Political Philosophy


Course Objective

Main goals of the course are:
• Knowledge of theories and developments in political philosophy
• Ability to critically analyse basic presuppositions of central
paradigms in political philosophy
• Knowledge of political theoretical debates concerning the role and
legitimacy of key institutions of modern societies
• Ability to apply different theories to topical issues

Course Content

This course offers a systematic and rigorous overview of different
theories and developments in political philosophy. Approaches that will
be discussed include egalitarianism, libertarianism, socialism,
communitarianism, republicanism, feminism, multiculturalism, and the
capability approach. The discussion will link the central ideas to the
analysis of key institutional phenomena: free markets, (welfare) states,
civil society, new social movements, democracy and the public sphere.
Students will practice their debating skills in debates on topical

Teaching Methods

Lectures and seminars (active learning groups).

Method of Assessment

Two written tests (2x 25%), essay (50%) and seminar assignments


Kymlicka, W. (2002), Contemporary Political Philosophy, 2nd edition,
Oxford UP
Selection of articles

Target Audience

Second year students PPE specialization Track 1: Philosophy

Additional Information

Please note that participation in the seminars is mandatory.

Custom Course Registration

There is a slightly different enrollment procedure for this module. The standard procedure of the Faculty of Humanities has students sign up for (i) the module, (ii) the form of tuition (lecture and/or preferred seminar group), and (iii) the exam. However, for this module the instructor will assign the students to the seminar groups. Therefore, students should sign up for (i) the module and (ii) lecture, but not for the seminar groups.

General Information

Course Code W_JSM_204
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 200
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator prof. dr. M.V.B.P.M. van Hees
Examiner prof. dr. M.V.B.P.M. van Hees
Teaching Staff prof. dr. M.V.B.P.M. van Hees

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture, Seminar*

*You cannot select a group yourself for this teaching method, you will be placed in a group.

Target audiences

This course is also available as: