Contexts of Politics (POL125)


This course introduces students to contexts of politics. This knowledge is crucial for a better understanding of how politics are influenced by other areas of social life and how political groups use hot questions to pursue their aims. The topics covered include science, human nature, religion, history, culture, law, as well as newest postmodern trends in political science itself.

Aim of the Course

This course is mostly theoretical, but real life examples will be used to illustrate the points made during lectures. Most importantly, however, students will receive knowledge about how different aspects of social life are influencing politics. Critical thinking will also be encouraged and used during the course, especially when analyzing misuses of science and abuses of politically important questions. This will be useful in further studies for argument analysis and adding wider context of politics to one's future studies.

Learning outcomes

  • To explain how human nature influences human behavior and, consequently, politics.
  • To identify various beliefs shaping politics and attitudes towards politics and classify them according to their understanding of human nature.
  • To explain the origins and attributes of quasi-religious core of political ideologies.
  • To comment on historicism and analyze the abuses of history as a political tool.
  • To explain how the law and political institutions are dependent on visions of human nature and what are their consequences for politics.
  • To explain the interrelationships of science, religion and politics and define how these relations impact politics.
  • To identify what are implications of culture (in the anthropological sense of the word) for politics and how mass culture might be manipulated for political needs.
  • To define influence of new popular trends in academia on politics and political science.