Democracy: Ancient and Modern

Examines democracy in its ancient and modern forms, with special attention to Athenian and American democracy. Does modern democracy fulfill the promise of ancient democracy, or betray its fundamental tenets? Topics may include freedom, equality, and rights; democratic institutions; citizenship; rhetoric; democratic knowledge and decision-making; foreign policy; corruption; religion; and hope. One course.

Course originates in Classical Studies.

Culture and Politics in Turkey and the Middle East

Examination of cultural identity and politics in Turkey and modern Middle East. Using Istanbul as a classroom, considers how representations of the Middle East are contested and gendered, analyzing such icons as "veiled women" and "terrorist men" and political implications of such representations. Topics include emergence of new social movements and paradoxes of secularism, Islamism, globalization, and neoliberalism in various settings. Offered only in the Duke in Turkey program. One course. 

Course originates in Slavic and Eurasian Studies.

American Democracy: Two Centuries of Creating Institutions to Achieve its Principles

Analysis of American democracy: rooted in stirring sentences (“all men are created equal”), yet knowingly designed imperfectly. How have American political institutions been created and recreated? Is “a more perfect union” possible or illusory? How can we reconcile politics that often expands political opportunities for citizens, yet leads politicians to a shutdown they claim they did not want? Open only to students in the FOCUS Program. Instructor consent required. One course.

Ancient and Modern Liberty

Introduction to various conceptions of liberty in Greek and Roman political and philosophical writing. Considerations of such questions as: what is distinctive about the modern conceptions of political and civil liberty; whether there is any necessary ethical connection between liberty and virtue, or whether there is liberty and active citizenship, or liberty and privacy; whether ancient conceptions of liberty can still serve as a model in contemporary politics and should be considered exemplary or inferior to modern conceptions of freedom. Open only to students in the Focus Program.