Due to the Corona virus it is unclear how the programmes will take place. For the latest news please check the course page in Blackboard/Brightspace.


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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 political concepts such as 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 intellectual traditions are surveyed and applied to the perennial debate about the nature and evaluation of power and sovereignty.

Credited as a methodology course in the ‘World Politics’ major, this course has several, interrelated aims: to foster appreciation of the variety of ways in which one can think about politics; the development of an awareness of how these intellectual traditions have shaped debates in relevant adjacent disciplines in the humanities and social sciences; the further development of critical thinking skills; the further development of 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 intellectual traditions in political theory;

  • are able Recognise and apply the foundational principles and commitments of these traditions to issues relating to the nature of power and sovereignty;

  • have further knowledge and understanding of the nature of power and sovereignty


Once available, timetables will be published in the e-Prospectus.

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 Education Coordinator. Interested non-LUC students should contact course.administration@luc.leidenuniv.nl.


Dr. Laurens van Apeldoorn