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Political Philosophy


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • second-year BA students in Filosofie, enrolled in the BA Plus-traject, who have completed History of Political Philosophy;

  • pre-master’s students in Philosophy who are in possession of an admission statement, and for whom this course is part of their programme.


This course offers an introduction to contemporary political philosophy. It examines major questions that arise with regard to the design of the political and social order addressing topics such as the nature of political authority, freedom, justice, equality, democracy, and the proper relationship of the individual to the state. Students will be encouraged to think analytically about the material, to evaluate different interpretations of core concepts, and to consider their application to concrete contexts of political action in the modern world.

Course objectives

The course aims to give students a basic grounding in contemporary political philosophy.

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

  • some fundamental concepts in political philosophy;

  • some of the critical problems that they raise in theory, as well as in political practice;

  • selections from works by some of the most influential twentieth and twenty-first century political theorists.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • discuss questions of understanding and application knowledgeably and with a grasp of the complex relation between theory and practice.


The timetables are available through MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures (2 hours per week)

  • Tutorials (2 hours per week)

Class attendance is required for both lectures and tutorials.

Assessment method


Two written examinations with closed questions (multiple choice) and short open question online (Remindo).


The final grade for the course is the weighed average of the midterm and final exam:

  • Mid-term exam: 40%

  • Final exam: 50%


The resit consists of a large exam covering the entire content of the course and the mark will replace all previously earned marks for subtests. No separate resits will be offered for subtests.

Inspection and feedback

Students will have the opportunity to inspect their exams on appointment within 30 days after publication of the exam results.

Reading list

All readings are available either electronically (e-reader and on Brightspace) as well as on the physical course shelf in the Library.


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.