Professor/InstructorAnna B. Stilz
An introduction to political theory that explores the relevance of theory to a critical understanding of political and social problems. The course will examine the major classical and contemporary expressions of liberal, conservative, and socialist theory and relate them to the problems of order, freedom, equality, and justice. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
An introduction to the national institutions and political processes of American government. Topics include the Constitution, the American political tradition, public opinion, interest groups, political institutions, civil rights, civil liberties, and public policy. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Introduction to Comparative Politics
Professor/InstructorAlisha Caroline Holland
This course will focus on the process of democratic transition and consolidation in a comparative and historical manner. In particular, we will analyze the democratic revolution that has swept the globe during the last 30 years by examining the communist and authoritarian backgrounds of newly democratized countries, the factors influencing the emergence of democracy, the problems associated with building stable democratic systems, and finally, the prospects for a regime shift in parts of the world still under autocratic rule. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
A comprehensive introduction to the major issues of contemporary international relations. The course presents competing theoretical perspectives and reviews the historical record to explore such puzzles as the causes of war, explanations of cooperation, the behavior of states, and the proper ethical standards for judging international relations. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Introduction to Game Theory
This course serves as an introduction to strategic issues in politics as well as non-cooperative game theory. The course develops the basic concepts and equilibrium concepts of normal and extensive form games with both complete and incomplete information. We will look at collective action problems, bargaining, voting, legislative politics, deliberation, deterrence and campaigns. Evaluation is through problem sets, exams and a short paper in which students develop their own model and analysis. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Ancient and Medieval Political Theory
This course focuses on classical political theory in ancient Greece and its appropriation and development in the Roman, medieval, and Renaissance periods. It examines Greek democracy, drawing on tragedy, rhetoric ,and history; the ethics and politics of Plato and Aristotle; and the Roman republican thought of Cicero and Livy. It considers the influence of Plato on Augustine and More, Aristotle on Aquinas and Marsilius, and Cicero and Livy on Machiavelli. Topics include nature and convention; democracy, oligarchy and tyranny; church and state; consent and representation; and virtue, property, and law. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Continental Political Thought from Rousseau to Nietzsche
An examination of the development of political thought in Europe from the second half of the 18th century to the end of the 19th. The course will focus on Kantian, Hegelian, and Marxist developments in this tradition. Emphasis on the important role played by different conceptions of freedom, human nature, and history in the political thought of the period, with particular attention to issues concerning autonomy and authority, the nature of the state, and the limits to state power. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Modern Political Theory
Professor/InstructorGregory Andrew Conti
A study of the writings of some major political theorists from the 17th through the 19th centuries, including Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, and J. S. Mill. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Conservative Political Thought
A historical and analytic examination of conservative political theories. Topics include the classical and medieval roots of modern conservatism, the development of conservatism in Europe and America, fascism and the radical right, and the tensions between libertarianism and traditionalism in contemporary conservative thought. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Radical Political Thought
This course will examine traditions of political thought--mostly, but not only, on the Left--which challenge mainstream conceptions of liberal democracy and modern capitalist society. The main focus will be on Marxism, anarchism, feminism, religious radicalism, ecological thought, and critiques of alienation in everyday life. Particular attention is paid to the relationship between political and cultural criticism, and to the philosophical anthropologies underlying different theories as well as the mechanisms for social change they envisage. We also ask if liberal democratic thought can effectively respond to radical challenges.
A study of the intellectual foundations of the modern democratic state. Topics include the meaning and justification of democracy, the rationality of voting, political representation, property rights, civil disobedience, and education. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
The Just Society
Professor/InstructorAlan W. Patten
An introduction to alternative theories of social justice and examination of the implications of those theories in areas of contemporary social and political controversy. Readings and lectures focus on utilitarian, libertarian, liberal egalitarian, communitarian, and feminist conceptions of what it means to live in a just society. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Ethics and Public Policy
Professor/InstructorSteven A. Kelts
This course examines basic ethical controversies in public life. What rights do persons have at the beginning and end of life? Do people have moral claims to unequal economic rewards or is economic distribution properly subject to political design for the sake of social justice? Do we have significant moral obligations to distant others? Other possible topics include toleration (including the rights of religious and cultural minorities), racial and gender equity, and just war. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Politics and Religion
Close study of a number of texts that have illuminated the connection between religiosity and politics, and, in particular, the role of religious language and ideas to establish, preserve, reform, and redeem republics. Special attention will be given to the religious dimensions of revolutionary and messianic politics, and to the role that religiosity has played in the development of contemporary social movements and in the moral and political resistance to totalitarian regimes. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Professor/InstructorCharles R. Beitz
What, if any, norms of justice apply to the institutions and practice of world politics? Topics include "political realism" and skepticism about global morality; just wars and justice in warfare; ethics of humanitarian intervention; the nature and basis of human rights; world poverty and global distributive justice; and democracy and accountability in global institutions. Readings chosen from recent works in political philosophy. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
American Constitutional Development
Professor/InstructorKeith E. Whittington
The development of American constitutionalism, considered historically as the product of legal, political, and intellectual currents and crises (e.g., the Founding, the Marshall and Taney eras, the slavery crises, the rise of corporate capitalism, the emergence of the modern state, the New Deal crisis, and new forms of rights and liberties). Topics include the growth of Supreme Court power, the court's relation to the states and the other federal branches, and the influence on constitutional understandings of economic developments, reform movements, wars, party competition, and legal and political thought. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
Professor/InstructorRobert Peter George
A study of the development of the United States Constitution, chiefly through close analysis of selected judicial decisions. One 90-minute lecture, one two-hour preceptorial.
A study of selected problems concerning civil liberties in contemporary America, with specific focus on privacy and on problems derived from living in a pluralistic society. One 90-minute lecture, one 90-minute class.
Law and Society
An exploration of the relationships between law and society, using judicial and other materials from the American legal system. Topics considered include the stages of legal development, law and morality, judicial decision making, formal resolution of disputes, social control through law, the political nature of law, and courts. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
An introduction to the political science of law and courts. Topics typically include: bargaining and decision making on the U.S. Supreme Court; political struggles over doctrine within the judicial hierarchy; the politics of Supreme Court nominations; juries as political institutions; court packing, jurisdiction stripping, and judicial intimidation; political use of litigation by activists, firms, and interest groups; judicial oversight of the administrative state; judicial activism by state attorneys general; and the social and economic impact of courts. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
American Political Thought
The origin and development of political ideas and institutions. Drawn from primary sources, the readings feature the ideas and deeds of those who from colonial times to the present have shaped the American concept of free government. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
An examination of public opinion and mass political behavior, particularly in the American context. Topics include formation of political attitudes and ideology, conflict and consensus on basic issues, political participation and voting, the effects of the media, and the impact of public opinion on governmental policy. Two lectures, one preceptorial or laboratory.
An examination of party organization and activities, the forces that shape them, and their consequences. The course is concerned primarily with U.S. party politics in the contemporary period but gives some attention to American political history and foreign party systems. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
An examination of the role of Congress in American politics, with a special focus on the political world of individual legislators. The course explores how legislators run their campaigns, interact with their constituents, operate within Congress, and make public policy. Two lectures, one preceptorial.
The Presidency and Executive Power
A study of the place of the presidency in the American political order that stresses tension between power and accountability inherent in the office and the system. Topics include: separation of powers, presidential selection, impeachment, relations with Congress and bureaucracy, emergency powers, presidential character, and leadership. Two lectures, one preceptorial.