Universität Wien FIND

210032 LK BAK5: LK History of Theory and Debates on Theory (2017W)


6.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 21 - Politikwissenschaft
Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung

Eine Anmeldung über u:space innerhalb der Anmeldephase ist erforderlich! Eine nachträgliche Anmeldung ist NICHT möglich.
Studierende, die der ersten Einheit unentschuldigt fern bleiben, verlieren ihren Platz in der Lehrveranstaltung.

Beachten Sie die Standards guter wissenschaftlicher Praxis.

Die Lehrveranstaltungsleitung kann Studierende zu einem notenrelevanten Gespräch über erbrachte Teilleistungen einladen.
Plagiierte und erschlichene Teilleistungen führen zur Nichtbewertung der Lehrveranstaltung (Eintragung eines 'X' im Sammelzeugnis).


max. 50 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

There will be no session on October 27.

Freitag 13.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Freitag 20.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Freitag 27.10. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Freitag 03.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Freitag 10.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Freitag 17.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Freitag 24.11. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Freitag 01.12. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Freitag 15.12. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Freitag 12.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Freitag 19.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Freitag 26.01. 11:30 - 13:00 Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung


What are the functions of governments? Is state power legitimate? Who should govern and take fundamental political decisions? 

To answer these questions today and understand concerns of political life in the past, it is important to understand the main problems in political theory/philosophy - including the justification of democracy, the role of the state, the place of liberty, the notion of justice and the idea of distribution. Crucial notions of political theory further a deeper understanding of political institutions and ways of living. This course, therefore, examines major texts in the Western tradition of the history of political thought. The course will cover the following areas:
What is political philosophy/theory?
Core notions of political philosophy: justice, good life, virtue, liberty, equality
Different forms of government from the perspective of political philosophy:
democracy, monarchy, republic etc.
Theoretical approaches regarding the emergence of governments: state of nature, social contract, liberty
Political theories of democracy
sovereignty and authority
historical materialism and capitalism
the will to power
the role of conflict
functions of the public sphere


Having completed this course, students will be able to:
understand and reproduce key arguments in political thought
understand main normative ideas concerning political power, obligation, distributive justice and liberal equality
present and discuss their own thoughts on pressing political concerns and apply them recent political questions
debate and write on these issues in a critical and reflected way


The course will guide students through the reading material, especially of the most important classic texts and foster vivid discussions for a better understanding of the core issues.

Class Sessions:
Part 1: Introduction: What is political theory/philosophy?

Part 2: Justice, power and the State
What is the State for and who should govern?
Plato and Aristotle
Thomas Hobbes
John Locke
Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Karl Marx
Michel Foucault

Part 3: Democracy
Alexis de Tocqueville
Jürgen Habermas
Ernesto Laclau / Chantal Mouffe

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

Students will be required to read selections from the original texts and engage in discussions during the sessions. They will have to demonstrate that they have understood and assessed the reading material by giving a short presentation (about 10 minutes) on a theory chosen from the lecture material. They will have to write a short paper (about 10 pages) on a main idea in political thought and/or reflect on the relation of these normative ideas with political circumstances today. Attendance and participation in weekly sessions is a requirement. Attendance is recorded. Students are allowed to miss two sessions throughout the entire semester.

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

Seminar Paper: 40%
Debating contributions and participation: 40%
Short presentation (10 Minutes): 20%



Literature: (will be provided to download)
Plato, Apology, translated with an introduction by Benjamin Jowett 

Plato, Crito, translated with an introduction by Benjamin Jowett 

Plato, Republic (books I, III-IV, V) translated with an introduction by Benjamin Jowett

Aristotle, Politics (books I, III, IV, VII) translated by Benjamin Jowett 

Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, (chapters: 1-12, 13-26) translated by W.K. Marriott

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan 

John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government (1-5, 7-12, 13-19) 

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin and the Foundations of Inequality Among Men (author‘s preface, part I, part II), translated by Ian Johnston 

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract (books I-II)

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, (pp. 3-15, 56-65, 235-264, 274-302, 426-428, 479-484, 485-488, 500-508, 535-539, 589-599, 661-665, 673-676) trans. Henry Reeve

John Stuart Mill: On Liberty, pp. 592-639
John Stuart Mill: On the Subject of Women, pp. 652-676

Karl Marx: On the Jewish Question, pp. 742-757
Karl Marx: Toward a Critique of Hegel‘s Philosophy of Right, pp. 758-765
Karl Marx: Capital, pp. 832-839
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: The Communist Manifesto, pp. 798-815

Michel Foucault: Power/Knowledge, Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972-1977.

Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe (2001): Hegemony and Socialist Strategy.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Letzte Änderung: Do 18.10.2018 11:28