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Regular version of the site

Moral Foundations of Politics

2020/2021
Academic Year
ENG
Instruction in English
7
ECTS credits
Course type:
Elective course
When:
2 year, 1 module

Instructor

Course Syllabus

Abstract

When do governments deserve our allegiance, and when should they be denied it? This compulsory MOOC course explores the main answers that have been given to this question in the modern West. We start with a survey of the major political theories of the Enlightenment: Utilitarianism, Marxism, and the social contract tradition. In each case, we begin with a look at classical formulations, locating them in historical context, but then shift to the contemporary debates as they relate to politics today. Next, we turn to the rejection of Enlightenment political thinking, again exploring both classical and contemporary formulations. In addition to exploring theoretical differences among the various authors discussed, considerable attention is devoted to the practical implications of their competing arguments. To this end, we discuss a variety of concrete problems, including debates about economic inequality, affirmative action and the distribution of health care, the limits of state power in the regulation of speech and religion, and difficulties raised by the emerging threat of global environmental decay.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • to provide an overview of the main classical and contemporary concepts and approaches to the problem of the legitimacy of power
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • master and compare the main contemporary theoretical approaches to the prroblem of the legitimacy of power
  • master and compare the main contemporary theoretical approaches to the problem of the legitimacy of power
  • reflect on the relevance of theoretical approaches and concepts for solving contemporary political theories
  • reflect on the relevance of theoretical approaches and concepts to solving contemporary political problems
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Welcome to Moral Foundations of Politics
    Welcome to the course. Meet your instructor and learn about the structure of the course and what makes it distinctive.
  • Enlightenment Political Theory (1): Utilitarianism
    Classical utilitarianims. Neoclassical utilitarianism. Contemporary debates within utilitarianism.
  • Enlightenment Political Theory (2): Marxism
    The Marxist theory and its main tenets. Marxism: failures and legacy.
  • Enlightenment Political Theory (3): Social Contract
    Classical formulations of the social contract theory. Its contemporary reformulations. Contemporary debates within the social contract theory as they relate to today's problems
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Attendance and participation in off-line seminars and lectures
  • non-blocking Oral exam
  • non-blocking Attendance and participation in off-line seminars and lectures
  • non-blocking Oral exam
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (1 module)
    0.3 * Attendance and participation in off-line seminars and lectures + 0.7 * Oral exam
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • The Oxford Handbook of Classics in Contemporary Political Theory. : Oxford University Press, 2015.

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Miller, D., & Dagger, R. (2006). Utilitarianism and Beyond: Contemporary Analytical Political Theory. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.3F97381B
  • The Oxford handbook of political theory / ed. by John S. Dryzek . (2006). Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.121392570