Contemporary political issues
Time: 17:30 - 19:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HPC33
Duration: 8 sessions (over 8 weeks)
What is the course about?
Politics in the United Kingdom has to get back to ‘business as usual’ at some point. What are the questions that face us? This course considers eight contemporary issues and equips you with the facts, theories, and arguments so you draw your own conclusions, reflect on the perspectives of others, and make up your own mind.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• What is identity politics? Does it reflect a fundamental human need?
• Have younger generations got a fair deal? What are the implications for housing?
• Are we all environmentalists now? If so, why are we not facing up to the challenges?
• What does it mean to get a trade deal? What is there to negotiate?
• Why is nationalisation back on the agenda? How can Conservatives suggest it?
• Does the free market have a role to play in health and education? If not, why not?
• Who should receive benefit payments? Why do we face tough choices?
• How do we decide what is illegal? Should we punish or rehabilitate criminals?
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Explain identity politics and consider its impact on our democracy
• Discuss intergenerational justice and why it matters to housing policy
• Appreciate why a consensus on green issues is not yet achievable
• Comprehend international trade and identify the winners and losers
• Consider the arguments for and against nationalisation and privatisation
• Understand why market reforms of health and education are controversial
• List the reasons we pay benefits and consider whether current arrangements are fair
• Outline why we punish criminals and evaluate the alternatives.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and no prior knowledge is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Each class is broken down into bite sized explorations of key topics, introduced by the tutor and followed by class discussion; in addition, the tutor introduces the session and sums up at the end to make sure you fully understand the important points. You will be provided with an introductory reading list, but this is designed to enhance your study and, while we encourage you to read up each week, you can follow, enjoy, and contribute to the discussion without doing so.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No other costs. Please have a pen and notebook to hand if you wish to make notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Please check our website for our up to date list of contemporary Politics courses.
Justin is Lecturer in Politics at Brasenose College, Oxford. He also teaches at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford and the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge. He is an Associate Lecturer at the Open University. He holds postgraduate degrees from Oxford, Cambridge, and London.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.