Level of Study
Semester of Instruction
Objectives and Content
Political theory is an interdisciplinary research field in which issues relating to equitable distribution, theory of democracy, recognition of minorities and different understandings of power is central. Political theory analyzes and reflects on current political issues and social, cultural and institutional change processes. The course covers topics related to the main directions and key issues in political theory from about 1970 to the present, with emphasis on both empirical-descriptive and normative theory formations (liberalism, communitarianism, proseduralisme) and postmodern perspective on the state, the individual and society.
After completing the course, the student should have
- a general overview of key concepts, theories and controversies in political theory
- a general understanding of similarities and differences between different theoretical approaches, argumentation ways and ways of presentation
After completing the course, the student should be able to
- recognize and critically evaluate theoretical main positions, argumentation ways and ways of presentation in philosophical literature and in public policy discussions
- convey feature of these main positions and reasoning methods in academic as well as in public contexts
- reflect on the relevance of different directions in contemporary political theory for understanding the current social, cultural and institutional change processes
After completing the course, the student should be competent to
- independently identify and evaluate the key literature in contemporary political theory
- to impart knowledge about this literature and the perspectives it provides on current issues both to a professional and a general public
- to assess the relevance of central concepts and theories in the analysis of and reflection on key political controversy
- identify and critically evaluate argumentation ways and ways of presentation in both professional and general texts on social, cultural and institutional change processes
The course can be part of a bachelor's degree with a specialization in philosophy. In combination with other topics and subjects may be included in an education that qualifies for teaching philosophy in high school or college. The course may also be suitable to support specialization in fundamental questions in connection with the study of other subjects.
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Approved first semester studies. Specialized study courses presuppose good background knowledge in philosophy, and students should normally have finished their exams in all 100-level cumpolsary courses. A good proficiency in English is necessary since it ought to be assumed that much of the prescribed reading will be in English.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Access to the Course
The course is open to students admitted at the University of Bergen
Teaching Methods and Extent of Organized Teaching
Teaching is offered in the form of lectures and/or seminars.
The number of gatherings may be reduced if the number of students attending the course is less than 4. In that case, the students will be compensated with individual or group tutoring.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
An approval of compulsory requirements is valid for three semesters, including the semester in which the approval is given. Submission of a draft of the semester assignment paper before supervision.
Individual supervision given by the teacher of the course.
Submission of a short assignment at 900-1200 words. The topic is given by the teacher. Deadline is set by the department. The assignment must be approved to be able to take the exam.
Forms of Assessment
A supervised semester assignment paper of 3000- 5000 words (not including table of contents, list of references etc.) The topic of the paper must be approved in advance by the teacher of the course. . The semester assignment paper will be assessed at the end of the semester.
Exams in the course are held every semester.
The compulsory activities have to be formally approved before one can take an exam in the course.
From A to F
The teaching will be evaluated from time to time.
Note that the time may change up until 14 days prior to the day of the examination. The location will be published 14 days ahead.
Type of assessment: Supervised paper
- Submission deadline
- 29.09.2017, 13:00
- Withdrawal deadline
- Examination system
- Digital exam