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.
Contemporary British Politics
This course aims to shed light on the secret places in British politics, particularly exploring the location of power between the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and Parliament. The prospect of constitutional change in Scotland is considered in depth along with the centrality of the National Health Service (NHS) both to electoral politics and also to fiscal policy appropriation. The recent fortunes of Britain's two main 'governing parties' are also analysed. In particular, why the Labour party, so dominant under Tony Blair when winning landslide victories, has witnessed a decline in its electoral performance. Conversely, the course explores the challenges facing the Conservatives during 13 years of opposition and how Boris Johnson has sought to revive the party's appeal. External policy is not neglected. The issue of how and why Brexit occurred is considered alongside the perennial state of the Anglo-American 'special relationship'.
Tutor: Dr Martin Holmes was Lecturer in Politics at St Hugh's College, Oxford, 1987-2009, since when he has been an (Hon) member of the St Hugh's College Senior Common Room. He teaches on OUDCE's Foundations of Diplomacy course, and is the author of six books on British politics.
European Union Politics and Institutions
During recent years, the European Union has faced a series of challenges and crises – eurozone crisis, refugee influx, competition from US, Russia and China, radicalisation, Brexit, rise of populism and the pandemic – some of which have been threatening its unity, and some strengthening its resolve. This course will address these issues, yet it will also look into past developments of the European project. It will discuss the history of the European Union since its inception, 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 University'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 of Oxford University. He is the Director of South East European Studies at Oxford University (SEESOX). He is an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University in Canada 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 Chair of the Institute of Human Sciences at Oxford University and a Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford; she is also Director of Studies for Human Sciences at Harris Manchester College, and Director of the History, Politics & Society Summer School.
Political Economy in a 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.
Responding to Crisis: Refugees, States and Borders Since 1918
The recent mass flight from Syria is a reminder of what happens when war, state collapse, or environmental breakdown engulfs a society. Yet the experience is not new. What is new is the way in which the world is being blocked off to the free movement of desperate peoples. This course will chart the historical course of increasingly dystopian international responses to humanitarian crisis and what - as human beings - we can do about it. Case-studies covered will include the population exchanges at the end of the Ottoman Empire, Holocaust rescue efforts, and the emerging environmental refugee crisis.
Tutor: Dr Mark Levene is Reader in Comparative History at the University of Southampton. His writing ranges across genocide, Jewish history and environmental and peace issues especially focusing on anthropogenic climate change. He is co-founder of Crisis Forum and founder of the Rescue!History independent academic networks.
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 - and explicit comparisons will be drawn, where appropriate, with the contemporary situation in Iraq and Syria.
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 recently 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 Irish policing was published by Bloomsbury in 2015, and he currently contributes to the British Army Review.
(More courses to be announced in January 2021.)