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.
British Politics, 1900-1945
British politics in this period witnessed great change: the impact of two world wars, the introduction of universal suffrage, the sudden arrival of the Labour Party as a governing force, and the rise (and fall) of trade union militancy. This course will examine the nature of these changes, as well as explaining the significant elements of continuity – such as the dominance of the Conservative Party in the inter-war years. There will also be an opportunity to reassess the role played by leading politicians such as Lloyd George, Stanley Baldwin, Ramsay MacDonald, Oswald Mosley and Winston Churchill.
Tutor: Tom Buchanan is Professor of Modern British and European History at Oxford University and a Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford.
European Union Politics and Institutions
During recent years, the European Union has faced a series of challenges and crises – eurozone crisis, refugee influx, competition with Russia, religious fundamentalism, Brexit and rise of populism – which have been threatening its unity and coherence. 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 is associated with the Department of Politics and International Relations and Oxford’s Centre for International Studies. He teaches at the School of Interdisciplinary Areas Studies of Oxford University and is the Director of South East European Studies at Oxford University (SEESOX). He is an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University in Canada.
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 Lecturer in Sociology at St Catherine’s College, Oxford.
Issues and Problems in the Contemporary Middle East
Following the Arab Spring, events in the Middle East have attracted much attention. This course will examine major recent strategic, political, and economic developments in the region and will explore the interests of key outside powers. Topics such as the danger of nuclear weapons proliferation, the importance of oil and gas, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the growing influence of Turkey in the region will be discussed. The prospects for further democratisation will be examined given the Syrian conflict and increasing tensions between Sunni and Shi’a Islam.
Tutor: Dr Gareth Winrow is an independent analyst and part-time tutor for Oxford University Department for Continuing Education (OUDCE); he was formerly Professor in the Department of International Relations at Istanbul Bilgi University, Turkey.
Political Economy in a Globalised World
To what extent do we live in a ‘globalised’ world, and how helpful is the concept of ‘globalisation’ 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’ and ‘global governance’.
Tutor: Dr 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.