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Thinking about Politics: Power and Sovereignty




Admissions requirements



In the pursuit of explanation and understanding, the student of world politics can draw on the rich resources of political theory. As discipline political theory aims to contribute to the analysis of concepts such as justice, freedom, equality and democracy, and to systematise and justify normative judgements about political and social institutions, forms of inequality, authority and oppression. This course forms an advanced introduction to this body of thought. Six principal methodological approaches are surveyed and applied to the perennial debate about the nature and evaluation of power and sovereignty. This approach fosters appreciation of the variety of ways in which one can think about politics, as well as provide further knowledge and understanding of the nature and evaluation of power and sovereignty.

Course objectives

After successful completion of the course students are able to:

  • Describe the main characteristics of a number of prominent methodologies in political theory.

  • Apply these methods in aid of understanding the nature of power and sovereignty


Once available, timetables will be published here.

Mode of instruction



Participation: 15%
Presentation: 15%
Brief assignments: 30%
Written examination with short essay questions: 40%


There will be a Blackboard site available for this course. Students will be enrolled at least one week before the start of classes.

Reading list



This course is open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Registration is coordinated by the Curriculum Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact course.administration@luc.leidenuniv.nl.


L.C.J. van Apeldoorn: L.C.J.van.Apeldoorn@luc.leidenuniv.nl