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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sooenn Park
POL S 273
Seattle Campus

The Concept of Political Power

How to understand and explain relationships of power. Readings from Marxism, Weberian sociology, anarchism, classical political philosophy, and contemporary political science. May also include works of fiction.

Class description

Why and in what ways does the concept and phenomenon of power become a political “problem” in modern politics? How should we locate power in the historical development of modernity in the midst of the general tendency toward industrialization, capitalization, democratization, and liberalization? In this course, we will read political theorists including Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Marx, Gramsci, Althusser, and Foucault to explore ways to understand the centrality of power as a political problem in our existence and imagination today. Students are encouraged to consider and examine how power produces or prevents, or is itself produced or prevented by, such principles and practices as freedom, equality, friendship, community and justice.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lecture, films, students' presentation, and discussion

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Participation, 25%; Presentation 25%; Response papers 25%; Final Exam 25%


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.
Last Update by Sooenn Park
Date: 05/13/2011