pol3lac justice freedom and difference



Not currently offered

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject examines some of the key normative ideas and debates underpinning contemporary politics. We examine different ways of thinking about key political values such as freedom, justice, and equality, and we consider the work of some of the most influential thinkers in contemporary political theory. We focus on the work of key liberal philosophers such as John Rawls and Ronald Dworkin, and we consider powerful responses to and criticisms of their work by libertarians, egalitarians, feminists, cosmopolitans, and others. Throughout the subject, we consider how these theoretical debates bear on a variety of #real world# political conflicts over taxation, redistribution, education policy, global inequality, and the family.

SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorNicholas Barry

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites 15 credit points of any first year Politics subject and 15 credit points of any Humanities and Social Sciences subject, or subject coordinator's approval


Incompatible subjects POL2LAC

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsContemporary Political Philosophy: An Introduction.RecommendedKymlicka, W.2ND ED., OXFORD UP, 2001
ReadingsPolitical Philosophy: A Beginner's Guide for Students and PoliticiansRecommendedSwift, A.2ND ED., POLITY, 2006

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Develop an understanding of key debates in contemporary political theory.

Take-home exam; research essay; online quiz

02. Understand and analyse the work of contemporary political theorists.

Take-home exam; research essay

03. Write a critical research essay that demonstrates an advanced knowledge of key issues in contemporary political theory.

Take-home exam; research essay

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