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Power and Resistance


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to MA students in Philosophy 60 EC, specialisation Philosophy, Politics and Economics.


This course will offer philosophical perspectives on the dynamics of civic initiatives and movements for defending rights, obtaining justice and fighting against political, economic or social oppression. The course starts with a short introduction to the philosophical analysis of oppression, illustrated by historical examples (dictatorial regimes, human rights violations, social and economic inequality, violent revolution). The focus will then shift to the analysis of power and resistance in a globalized world, with new power structures and challenges, new collective identities and new possibilities for action, often facilitated by new information technologies. How do these developments affect our sense of justice, legitimacy and accountability, of indignation and protest, disobedience and political action?

Course objectives

The course aims to give students an understanding of the central theoretical positions in the philosophical literature on power and resistance.

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

  • the philosophical analysis of power and oppression, resistance and revolution;

  • some of the main conceptual issues in analyzing the dynamics of power and resistance in the context of a globalized and technologically modified world.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

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

  • practice, refine and further develop oral argumentation and presentation skills in political philosophy;

  • critically compare and synthesize the theories and concepts of the authors discussed and to apply them to contemporary conceptual debates and problems in writing.


The timetable is available on the MA Philosophy website

  • MA Philosophy 60 EC

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance and active student participation is required.

Course Load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours= 280 hours

  • Attending lectures/seminars: 14 x 3 hrs= 42 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 125 hours

  • Essay proposal: 12 hours

  • Presentation: 16 hours

  • Additional readings: 25 hours

  • Final essay: 60 hours

Assessment method

  • Class presentation (20%)

  • Essay proposal (20%)

  • Final essay (60%)

Note: attendance is required – without sufficient attendance students will be excluded from submitting a final paper.


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of several subtests (midterm, final test). A subtest can be graded as unsatisfactory.


The resit will consist of a written final paper. No separate resits will be offered for mid-term or final tests. The mark will replace all previously earned marks for subtests.

Note: attendance is required – without sufficient attendance students will be excluded from takeing the resit.

Exam review

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.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • posting texts and other documents (syllabus, assessment criteria, etc.);

  • announcements.

Reading list

To be announced.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

Students are strongly advised to register in uSis through the activity number, which can be found in the timetables for courses and exams.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dr. N. Latif


Not applicable.