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Global Thinkers



Western ideas of governance can no longer explain modern political life. Any serious attempt to understand our current political predicaments requires us to go beyond the pool of European political thinkers, and take into account political ideas that emerged in the non-West. In this course we will engage directly with the writings of the key political thinkers from countries like China, India, Egypt, Indonesia, Ghana, and the West Indies. This course will evaluate how the universal language of modern politics – ranging from liberalism, communism, capitalism, and humanitarianism – was accommodated and altered to usher in a radical transformation that profoundly impacts our political lives today. By examining ideological innovators from Gandhi, Fanon, Mao, and Khomeini, to more secular minded nationalists like Nehru, Nasser, Nkrumah, this course will provide a fresh perspective on the making of the global political order.

Course objectives

  • Identify how visions of politics overlap and differ across cultures

  • Discuss and present contemporary debates on political ideas in a seminar setting

  • Relate plural notions of politics into the broader context of twenty-first century political life

  • Categorize divergent strands of political thought

  • Examine the impact of political ideas on institutions and legal systems

  • Appraise the political thought of a global thinker in an essay.



Mode of instruction


Course Load

10 EC

Assessment method

  • Participation: 15% of the final grade

  • Presentation: 15% of the final grade

  • Essay: 70% of the final grade

The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average

Reading list

A selection of the relevant articles and book chapters for each seminar will be made available through Blackboard.


See Preliminary Information


Wijnhaven, Institute of Political Science
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP The Hague
Room number 6.04

+31 71 527 5066