POL36110 Comparative Political Theory

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module will introduce students to the emerging field of “comparative political theory.” The students will be asked to read, discuss, and reflect upon contemporary works of “non-Western” political theorists as well as “non-Western” ideas about politics. In the intersection of political theory and comparative political analysis, this course thematically seeks to identify issues, controversies, and questions that necessitates ideas, experiences, questions, and concepts beyond the Western vocabularies. Rather than positioning “non-Western” traditions of political thought against the “Western” tradition, this course aims to critically reflect at both from multiple standpoints. In so doing, the course offers a relational dialogue between Islamic, East Asian, African, and indigenous traditions and the contemporary Western political theory today.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

- Introduce students to the issues in comparative political theory, in the intersection of political theory and comparative politics, and with a focus on non-Western political theories and non-Western ideas about politics.
- Evaluate and question competing perspectives on key issues and public debates in comparative political theory from a multidisciplinary perspective
- Familiarise students with the theoretical foundations of non-Western political theory.
- Encourage students to interconnect theory and real life examples
- Rethink, challenge, self-reflect on naturalised assumptions.
- Enhance critical analysis skills
- Improve discussion skills
- Practice forming and synthesising strong arguments based on scholarly research
- Develop independent research skills
- Enhance writing skills

Indicative Module Content:

Key topics might include:

- What is Comparative Political Theory (CPT)?
- What is the scope of CPT?
- Culture, Identity, and CPT
- Colonialism and CPT
- Gender and CPT
- Nation, Nationalism, and CPT
- Race, Privilege, and CPT
- On Non-Violence
- Liberalism Reconsidered
- Islam, Community, and Agency
- Indigeneity and CPT
- Environment and CPT

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Teaching and learning activities will require students to engage with comparative political theory and its relevance to the the postcolonial societies.
Through class discussions, activities, and essay writing students will examine how the divide between the Western and non-Western approaches in political theory.
They will also be encouraged to apply their learning to a diverse range of real-life issues and debates.
The students will also be expected to prepare thoroughly for each of the classes, particularly engaging with core readings, and to allocate a substantial amount of time to the completion of assessment work outside the classroom hours. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: Research Paper Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Assignment: Reflection Paper #1 Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Assignment: Reflection Paper #2 Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


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

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

In line with university policy students will be provided with feedback within 20 days of the deadline for submitting the assignment.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Wed 13:00 - 14:50