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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

David Watkins
BIS 362
Bothell Campus

Contemporary Political Ideas and Ideologies

Explores the juncture of political ideology with political experience in the context of such widespread ideas as nationalism, democracy, and socialism, and their diverse manifestations in contemporary political movements and systems.

Class description

This course will serve as a general introduction to the political ideologies that shape our modern world--our political and social institutions, and the worldviews through which we understand both them and ourselves. While other political ideologies will be discussed, the lion's share of our attention will be given to liberalism as political ideology and the three main competitors to liberalism in the modern world--strong democracy, conservatism, and socialism/Marxism.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

An eclectic mix of lectures, socratic discussions, debates, small-group exercises and in-class writing.

Recommended preparation

None required; a willingness to tackle difficult and abstract reading material will be essential, however.

Class assignments and grading

An essay-based midterm and final, a few short essays, regular participation in class discussions and activities.

Precise grade distribution TBA. Approximate: Midterm and Final 30-35% each; papers and other assignments 30-40%.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by David Watkins
Date: 06/10/2005