POL S 509
Introduction to central themes in political theory and the works of major political theorists, past and present.
Description. We will study a selection of the most important classical and contemporary texts of political theory. The theme of the course is democracy. What is the democratic ideal, and how is it best achieved? What are the major benefits and costs of democracy? Can one speak of a democratic culture or way of life? How should democracies cope with difference and disagreement? Because of the minimal overlap in content, students who took Pol S 509 from either Professor Di Stefano or Professor LaVaque-Manty can receive an additional 5 credits by taking this installment of the course.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Texts. Tentative list of readings: Locke, Second Treatise of Government; Locke, Letter Concerning Toleration; Rousseau, Social Contract; Hegel, Philosophy of Right; Mill, On Liberty; Arendt, The Human Condition; Rawls, Political Liberalism, Habermas, Between Facts and Norms; Kateb, The Inner Ocean. Not all these texts will be read in their entirely.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments. Besides completing the reading and participating in seminar, students will write two 5-10 page papers.
Grading: First essay: 40 %; Second essay: 40 %; Seminar participation: 20 %