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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Michael Forman
Tacoma Campus

American Political Theory

Considers major issues and traditions in American thinking about democracy, citizenship, membership, and justice. Focuses on works by important thinkers from the Founding to the twentieth century. Includes conflicting visions and tensions associated with the demands of newly rising social groups, and American identities.

Class description

The focus will be on the changing notions of freedom, democracy, citizenship, individuality, and justice, with some attention paid to sources and paths not taken. We will look at some points of crisis –the ratification of the Constitution, the Civil War and long term class, race, and gender tensions – to examine how ideas in conflict shape conceptions of what it means “to be an American,? what it means to say that “we are free,? what it means to say that “we are equal,? and what it means to speak of “America’s place in the world.?

Student learning goals

identify, interpret, and criticize the principal works in American political theory

recognize and discuss the major analytical and normative categories that inform American political thinking

reconstruct and participate in historic and on-going debates

General method of instruction

Lecture and discussion

Recommended preparation


Class assignments and grading

In-class essay tests, multiple choice quiz, participation

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 Michael Forman
Date: 03/10/2010