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MA in Civilisation, Terrorism and Dissent

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  • Objectives
    Maintaining its long-established reputation as a UK centre for research and teaching in political theory and philosophy, the Department is launching an MA in Civilisation, Terrorism and Dissent. The aim of this very timely new programme is to provoke intellectual work of the highest possible quality into the actions and ideologies of leading international players, such as the US and UK administrations, the United Nations, WTO (and other facets of the institutional architecture of the global economy) and groups using overt violence such as Al- Qaeda and Hezbollah. One recurring question is, in what ways do assumptions about civilisation, progress/ development and barbarism underpin the actions and conflicts between such actors?
  • Academic Title
    MA in Civilisation, Terrorism and Dissent
  • Course description
    During their year with us, full-time students study one
    core module and two options in each of the two
    semesters, and then write a 15,000 word dissertation on
    a related topic over the summer. Part-time students
    spread this work over two years, taking at least the core
    modules in their first year, with the dissertation being
    taken in the second year. Part-time students distribute the
    remaining four options over the two years (in consultation
    with the Department).

    Programme structure


    Discourses of Civilisation and Barbarism (Semester one)
    Changes in the discourses of civilisation and barbarism
    have had profound effects on power and domination
    within all recorded societies, whether national, international
    or global. Starting with ancient Greece, this module
    analyses the Christian and Islamic worlds, considers
    nineteenth and twentieth century attitudes such as one
    finds in the work of John Stuart Mill and R.G. Collingwood,
    and concludes with a consideration of contemporary
    political ideologies embodied in the theory and practice
    not only of the West (particularly the US) but of countries
    and actors across the globe.

    Terrorism, Civil Disobedience and Dissent (Semester two)
    Civil disobedience and dissent were recurring features of
    all societies even before concerns about terrorism took
    centre-stage in the contemporary world.With this in mind
    (and building on the previous core module) this course
    explores different attitudes to rebellion and political
    conflict, especially the justifications offered for terrorism,
    civil disobedience and dissent. It covers such figures as
    Socrates, Thoreau, TH Green, Lenin, Mao, Sorel, Marx,
    Horkheimer, Marcuse, Mandela, Bedau and bin Laden.


    In each semester, students choose two optional modules
    from among the Department’s large range of
    postgraduate course, probably the most relevant for this
    programme being (subject to availability):
    Capitalism, Alienation and Power
    British Idealist Political Thought
    Frameworks of Global Governance: Freedom,
    democracy and the new imperialisms
    Globalisation and Governance in Practice
    Hegel and Marx: Selected texts
    Political Theory of Multiculturalism
    Governing Global Finance
    International Relations Theory 1: Classical and Postclassical
    International Relations Theory 2: Practical case studies
    Other options may also be available in other departments
    at Hull, such as Philosophy and Law.

    Period Three

    15,000 word dissertation within the broad area of
    civilisation, terrorism and dissent. Students choose a topic
    that interests them, and – in consultation with a
    supervisor who is an expert in the field - refine and
    research the area, before producing the final version of
    their masterpiece. This allows students to throw
    themselves into the area that fascinates them most.

    Gaining your MA is usually only one very significant step
    in a life in this field. Many of the Department’s former
    students have gone on to jobs in academia, and in
    parliaments around the world and regional organisations
    such as the EU, in lobbying organisations and NGOs and
    in the military. Many others have gone into the private
    sector, including management consultancy at
    PriceWaterhouseCoopers, financial journalism with Dow
    Jones Capital Markets, and publishing with the Indian
    head-office of one of the world’s leading academic

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