As Instructor of Record

POLS-Y382: Modern Political Thought (Spring 2020)

Click here for syllabus.

Introduction

At the beginning of 2020, it seems safe to say we are in an era of political change, both domestically and internationally. Many who live in advanced Western capitalist societies believe the problem is that the political norms of these societies are either being eroded from within or being challenged by the rise of nonliberal democratic regimes globally. Others, however, claim that the development of Western societies in the past several decades has betrayed, or at least deviated from, important modern political values, such as freedom, equality, autonomy, reason, etc. These ideas that are being heatedly debated right now originated in the upheavals of early modern Europe. The long history of modern political thought not only reflected the explosive social changes during those centuries but also fueled many of these changes. The thinkers we will read in this class, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, de Maistre, Mill, Marx, and Weber, are products of the radical transformation of their societies. In turn, their political theories inspire later generations to fight for (or against) things we value. Since these thinkers’ ideas constitute a major part of our political language today, it is important to develop an understanding of them in order to make sense of our own political world today and to think about ways of improving, or even possible alternatives to, our society.

 

As Associate Instructor

POLS-Y379: Ethics and Public Policy (Spring 2019)

POLS-Y100: American Political Controversies (Fall 2018, Fall 2019)

POLS-Y105: Intro to Political Theory (Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018)

POLS-Y103: Intro to American Politics (Fall 2016)

POLS-UA140: Socialist Theory (Fall 2014)