Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16
This module encourages students to explore and engage with the concepts of political and social progress and our contemporary anxieties with utopian thinking and peacebuilding. It will enable students to identify the intellectual, cultural, social and political roots of historical progress and the main critiques from a number of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives. The course will afford students the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to apply theoretical concepts acquired in previous courses to debates about neoliberalism, democratization, Political Islam, Marxism and the apocalyptic in contemporary culture.
|Second Sub Session
|30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
This course explores the idea that history has a linear and logical dynamic moving forward to an inevitable historical endpoint or peaceful utopia. We examine this through various historical movements and political philosophies that advance different utopian goals - including the concept of free-market democracy, revolutionary Marxism, political Islam, feminism and even peacebuilding, and which have inspired significant social and political turmoil. Yet, the idea of progress to a peaceful utopia is fundamentally questioned by the current global reversal of democracy, new forms of identity politics, the economic collapse of 2008, global warming, and a number of ethnic conflicts since the end of the Cold War. Such anxieties also pervade the social sciences, where its historical roots in ideas of social and theoretical progress have been critiqued and even dispensed with. Themes to explore: Progress and Utopia, Utopian Beliefs in peacebuilding and development Utopian beliefs in politics: free-market democracy, communism, political Islam Utopian beliefs in US foreign policy, Historical Utopian movements: Muslim Brotherhood, the Bolsheviks, Christian Evangelicalism, nationalist movements, the social sciences as contributing to social progress Challenges to Utopia The global reversal of democracy Critical peacebuilding, Lack of faith in scientific progress, Identity politics, Postmodernism in the social sciences.
Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.
There are no assessments for this course.