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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Social and Political Science

Undergraduate Course: Political Ideologies (LLLJ07008)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course is not available to University of Edinburgh matriculated students. This is a for-credit course offered by the Office of Lifelong Learning (OLL) - only students registered with OLL should be enrolled.
This course aims to introduce students to the concept of ideology and its relationship with other political concepts such as power and legitimacy. We will explore the main features of several major political ideologies including liberalism, conservatism, socialism and fascism.
Course description 1. Introduction - This class will introduce the main themes examined throughout the course. We will also focus on the concept of 'ideology' and its relevance for contemporary societies.
2. Liberalism - This class will examine the central themes of liberalism, including individualism, freedom, reason, justice and toleration.
3. Conservatism - In this class we will explore the central ideas and concepts of conservatism, including tradition, human imperfection, organic society, hierarchy and authority and property.
4. Socialism - This class will explore some of the key ideas of socialism, including community, cooperation, equality, class politics and common ownership. We will also focus on Karl Marx's scientific analysis of history and society.
5. Nationalism - This class will examine the central themes of nationalism, including the nation, organic community, self-determination and identity politics.
6. Anarchism - Anarchist ideology rejects any form of political authority. Its central themes, including anti-statism, natural order, anti-clericalism and economic freedom, will be the topics of this class.
7. Fascism - This class will explore the central themes of fascism, including anti-rationalism, struggle, leadership and elitism, socialism and ultranationalism.
8. Feminism - Feminist ideology is varied and includes liberal, socialist and radical strands. This class will explore core feminist ideas such as patriarchy, sex, and gender and it will especially focus on the feminist critique of the public-private divide.
9. Ecologism - This class will examine the central themes of ecologism, including ecology, holism, sustainability, environmental ethics and self-actualization.
10. Religious Fundamentalism - The growing presence of radical religious groups in the international arena makes it more urgent than ever to examine the central themes of religious fundamentalist, including anti-modernism, militancy and the rejection of the distinction between religion and politics.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

* Demonstrate an understanding of the central themes of the political ideologies examined;
* Critically read and analyse modern and contemporary texts by key thinkers;
* Illustrate and evaluate the development of the central tenets of political ideologies;
* Compare and contrast different ideological traditions;
* Apply political ideologies to the analysis of real-world political, economic and social institutions.
Reading List

Goodin, R. E., Pettit, P. and Pogge, T., 2007. A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy. Malden, Mass.; Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. Part II.
Heywood, A., 2007a. Political Ideologies: An Introduction. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.


Festenstein, M. and Kenny, M., eds., 2005. Political Ideologies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Heywood, A., 2007b. Politics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kymlicka, W., 2002. Contemporary Political Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Analytical skills; comparative analysis; critical reading of complex texts; participation in group discussion.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr James Mooney
Tel: (0131 6)50 3077
Course secretaryMs Marie Craft
Tel: (0131 6)50 3943
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