Political Theory

University of Cape Town

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Political Theory

  • Host University

    University of Cape Town

  • Location

    Cape Town, South Africa

  • Area of Study

    Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    POL1004F or POL1009F (was POL1007F), or at least two Humanities courses or with special permissi on from the Head of Department.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Second year, second semester course, four lectures per week and at least eight tutorials.

    All political activities depend on ideas, assumptions and arguments. Often these are taken over uncritically from the conventions of our time and place. Political theory begins when these ideas and assumptions are critically examined and made to fit together into a consistent whole. This course introduces students to the process through which political ideas and assumptions are formed, and how they come to be challenged and replaced by others, beginning with the invention of politics in the ancient Greek city-state, continuing through the emergence of the modern nation-state and into the present. It deals with classical theorists from the Western tradition and major figures in Third World resistance to European domination. It aims to enable students to analyse original texts for themselves, and to locate their own ideas within a larger historical process.

    DP requirements: Completion of all written assignments and essays is a requirement for a DP. Should students fail to hand in written assignments by due date, they will be penalised according to the grading formula of the Department. All required work for DP purposes MUST be submitted by the last day of the course.

    Assessment: Coursework counts 50%; final two-hour examination counts 50%.

Course Disclaimer

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.


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