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Rise of the Modern State


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5

Module description

This module examines the social, political, cultural and intellectual changes which gave rise to modern political systems in Europe.

The modern state may be defined as a political body with a monopoly of the means of violence and primacy in making laws within a given territory. It has been the dominant social institution since its origins in the sixteenth century and has been subject to a continuing process of development in its structure and functions from that time until the present day.

The course is designed to give you the basic knowledge and conceptual apparatus needed to understand the factors that gave rise to this institution and have shaped its subsequent development. Particular attention is paid to the state’s control over society, to the evolution of state institutions, the effects of processes of globalisation on the state, and to the political theories that have defined and legitimated the authority of the state.