GV509-7-FY: POWER, AGENCY AND RADICAL DEMOCRACY
Essex credit: 30
ECTS credit: 15
Available to year(s) of study:
Available to Study Abroad / Exchange Students: No
|Module is taught during the following terms
This module explores the central political forms and concepts of modern politics by careful readings of key theoretical texts and by linking these texts to various social and political processes.
It focuses on the concepts of power, agency and democracy, though we will also investigate adjacent ideas such as the state, ideology, subjectivity, protest and resistance. Employing a genealogical method of analysis and interpretation, the module will focus upon one or two exemplary texts of modern political theory (e.g. Hobbes; Kant; Marx; Nietzsche) as well as contemporary theoretical discussions of power, agency and democracy (e.g. Butler; Cavell; Connolly; Foucault; Laclau & Mouffe; Lefort; Lukes). These concepts and ideas will be related to carefully chosen historical cases drawn from various social contexts (such as Egypt, South Africa, UK and USA), where their relevance will be discussed and critically evaluated.
Students will engage in a critical examination of the main ideas and assumptions that inform the way we engage with the crucial issues and problems of modern politics (e.g. social and political change, new social movements, agency, democratization and resistance).
Learning & Teaching Methods
2 hour weekly seminar
50 per cent Coursework Mark, 50 per cent Exam Mark
two essays 5,000 words long
Exam Duration and Period
3:00 hour exam during Summer Examination period.
- Butler, J. Excitable Speech.
Cavell, S. Cities of Words.
Clegg, S. Frameworks of Power.
Connolly, W. Capitalism and Christianity, American Style.
Foucault, M. The Government of Self and Others
Laclau, E. On Populist Reason.
Lukes, S. Power.
Kant, I. Political Writings.
Marx, K. Selected Writings.
Mitchell, T. Rule of Experts.
Mitchell, T. Colonising Egypt.
Nietzsche, F. The Genealogy of Morality.
Zerilli, L. Feminism and the Abyss of Freedom