Death of Socialism (L2137)
Death of Socialism
Module details for 2009 cohort.
FHEQ Level 6
By the end of the course students should be able to:
1. Design and produce a substantial work of analysis and argument, presented in accordance with professional scholarly standards.
2. Access primary and secondary materials through the use of extensive IT skills and be able to use appropriate software packages.
3. Have an appreciation of the current relevance of the topic.
4. Closely read, analyse and use texts and data.
5. Understand the nature and scope of the topic at hand.
Following the collapse of state socialism in Central and Eastern Europe and elsewhere, the erosion of the central principles of Western social democracy and the prevalence of free market and capitalist ideas at the start of the century this course looks at the contemporary condition of socialism. Is socialism a relevant, feasible or desirable idea in contemporary society? Or is it dead, merely a historical relic of the 20th century? The course will start by looking at the two predominant conceptions and experiences of socialism of the twentieth century - Marxist and social democratic socialism. What are the main features of these models of socialism? It will then examine criticisms of socialism from liberals and libertarians - such as Hayek and Nozick - and from new social movements - such as the women's movement and the green movement. What critical points are raised by these perspectives and how telling are they? We will look at reasons for the collapse of state socialism in the late 1980s and at attempts in the West to rethink socialism during an era in which neo-liberalism was a predominant force. Do liberal and new social movements criticisms and the collapse of state socialism suggest that socialism is dead? Do attempts to redefine socialism (as market socialism or radical democratic socialism) escape the criticisms of liberals and the new social movements and the problems experienced under old social democracy and state socialism? Or do they indicate that the era of socialism has well and truly passed? In the final two topics we shall address this question a little more. We will examine the attempt of New Labour and current European social democrats to respond to the crisis of social democracy and will ask whether there is anything remaining of socialism in such attempts. And we shall examine theses such as that of Fukuyama: that the day of socialism has passed and that capitalism has won the battle.
|Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.|
|Essay||Autumn Week 8||100.00%|
|Essay (4000 words)||Spring Term Week 1 Wed 16:00||70.00%|
Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.
Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.
|Autumn Term||LECTURE||1 hour||111111111100|
|Autumn Term||SEMINAR||2 hours||111111111100|
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