Western Political Thought

Dublin City University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Western Political Thought

  • Host University

    Dublin City University

  • Location

    Dublin, Ireland

  • Area of Study

    International Politics, Political Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • 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

  • ECTS Credits

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

    The aim of this module is to provide you with a comprehensive introduction to modern Western political thought as it has manifested in modern political ideologies. This is not a political philosophy class, since it focuses on the main components of ideologies, their cohesiveness and social and political functions. The revival of some ‘old’ ideologies as well as the increasing influence of some ‘new’ ones is a characteristic feature of the twenty-first century. The module begins with the concept of ideology itself, and then treats some of the most important Western political ideologies in turn. Besides some ‘classic’ ideologies (i.e. Liberalism, Conservatism, Socialism), we also discuss some others that have had significant impact in the history of ideas (i.e. Nationalism, Anarchism, Fascism), as well as some ‘new’ ideologies that gained in importance from the 1960s onwards (i.e. Neo-Conservatism, the New Left, Feminism, Islamism). The module seeks to put these into context by considering their social and political practice, with a particular emphasis on their approaches to protest and violence. 

    Learning Outcomes
    1. An understanding of the concept of ideology
    2. Knowledge of the major Western political ideologies covered
    3. An enhanced capacity for theoretical and critical reflection on political ideas, especially as these relate to protest and violence
    4. Students will also develop their capacity to debate these issues in an articulate fashion and address them with a high degree of analytical precision in written work.