Plato to Nato: Introduction to Political Thought

15 points

Not offered 2023, offered in 2020, 2021, 2022

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences


What’s the right thing for a group of people to do? How does a society know it is well governed? How do you know you are doing the right thing for your country, or your fellow citizens, or how that will impact on your family and friends? Who matters more, your family or your fellow citizens? The best way to answer these questions has been debated for more than over 2000 years. This course is an introduction to the thinkers that have suggested answers to these questions and influenced everyone from Plato to Trump and you. In this course, you will study the evolution of the ideas that form the building blocks of the political and social sciences. The course traverses the political ideas that arose in the Greek and Roman civilisations, the Renaissance, the birth of America, the death of the English and French despotic monarchies, and the great traumas of socialism, Marxism and the political upheavals that followed the wars of the 20th century. We will trace the changes in the fundamental political concepts such as freedom, equality, rights, justice, government, the state, markets, and domination.


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