nl en

Political Philosophy


Admission requirements

No prerequisites.


This course offers an introduction to contemporary political philosophy. By reading a range of modern classics, from Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault to Robert Nozick and John Rawls, students will gain familiarity with key concepts and debates. We consider questions such as: what is politics, and what is it to act politically? What (if anything) justifies the authority of the state? What is justice, and what would a just society look like?

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:

  • knowledgeably discuss questions of understanding and application of the theories and authors considered in the course.


Wednesday 15:15-18:00

See: BA Filosofie

  • Filosofie, BA2 – BA Plus-traject

  • Filosofie, BA2 – Standaardtraject

See: BA Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives

  • Philosophy: Global and Comparative Perspectives - BA2

See: Roosters minoren FGW

  • Minor Ethiek, filosofie en cultuur: Filosofie van het menselijk handelen

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Class attendance is required.

Course Load

Total course load 5 EC x 28 hours = 140 hours

  • Attending lectures (12 weeks x 3 hrs): 36 hours

  • Exams (2 x 3 hours): 6 hours

  • Preparation of classes and study of compulsory literature: 48 hours

  • Preparation exams: 50 hours

Assessment method

  • Midterm sitting exam: 40%

  • Final sitting exam: 60%


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of several subtests.


The resit consists of one written examination for all parts at once, covering the entire course content. No separate resits will be offered for mid-term tests. The resit replaces all previously earned marks for subtests.

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:

  • Course information

  • Announcements

  • Reading list

Reading list

  • The full reading list will be posted on Blackboard prior to the start of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

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

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Dr. T. (Thomas) Fossen


Not applicable.