Undergraduate Module Descriptor

POL1016B: History of Political Thought 2

This module descriptor refers to the 2013/4 academic year.


NQF Level 4
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Professor Iain Hampsher-Monk (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


This module covers the key works of five of the most important thinkers in the early-modern period, spanning the period from the Italian Renaissance through to the French Revolution: Niccoló Machiavelli (1469–1527), Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679), John Locke (1632–1704), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778), and Edmund Burke (1729–1797).

Their writings may be approached from a number of different perspectives and may be read (amongst other ways) as addressing problems peculiar to the historical context in which they were written; as abstract theoretical explorations of some of the key concepts in politics, such as the state, sovereignty and liberty; or as important episodes in a narrative of the development of modernity that shapes how we understand both the history and identity of politics today. These perspectives need not be antithetical and the scope of the course encompasses all three.

There are no prerequisites for this module, although it is designed to complement both History of Political Thought 1 (POL1016A) and Political Thought of Modernity (POL2059).

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