Universität Wien FIND

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210034 LK BAK5: LK History of Theory and Debates on Theory (2018S)

6.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 21 - Politikwissenschaft
Continuous assessment of course work

A registration via u:space during the registration phase is required. Late registrations are NOT possible.
Students who miss the first lesson without prior notification will lose their seat in the course.

Follow the principles of good scientific practice.

The course instructor may invite students to an oral exam about the student’s written contributions in the course. Plagiarized contributions have the consequence that the course won’t be graded (instead the course will be marked with an ‘X’ in the transcript of records).


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


max. 50 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Please note that our first meeting is already on March 3rd!

Saturday 03.03. 10:00 - 16:00 Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock
Friday 23.03. 09:45 - 16:30 Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock
Friday 20.04. 09:45 - 16:30 Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock
Saturday 21.04. 10:00 - 16:00 Hörsaal 2 (H2), NIG 2.Stock
Friday 08.06. 09:45 - 16:30 Hörsaal 3 (H3), NIG 2. Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

Political Theory, Governmentality and (Social) Contracts

In the first part of this course, students will broaden their knowledge of political theory by discussing crucial concepts, such as liberalism, communitarianism, (deliberative) democracy, and postmodernism. In the second part, this knowledge will be deepened by a focus on governing (Schiller, Arendt), governmentality (Foucault) and social (as well as sexual and racial) contracts (Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau). Students will examine topics such as the state of nature, sovereignty and justice by close reading of primary literature, group discussions and brief lectures by the instructor.

1. Enhance students’ insights into the canon and counter-canon.
2. Improve the techniques of oral and written presentations of the literature studied.
3. Actively participate in constructive (group) discussions.
4. Reflect and develop a critical view.

Close reading, oral presentations (posters, outlines of seminar papers), discussions (plenum, small groups), group work (e.g., creation of posters, mock conference).

Assessment and permitted materials

• Active participation in the class as well as in small groups,
• two short writing assignments,
• one final seminar paper (10 pages, due by the end of the semester),
• presentations of group work and seminar paper.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Minimum Requirement
Presence in the LK (attendance is mandatory).
This LK will be held in English. Therefore, a good (albeit not excellent) command of English is required.

Grade Components
1. Active engagement in class discussions and group work (discussions, posters, role play): 25 points
2. Oral presentations (group work, seminar paper): 20 points.
3. Two short writing assignments (3 pages each): 30 points.
4. Individually selected empirical paper (10 pages) on the topic of the LK: 25 points.

Grading Scale
1 (sehr gut) -> 100-89 points
2 (gut) -> 88-76 points
3 (befriedigend) -> 75-63 points
4 (genügend) -> 62-50 points
5 (nicht genügend) -> 49-0 points

Examination topics

Oral presentations, written papers, active participation in discussions and work in small groups.

Reading list

Basic Literature
Estlund, David (Ed.) (2012): The Oxford Handbook of Political Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.
Leopold, David/Stears, Marc (Eds.) (2008): Political Theory: Methods and Approaches. New York: Oxford University Press.
Mills, Charles W. (1997): The Racial Contract. Ithaca/London: Cornell University Press.
Pateman, Carole/Mills, Charles W. (2007): Contract and Domination. Cambridge/Malden: Polity Press.
Wolff, Jonathan (2016): An Introduction to Political Philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.

Literature for the LK will be provided via Moodle.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:38