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British Political Ideologies
This course will introduce students to British political ideologies, starting from the mainstream conservative, liberal and social democratic traditions and moving on to more radical ideas such as Marxism, different forms of nationalism and environmentalism. In addition to exploring the key ideas and prominent thinkers of each tradition, it will also look at the impact of ideologies on policy-making, and ask whether some of the more radical ideas have moved from the margins to the mainstream. Finally, the course will look at recent developments and ask whether there is a future for ideology in the age of globalisation, social media, ‘post-truth’ and identity politics.
Tutor: Dr Geoff Andrews is Senior Lecturer in Politics at The Open University. He has written widely on the history of political ideas and movements, including aspects of British and Italian history and the politics of the 1930s. He has taught several courses for the Oxford University Summer School for Adults.
European Union Politics and Institutions: Navigating Through Critical Times
During recent years, the European Union has faced a series of challenges and crises – eurozone crisis, migration, competition from US, Russia and China, Brexit, populism, climate change and the pandemic – some of which have been threatening its unity, and some strengthening its resolve. This course will address these current issues, yet it will also look into past developments of the European project. It will discuss the history of the European Union, the policies, the institutions, the member states and their national politics in a comparative perspective. It will ask whether Europe is federal or intergovernmental. It will look into Europe’s global influence and its position in the multipolar world and will discuss scenarios for the future.
Tutor: Dr Othon Anastasakis is Senior Research Fellow and Tutor in South East European Studies at St Antony’s College, Oxford. He supervises post-graduate students at Oxford's Department of Politics and International Relations and at the Faculty of History. He teaches at the Oxford School of Global and Area Areas Studies and at the Oxford Prospects Programme. He is the Director of South East European Studies at Oxford (SEESOX). He is an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University in Canada, a Visiting Professor at the Prague School of Economics, and Region Head of Europe at Oxford Analytica.
Gender, Power and Social Change: Western Perspectives from the 1950s to the Present
Are sex and gender synonymous? Does gender power have an evolutionary explanation or is it socially constructed? How fluid is sexuality? This course will examine the main theories of gender utilised in evolutionary psychology and sociology with particular emphasis on the origins and perpetuation of a gendered power dynamic in modern Western societies. The course will explore gender and sexuality in the context of the family, personal relationships, employment, education, the media, criminality and the state.
Tutor: Dr Amanda Palmer is a Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford, and the Director of Studies for Human Sciences at Harris Manchester College, Oxford. She is also Chair of Examiners for Human Sciences. She is the Director of the History, Politics & Society Summer School.
Political Economy in a (De)Globalised World
To what extent do we still live in a ‘globalised’ and 'capitalist' world, and how helpful are the concepts of ‘globalisation’ and 'capitalism' for understanding the contemporary international system? This course will introduce students to the discipline of Global Political Economy (GPE), which allows us to address these and other key questions about the world today. Through an historical approach, this course will move beyond the examination of the dominant and classical theoretical perspectives of political economy: mercantilism, liberalism, Marxism. It will offer a framework of analysis and address contemporary political, economic and societal developments including ongoing controversies surrounding such notions as globalisation’, 'limited government‘, and 'Corona Capitalism’.
Tutor: Professor Christian Glossner has been a lecturer in Global Political Economy (GPE) for OUDCE since 2009. He previously worked for various management consultancies, industrial corporations and public sector institutions, including the Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs (ECFIN) of the European Commission in Brussels.
The Social Mind and Matrix
To properly understand the events that have influenced the contemporary world, it is important to understand the minds of the people who have been part of them. This course begins by introducing students to the scientific method used to examine some of the main mental principles guiding social behaviour and macro thought. We then explore how individuals change when in groups, crowds and cults, to better understand how seemingly evil acts can be committed by seemingly ordinary civilians. We end the course by exploring how best to utilise the powerful social forces within us for good, leading not only to individual thriving, but also societal and global thriving.
Tutor: Sabina Funk has a background in neuroscience and now works at Oxford University's Wellbeing Research Centre as a research associate. She is fascinated by the mechanisms of the mind and why we feel, think and behave as we do. She focuses on how this knowledge can be used to better understand the nature of events influencing the modern world.
Warfare in the Modern World
The 20th century has undoubtedly been the most sanguinary in recorded human history. This course will examine the origins, course and results of several regional and civil wars and will set them in their political, economic, religious and ideological contexts. It will also explore the phenomena of guerrilla insurgencies and various military responses to this type of warfare. Clausewitz remarked that 'every age had its own kind of war': we will pick out the threads of our present kind of war - asymmetric or fourth generation warfare.
Tutor: Dr Mark Radford teaches Modern History for OUDCE. He is a former member of the regular British Army and Royal Ulster Constabulary, and has been granted the rare appointment of Honorary Colonel in the British Army Reserves and Cadets in recognition of his long-standing involvement. His latest work on military history, Hondo. A Rhodesian Military Handbook, was published in 2021.