Community, Culture and Citizenship

Course content

This elective focuses on the intersections of political community and cultural pluralism in contemporary political theory, closely examining the interplay between the reality of multiculturalism and the theorization of political and civic solidarity. It will discuss several prominent contributions to this subject, ranging from the 1980s to the present day, highlighting their strengths, weaknesses and the interactions between them. Each approach offers a different interpretation of this relationship and a different set of lessons to be learned in contemporary circumstances, whether the approach be Benjamin Barber’s strong democracy, Iris Marion Young’s concept of the city, David Miller’s national identity, Will Kymlicka’s liberal multiculturalism, or Bhikhu Parekh’s intercultural dialogue.


Bachelor student (2012 programme curriculum): 10 ECTS

Bachelor student (2017 programme curriculum): 7.5 ECTS

Master student: 7.5 ECTS


Notice: It is only possible to enroll for one course having a 3-day compulsory written take-home exam due to coincident exam periods.

Learning outcome


By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate a deeper knowledge of:

  • The concepts of political community, cultural pluralism and citizenship as they relate to the selected literature.
  • The core contributors to this field of study, and how they relate to one another.
  • The various strengths and weaknesses within each theoretical approach.
  • A greater understanding and respect for difference and diversity as concepts in analytic political theory.



Students will develop their skills in:

  • Comparing and analyzing different theoretical perspectives within the selected literature and in political theory more broadly.

  • Applying key theoretical concepts to new and unexpected political developments relating to the field of study.

  • Critically reflecting on concepts and how they relate to broader theoretical approaches.

  • Understanding the historical and theoretical relationships between seemingly discrete positions and approaches.



In addition, students will be able to:

  • Elucidate and critically assess the concepts and theories studied in this elective, making reference to real-world events, issues, and political developments.
  • Communicate complex ideas and concepts to their peers through presentations and group discussions.

The teaching and learning methods for this elective will take the form of lectures, class discussions, student presentations and written assignments.

Community, Culture and Citizenship reading list (in order of study)

Barber, B. (1984) Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age (2nd edn., 2004), University of California Press: Berkeley

Barber, B. (2015) “Can Democracy be Multicultural?”, in Multiculturalism Rethought: Interpretations, Dilemmas and New Directions (Uberoi, V. and Modood, T. eds.) Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh, pp. 300-328

Young, I.M. (1990) Justice and the Politics of Difference, Princeton University Press: Princeton

Young, I.M. (2000) Inclusion and Democracy, Oxford University Press: Oxford

Miller, D. (1995) On Nationality, Clarendon Press: Oxford

Miller, D. (2000) Citizenship and National Identity, Polity Press: Cambridge

Kymlicka, W. (1995) Multicultural Citizenship, Oxford University Press: Oxford

Kymlicka, W. and Norman, W. (2000) Citizenship and Diverse Societies, Oxford University Press: Oxford

Parekh, B. (2000) Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity and Political Theory (2nd edn., 2006), Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke

Parekh, B. (2008) A New Politics of Identity: Political Principles for an Independent World, Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke

Modood, T. (2010) Multiculturalism, (2nd edn., 2013), Polity Press: Cambridge

No specific and non-standard competences are required for attending this course. An interest in political theory is preferred.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)


Continuous feedback will be provided during the course of the semester and feedback will be provided on assignments once graded.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
3-day compulsory written take-home assignment
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment
  • Grade 12 is given for an outstanding performance: the student lives up to the course's goal description in an independent and convincing manner with no or few and minor shortcomings
  • Grade 7 is given for a good performance: the student is confidently able to live up to the goal description, albeit with several shortcomings
  • Grade 02 is given for an adequate performance: the minimum acceptable performance in which the student is only able to live up to the goal description in an insecure and incomplete manner

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 28
  • English
  • 28