial Offering 21 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 15:00 - 15:50
Tutorial Offering 22 Week(s) - 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 14:00 - 14:50
Autumn