Master in Political Theory

Focusing on the interface of theories of the good society, globalisation, legitimacy and power.

Political theory is the soul of political science: it’s not about determining what the facts are but about determining what they mean and what should be done with them. It’s about the genuine and the deceptive arguments used to interfere in other people’s lives and business. We need political theory anywhere where power is used both covertly and openly, where policies are made and where choices are questioned and criticised.

As a political theorist, you will ask what would be sensible instead of what people call sensible. Just a handful of questions you will be asking and seeking the answers to: Is there a moral foundation for national sovereignty or self-determination? How far should tolerance go? What can and should be our ambitions for local community building? When does a political theory become a weapon or a form of power? Can authority ever be legitimate? Do we owe anything to future generations, animals, the global poor or minority groups?

This Master’s specialisation offers students an unprecedented opportunity to learn to assess political values, aspirations and dreams in terms of their desirability and reasonability. You will also discover how political theoretical work can be introduced fruitfully in other relevant contexts. This will enable you to help civil initiatives and governmental institutions, not to mention the public at large by imagining and designing policies and ambitions that are both viable and defensible.

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