The Political Communities in World History core module challenges students to understand political history through its most important concepts, such as states, power, identity, and conflict. Taught by means of two lectures and one discussion group a week, the module proceeds on a broad chronological basis, introducing students to some crucial structures in the history of political formations – from the complex early states of medieval Europe to the persistence of monarchy across the modern world – and to moments of decisive change in the form of rebellions, revolutions, and wars.
|A||Semester 1 2023-24|
The aims of this module are:
Students who complete this module successfully will have:
Students will attend a 1-hour briefing in week 1, then two lectures and a 1-hour discussion group in each of weeks 2-4, 6-8 and 10-11. Weeks 5 & 9 are Reading and Writing Weeks (RAW). Students prepare for and participate in sixteen lectures and eight discussion groups in all.
Lecture and discussion group topics are subject to variation, but are likely to include the following:
Block 1. Cities, kingdoms, and empires
Political Organization in the Medieval World
Political Organization in the Early Modern World
The Age of Revolutions?
Power in the Modern City
What made the state different from other forms of political organisation?
How has “the political” been defined?
Block 2. Power and legitimacy
Political Ideals in the Medieval World
Kingship and Government in the Early-Modern World
Encountering the Nation State
Democracy and Authoritarianism
How has power been legitimized?
How should states interact with each other?
Block 3. Nations, communities and identities
Political Identities in the medieval world
Political identities in the early modern world
The birth of mass nationalism
Community beyond the nation
How have race, ethnicity, and religion become political identities?
How useful is "nationality" as a category of historical analysis?
Block 4. Conflict and change
Lecture 1: Conflict and change in the medieval world
Lecture 2: Rebellion and revolution in the early modern world
Lecture 3: Revolutions and turning-points
Lecture 4: War and the modern public
What counts as a war?
Revolutions and continuities
|Task||Length||% of module mark|
For formative assessment work, students will produce a 1500-word essay in week 9.
For summative assessment, students will complete an Open Exam in the assessment period.
|Task||Length||% of module mark|
Following their formative assessment task, students will receive written feedback that will include comments and a mark within 10 working days of submission.
Work will be returned to students in their Discussion groups and may be supplemented by the tutor giving some oral feedback to the whole group. All students are encouraged, if they wish, to discuss the feedback on their procedural work during their lecturers’ student hours. For more information, see the Statement on Feedback.
For summative assessment tasks, students will receive their provisional mark and written feedback within 25 working days of the submission deadline. The lecturer will then be available during student hours for follow-up guidance if required. For more information, see the Statement of Assessment.
For semester-time reading, please refer to the module VLE site. Before the course starts, we encourage you to look at the following items of preliminary reading: