Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code POLI217
Coordinator Professor P Shirlow
School of Histories, Languages and Cultures
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 5 FHEQ Second Semester 15


This module will develop understanding of: texts, case studies and hegemonic practice in a global context law-making within social, sectarian, ethnic, philosophical and political contexts problems and ambiguities of state hegemony both in conceptual and practical delivery terms the complex legal relationship between past and inheritor regimes the use of evidence-based research in challenging laws of lustration/vetting conflicting 'moral' discourses and politics of exclusion.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will understand the meaning, construction and  impact of state hegemony.

(LO2) Students will have gained an insight as to how state hegemony can be guided by negative as well as positive strategies.

(LO3) Students will understand state hegemony is practiced through, de-barring and vetting across different legal systems.

(LO4) Students will understand the complex legal relationship between past and inheritor regimes.

(LO5) Students will understand vetting, disbarring and lustration processes and the their construction and impact.

(LO6) Students will achieve inter-disciplinary learning between politics, social policy, law and criminology.

(LO7) Students will study relationships of power and how these affect power-making and its delivery.

(LO8) Students will learn how to read the social, political and cultural context of law making.

(S1) International awareness

(S2) Ethical awareness

(S3) Organisational skills

(S4) Communication skills



Topics covered during this module may include:

What is State Hegemony? Introductory lectures and seminars will provide students with an appreciation of the nature and meaning of state hegemony. In practical terms, these lectures and seminars will study how power is constituted in the realm of ideas and knowledge and there remit under policy and law. It will also explore how hegemony is contested and how challenge is linked to counter-narratives of legitimacy. The idea of power achieving or aiming to achieve a ‘hegemonic’ form will also be examined with regard to wider debates about inclusion and citizenship and the construction of civil society. I ntroductory seminars and lectures will also examine the construction of hegemony as both rhetoric and the pull and force of law making. The module will argue that we need for justice as a counter to state hegemony needs to be conceived more ‘thickly’ and in so doing account for how state practice vets and bars members of society from public office, state employment or other services and normal activities;

Vetting and Barring in Post-Invasion Iraq: Laws of De-Ba'athification. Students will examine the laws of De-Ba’athification and the vetting mechanisms produced to remove selected members of the Ba’ath Party from public office and employment. It will examine the aim of those laws of lustration, the conflict over their dimensions and the link between these laws and power-grabbing within the post-invasion process. Students will become more acquainted with the disputes and legal arguments linked to the construction of vetting principles;

De-Ba'athification: The impact upon Iraq's 'transition'. The reaction to laws of De-Ba’athification will be presented with regard to how law-making fuses ethno-sectarian alliances and related conflict. Students will come to appreciate how vetting practices are skewed by the agency of ethno-sectarian power construction and wider cultural and political processes;

De-Ba'athification: The distortion of due process through legal authority. Prof. Shirlow has undertaken extensive work on De-Ba’athification in Iraq will present evidence collected with proponents and opponents of Ba’athification. The transfer of this knowledge will permit students to understand how the promotion and enactment of vetting in Iraq undermined due process and other transitional mechanisms. It will examine in particular the experiential impact of law enactment;

Fair Employment Treaty Order (FETO): The case of conflict related former prisoners in Northern Ireland. We here examine the impact of regime change. In this case the collapse of the unionist state, and the subsequent use of fair employment legislation to remove discriminatory practices. This will include analysis of why conflict-related prisoners were exempted from such legislation and the reasons therein;

The impact of vetting and de-barring upon conflict-related former prisoners. Based upon extensive survey work students will examine how disbarring from FETO impacts upon the lifestyle, opportunities and failure of re-integration due to extensive vetting legislation. It will provide students with an appreciation of how law making in the UK aims to subvert transitional justice outcomes;

Challenging FETO: The Neeson, McComb and McConkey/Marks Cases. There have been a series of legal challenges to the exclusion of former conflict-related prisoners due to on-going vetting. We will here examine specific appeals and examine how these have led to the verification of discriminatory practice but judicial criticism of those laws. Students will come to understand the tussle between law and the pursuit of the cessation of vetting practices;

Vetting public employees: Lustration after the ‘Coup’ in Turkey. The ‘coup’ in Turkey directed or perceived as being directed at th e AKP’s hegemony has been followed by massive purges of those who are deemed to be anti-state. Turkey, at present, has more journalists in prison than any other society. Nearly 100,000 state employees have been vetted and removed. The AKP government’s response to the ‘coup; will be examined with regard to state securitization that operates under a “state of emergency”. Purging and vetting will also be positioned with regard to the rise of Turkish nationalism and the rejection of more reformist ideas of civil society and citizenship.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Description: 11 x 1 hour lectures
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Method 2 - Seminar
Description: 11 x 1 hour seminars. Seminars will be used to discuss issues raised in lectures in more depth.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 11


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 128


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Exam There is a resit opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment. Standard UoL penalties will apply.    50       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Essay There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalties will apply. This is an anonymous assessment.    50       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.