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Throughout the 2021-22 academic year, we will be prioritising face to face teaching as part of a blended learning approach that builds on the lessons learned over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic. Teaching will vary between online and on-campus delivery through the year, and you should read guidance from the academic department for details of how this will work for a particular module. You can find out more about the University’s overall response to Coronavirus at: https://warwick.ac.uk/coronavirus.

PH382-15 Democracy and Authority

Department
Philosophy
Level
Undergraduate Level 3
Module leader
Sameer Bajaj
Credit value
15
Module duration
10 weeks
Assessment
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

PH382-15 Democracy and Authority

Module aims

The aim of this module is to introduce students to fundamental questions and theories about the nature of political authority and the authority of democratic institutions.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

  1. The Question of Political Authority
  2. The Authority of Democracy: Critics and Advocates
    -Anarchism
    -Rule by the Knowers
    -Democracy as Collective Self-Rule
    -Democracy as Equality
    -Democracy as Freedom
    -Epistemic Democracy
  3. The Obligations of Democratic Citizenship
    -Disobedience and Protest
    -Why Vote?
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • (i) demonstrate understanding of the central questions and theories concerning the nature of political authority
  • (ii) demonstrate understanding of the central theories defending and opposing the authority of democratic institutions
  • (iii) demonstrate the ability to relate key questions and concepts in the philosophy of political authority to broader philosophical questions and concepts concerning morality, epistemology, and metaphysics.
Indicative reading list

Joseph Raz, selections from The Morality of Freedom

Stephen Darwall, “Authority and Reasons: Exclusionary and Second-Personal”

Plato, selections from The Republic

John Locke, selections from Second Treatise of Government

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, selections from The Social Contract

David Estlund, selections from Democratic Authority

Thomas Christiano, selections from The Constitution of Equality

Hélène Landemore, selections from Democratic Reason

Fabienne Peter, selections from Democratic Legitimacy

Gerald Gaus, selections from The Order of Public Reason

Daniel Viehoff, “Democratic Equality and Political Authority”

Robert Paul Wolff, selections from In Defense of Anarchism

Alex Zakaras, “Complicity and Coercion: Towards an Ethics of Political Participation”

Hanna Pitkin, selections from The Concept of Representation

Tommie Shelby, "Justice, Deviance, and the Dark Ghetto"

Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”

Kimberley Brownlee, selections from Conscience and Conviction: The Case for Civil Disobedience

Juliet Hooker, “Black Lives Matter and the Paradox of U.S. Black Politics: From Democratic Sacrifice to Democratic Repair”

Subject specific skills

-By the end of the module students should have an understanding of the central questions, concepts, and debates concerning the general nature of political authority, the authority of democratic institutions, and the obligations of democratic citizenship.

Transferable skills

-By the end of the module students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the main literature in these debates.
-By the end of the module students should be able to critically analyse the arguments for and against the key positions defended in the literature.
-By the end of the module students should be able to demonstrate their understanding of the central questions, concepts, and debates discussed in the module in speech and writing.
-By the end of the module students should be able to draw connections between the key ideas and arguments discussed in the module to other problems and debates in philosophy.

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 18 sessions of 1 hour (12%)
Seminars 8 sessions of 1 hour (5%)
Private study 124 hours (83%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description

No private study requirements defined for this module.

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group A2
Weighting Study time
1,000 word essay 20%
2,500 word essay 80%
Feedback on assessment

Essays will be returned with written feedback, in line with the Philosophy department’s policies and guidance on giving feedback to students.

Courses

This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 3 of UCXA-Q8V7 Undergraduate Classical Civilisation with Philosophy

This module is Optional for:

  • UHIA-V1V8 Undergraduate History and Philosophy (with Year Abroad and a term in Venice)
    • Year 3 of V1V8 History and Philosophy (with Year Abroad and a term in Venice)
    • Year 4 of V1V8 History and Philosophy (with Year Abroad and a term in Venice)
  • Year 3 of UHIA-V1V7 Undergraduate History and Philosophy (with a term in Venice)
  • UPHA-V700 Undergraduate Philosophy
    • Year 2 of V700 Philosophy
    • Year 3 of V700 Philosophy
  • Year 4 of UPHA-V701 Undergraduate Philosophy (wiith Intercalated year)
  • UPHA-V702 Undergraduate Philosophy (with Work Placement)
    • Year 4 of V702 Philosophy (with Work Placement)
    • Year 4 of V702 Philosophy (with Work Placement)
  • Year 2 of UPHA-V7ML Undergraduate Philosophy, Politics and Economics

This module is Core option list A for:

  • Year 3 of UMAA-GV17 Undergraduate Mathematics and Philosophy
  • UMAA-GV19 Undergraduate Mathematics and Philosophy with Specialism in Logic and Foundations
    • Year 3 of GV19 Mathematics and Philosophy with Specialism in Logic and Foundations
    • Year 3 of GV19 Mathematics and Philosophy with Specialism in Logic and Foundations

This module is Core option list B for:

  • Year 2 of UMAA-GV17 Undergraduate Mathematics and Philosophy
  • Year 2 of UMAA-GV19 Undergraduate Mathematics and Philosophy with Specialism in Logic and Foundations

This module is Core option list C for:

  • Year 4 of UMAA-GV19 Undergraduate Mathematics and Philosophy with Specialism in Logic and Foundations

This module is Option list A for:

  • UPHA-VL78 BA in Philosophy with Psychology
    • Year 2 of VL78 Philosophy with Psychology
    • Year 3 of VL78 Philosophy with Psychology
  • Year 4 of UPHA-VL79 BA in Philosophy with Psychology (with Intercalated year)

This module is Option list B for:

  • Year 2 of UHIA-V1V5 Undergraduate History and Philosophy
  • UPHA-VQ72 Undergraduate Philosophy and Literature
    • Year 2 of VQ72 Philosophy and Literature
    • Year 3 of VQ72 Philosophy and Literature
  • Year 4 of UPHA-VQ73 Undergraduate Philosophy and Literature with Intercalated Year

This module is Option list C for:

  • Year 3 of UHIA-V1V5 Undergraduate History and Philosophy
  • Year 4 of UHIA-V1V6 Undergraduate History and Philosophy (with Year Abroad)

This module is Option list E for:

  • Year 2 of UPHA-V7MW Undergraduate Politics, Philosophy and Law