Western Political Thought
Dublin City University
Area of Study
International Politics, Political Science
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits2
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units3
Hours & Credits
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.
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.