Law and Political Theory

Module code: LW3430

Module co-ordinator: Joe Wills

Module outline

How does the law relate to power? How does it interact with other institutions in society? Does it serve the interests of all equally or does it favour particular groups? Do certain forms of ideology inform the law’s operation? Do we have an obligation to obey the law, and if so, why and when? These are the sort of questions that are explored in this module. They are addressed in the context of examining four different approaches to the law: liberalism, anarchism, animal rights theory and Marxism. This course is well suited to students interested in political theory, philosophy and exploring a subject matter critically and in-depth. 

Topics covered

  • Political Obligation and the Law (anarchism vs liberalism)
  • Marxist Approaches to the Law
  • Animal Rights Theory and the Law


  • 40 one-hour lectures
  • 6 one-hour tutorials


  • Essay 1, 3,000 words (40%)
  • Essay 2, 4,000 words (60%)