Accessibility statement

State, Economy and Society - POL00072I

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  • Department: Politics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Kieran Durkin
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

The module examines the core subject for the study of Politics: the state. It has four main objectives: (i) to explore distinct approaches to political economy; (ii) to develop an appreciation of the key issues in modern state theory; (iii) to examine competing approaches to political economy and theories of the state; and (iv) to develop analytical skills drawn from different disciplines including politics, economics, sociology, and law.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

Market-liberals want the state to be both minimal and strong, while others see the state as a condition of economic wealth and/or as a means for a just and fair society. In this module we will interrogate the nature of these assumptions relative to the development of political economy over the past few centuries. In particular, we will consider what is to be understood by the state; the ways in which the state is related to society and to the economy; the role of social production and reproduction and their connection to the state; and the relationship between the democratic and liberal aspects of the state.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module a student should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate different theories of the state in relation to the empirical material covered on the module.
  • Show an ability to synthesize insights from different disciplines - politics, economics, sociology, and law.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules




Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor's feedback and guidance hours.

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than 25 working days after submission; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor's regular feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

Bonefeld, W. (2017) The Free Economy and the Strong State. Rowman and Littlejohn, London.

Cristi, R., Carl Schmitt and Authoritarian Liberalism, University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 1998.

Hayek, F. The Road to Serfdom, various editions.

Heilbronner, R (2000). The Worldly Philosophers, Penguin, London.

Lenin, V., (various) State and Revolution, various editions.

Marx, K. and Engels, F., The communist Manifesto, various editions.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.