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Power and Resistance


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to students enrolled in the MA Philosophy 60 EC, specialisation Philosophical Perspectives on Politics and the Economy.


This course offers a theoretical vocabulary with which to analyze power. It investigates questions of power in social and political contexts. It analyzes questions of power in the context of relations of political authority, domination, and oppression. It addressed the arts of resistance distinguishing various forms of protest, protest as well as civil and uncivil disobedience.

Course objectives

The course aims to:

  • give students a familiarity with central debates in political philosophy that concern the concepts of power and resistance;

  • acquaint students with key writings on power and resistance.

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • the central debates in political theory about the notions of power and resistance.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • paraphrase, interpret, reproduce and criticise the use made of the concepts of power and resistance in philosophical writing and in wider political contexts;

  • distinguish between different types of power;

  • distinguish between different types of resistance;

  • relate contemporary political and everyday events to theories of power, and to theories of resistance;

  • analyse and interpret a philosophical text;

  • develop argumentative skills through seminar discussion and analysis of philosophical texts;

  • practice and further develop presentation skills.


The timetables are available through MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required.

Assessment method


  • Presentation in class (30%)

  • Final paper (70%)


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of two subtests (see above).


The resit consists of one examination for all parts at once (100%), consisting of an essay. The mark for the resit will replace all previously earned marks for subtests. No separate resits will be offered for subtest. Class attendance and participation is required for taking the resit. Students who have obtained a satisfactory grade for the first examination cannot take the resit.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

  • The reading list will be posted on Brightspace.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Huizinga


Not applicable.