Contemporary Political Theory

Oriel College

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Contemporary Political Theory

  • Host University

    Oriel College

  • Location

    Oxford, England

  • Area of Study

    Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

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

    This course provides an overview of contemporary debates in normative political theory. It includes the critical study of a range of key political concepts (authority, democracy, rights, freedom, equality, and justice) and of a number of prominent theoretical perspectives on politics (anarchism, liberalism, libertarianism, feminism, egalitarianism, realism, nationalism, and cosmopolitanism). At the intersection of these conceptual and theoretical debates, students examine a series of political problems including, among others, the nature and justification of the state, the permissibility of civil disobedience, the scope and limits of collective decision making, the proper balance between individual and collective goods, the relationship between freedom and poverty or disability, the just distribution of wealth, structural injustice associated with sex and gender, the ethics of migration and borders, and global inequalities in resources and opportunities. Students will develop a facility with precise conceptual analysis and with the techniques and methods of rigorous analytical argument. The course aims to familiarise students with the major debates it discusses and to enable them to engage in effective critical reflection on these and related problems. 


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