Political philosophy and the history of political thought since c.1890

Course Material 2024/25

This paper explores some of the central texts and key ideas of twentieth and twenty-first century political thought, looking at both analytical concepts and their historical contexts and evolution. It  provides the opportunity to trace the development of political ideas into the twentieth century and further into contemporary political philosophy. This includes many ideas that students will have encountered in other  contexts – freedom, democracy, revolution, equality, international relations and global justice – as well as some that may be new or less familiar – for  instance, ecology, punishment or welfare. It also provides an opportunity to explore the history of political thought and political philosophy more generally, and to consider what studying politics historically or theoretically brings to our understanding of politics in practice.

Section notice

This material is intended for current students but will be interesting to prospective students. It is indicative only.