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Regular version of the site

The History of Political Thought

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Course type:
Compulsory course
1 year, 2-4 module


Akopov, Sergei

Khomyakov, Maxim

Course Syllabus


The course looks at political concepts produced in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and also Russia. Students will learn about why these concepts matter, what controversies surround each of them and what the vigorous debates and disagreements about them reveals about the character of contemporary politics in the era of globalization
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The main goal of this course is to introduce students to some of the key political ideas in a chronological and cross-country perspective, grounding students in several national theoretical traditions and encouraging them to produce analysis beyond the nation-states centered paradigm
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Student is able to solve professional problems based on synthesis and analysis
  • Student is able to work in team
  • Student is able to efficiently communicate based on the goals and communication situations
  • Student is capable of posing research problems relevant to the study of political phenomena and political processes; setting particular research tasks; and putting together a research design
  • Student is capable of reporting the results of the information retrieval and analysis, academic or applied research she/he has conducted: - in various genres (including reviews, policy papers, reports and publications pertaining to socio-political subject matter); - and depending on the target audience
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Political ideas and religion in Ancient Egypt
  • Political thought of Thucydides
  • Political ideas in Ancient China (Confucius and Laozi)
  • Ancient India and Hindu Political thought
  • Political ideas of Plato
  • Political Ideas of Aristotle
  • Political Ideas of Niccolо Machiavelli
  • Political Ideas of Thomas Hobbes
  • Political Ideas of Augustine
  • Political Ideas of John Locke
  • Political Ideas of Thomas Aquinas
  • The Quran and Political Ideas of Islam
  • Charles Louis de Montesquieu: Forms of Government and Their Principles
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau and the French Revolution
  • Thomas Jefferson, American Revolution and the Idea of Democracy
  • Political Ideas of Grotius and Pufendorf. Natural Law
  • Immanuel Kant‘s political thought
  • Political Ideas of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
  • Early political thought of Karl Marx
  • Political thought of Carl Schmitt
  • Political Ideas of Hannah Arendt
  • Political Ideas of John Stuart Mill
  • Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and development of their political ideas in the XX century
  • Political Ideas of John Rawls
  • Feminist Political Theory and its critics
  • Political Thought in Russia: a Historical Overview
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking In-class participation
    For every seminar student should read the required reading and be able to discuss it in class and answer instructor’s questions on the content of the reading as well as on the contribution of this text to contemporary knowledge of political
  • non-blocking Essay
    In the end of the second module of the course students should write a 2000-word essay. The deadline for the essay is 3 weeks before the final seminar.
  • non-blocking Exam
    Экзамен проводится в устной форме. Экзамен проводится на платформе Zoom (https://zoom.us/). К экзамену необходимо подключиться согласно расписанию ответов, высланному преподавателем на корпоративные почты студентов накануне экзамена. Компьютер студента должен удовлетворять требованиям: наличие рабочей камеры и микрофона, поддержка Zoom. Для участия в экзамене студент обязан: поставить на аватар свою фотографию, явиться на экзамен согласно точному расписанию, при ответе включить камеру и микрофон. Во время экзамена студентам запрещено: выключать камеру, выключать микрофон. Кратковременным нарушением связи во время экзамена считается нарушение связи менее 5 минут. Долговременным нарушением связи во время экзамена считается нарушение продолжительностью более пяти минут. При долговременном нарушении связи студент не может продолжить участие в экзамене. Процедура пересдачи аналогична процедуре сдачи.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.4 * Essay + 0.2 * Exam + 0.4 * In-class participation


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Black, Antony. A World History of Ancient Political Thought: Its Significance and Consequences. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Oxford Scholarship Online, 2016
  • Browning, Gary. A History of Modern Political Thought: The Question of Interpretation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. Oxford Scholarship Online, 2016. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682287.001.0001
  • Oakeshott, Michael. Lectures in the History of Political Thought, edited by Terry Nardin, and Luke O'Sullivan, Andrews UK Ltd., 2007. ProQuestEbook Central

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Augustine. Augustine: Political Writings, edited by E. M. Atkins, and R. J. Dodaro, Cambridge University Press, 2001. ProQuest Ebook Central,