This unit deals primarily with contemporary political ideologies: they provide a common (and sometimes deceptive) framework for thinking politically. In addition, a few texts of modern (post-medieval) European political thought will be explored. These provide alternative ways of political thinking.
Week 1. Politics: what is it? Political thought into political action: political ideologies
Week 2. Nationalism: each nation a state of its own. Why?
Week 3. Liberalism: how to ensure that individuals are free (in a state which controls them?)
Week 4. Conservativism: how to live in accordance with one's cherished values
Week 5. Socialism/anarchism: how to minize political and economic inequalities
Week 6. Ecologism: how to preserve life on earth. Feminism: how to achieve gender equality
Week 7: Populism: how to give voice to the ordinary people in politics dominated by elites
Week 8. Fundamentalism: fundamental religious truths as the basis for politics and society
Week 9. Reading Week.
Week 10. A very brief history of European political thought: the main themes
Week 11. More's Utopia : politics as an art of social engineering (towards social equality)
Week 12. Machiavelli's Prince: politics as an instrument of gaining and keeping power
Week 13. Test and summary of the unit topics