Undergraduate Module Descriptor


LAW3155: Law, Politics and Power

This module descriptor refers to the 2017/8 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s content may vary, it is envisaged that it will cover eight topics organized under some or all of the following thematic headings in the order indicated. As the module will be team-taught, your study will be focussed on, and organized around, key linking questions and problems in order to support continuity and cohesive coverage.

- The nature of law: historical manifestations; sociological and political foundations; concepts of society, social organisation and the role of rules; understanding critical perspectives and the use of theory;

- Law, order and justice: law and the maintenance of order; law and regulation; theoretical perspectives on law and its relationship with justice; law, justice and political power;

- Law and obedience, legality and legitimacy: questioning why we obey the law; law, order and civil disobedience; theoretical concepts of legality and legitimacy; the problem of unjust and evil laws;

- Law, culture and humanity: law, text and context; legal rules and reductive analysis; law and humanity, law and humanities; cultural complexity within and beyond the law;

- Law, politics and the state: law’s relationship with politics and economics; Marxist theory; Critical Legal Studies; theories of state and the role of law – Marxist, Fascist and liberal-democratic models;

- Law and power, judgment and punishment: theories of law and power; law and judgment; law, coercion and punishment; law and violence;

- Law and the individual: concepts and theories of human rights; human rights as culturally specific; critiques of human rights;

- Law, politics and the significance of time: concepts of time; relationships among law, politics and time; connecting past, present and future through law; the critical role of time in legal analysis;

- Law, race and gender: law and the power of abstraction; critical race theory; feminist theory; critical questions of law and gender; law and discrimination (considered over one or two cycles)

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
422580

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities21 x 1 hour lecture in first week of module to outline module format, ILOs and assessment; 1 x 1 hour lecture in last week of module to conclude and give exam guidance
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity161 x 2 hour introductory lecture for each of 8 topic cycles
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity242 x 1.5 hour workshop for each of 8 topics (first tutor led; second student- led with tutor guidance)
Guided independent study648 hours reading before and/or after each lecture
Guided Independent study964 hours reading before and after each workshop
Guided Independent Study98Reading, revision and preparation for the assessment

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).

Critical Legal Thinking: http://criticallegalthinking.com

Other Learning Resources

Lecture/ topic outlines, reading lists, further URL links and other material will be provided on ELE.