Inequality in Western Political Thought

Study of egalitarian and inegalitarian theories in the history of Western Political Thought. Distinction between forms of inequality (political, economic, social, racial, gender, etc.). Analysis of what kind of equality should be achieved (resources, opportunities, rights, respect, etc.). Connection of equality with other political and moral issues (freedom, responsibility, class conflict, well-being, poverty, exclusion, solidarity, difference, etc.).

Legal Analysis for Development Governance

Using case scenarios, we apply a legal analytical framework to development-related governance challenges in investment, trade, environment, land, community and human rights, health, corruption, corporate social responsibility, consumer literacy, children's legal personality and other sectors. "Rules of the Game" and legal rules. Three levels: international, national (constitutional), community.

Information, Ethics and Policy

The development of the Internet and other technologies as media of communication and the politics, policies and regulations that have emerged both internationally and nationally. The political aspects of the access to information on the Internet and other technologies and the more controversial issue of content.

Roman Political Thought and Its Modern Legacy

Why does Rome still capture the imagination of modern political commentators and theorists? This course examines Roman political thought as it was conceived under the Republic, reimagined under the Empire, and transformed by Christianity. Topics may include the Roman constitution, liberty, equality, property, slavery, rights, citizenship, civil religion, political corruption, rhetoric, imperialism, just war theory, and cosmopolitanism. Instructor: Atkins. 

Israel/Palestine: Comparative Perspectives

Introduction to the Israel/Palestine conflict, studied through an interdisciplinary lens, including scholarship from the fields of anthropology, environmental studies, history, geography and cultural studies. Themes include: competing nationalisms, environmental politics and resource management, peace building, refugees and displacement, humanitarian crises and challenges, representational politics. Range of primary sources will be used including human rightes reports and testimonials, natural resource policies, feature and documentary film, memoirs, political treatises, and maps.

Citizenship, Patriotism, & Identity

This course introduces students to fundamental moral questions about nation states and individuals' membership in them. Do people owe more to their compatriots than to foreigners? It is desirable - or at least permissible - for countries to have and promote a national identity? What different forms can patriotism take, and in which (if any) of these forms is it a virtue? Should we all be "citizens of the world?" These questions will be explored primarily through readings in contemporary moral and political philosophy. Open only to students in the Focus Program. Instructor: MacMullen.

The Past and Future of Capitalist Democracy II

Continuation of POLSCI 679S The Past and Future of Capitalist Democracy I. Intensive engagement with core texts and arguments concerning the relationship between markets and democracy, economics and politics: special attention to equality and inequality, ecological limits, and the challenges of the post-2008 crisis period. Readings include F. Hayek, K. Polanyi, J. Dewey, W. Lippmann, F. Hirsch, F. Fukuyama, T. Piketty. Instructor: Purdy.

The Past and Future of Capitalist Democracy I

Intensive examination of theories of capitalism and democracy. Will study whether democracy and capitalism conflict; whether either is viable and self-correcting in the long term; competing theories of freedom, equality, and progress; relevance of ecological limits, sustainability, and resilience; alternative perspectives, including socialism and traditional conservatism.  Attention to current debates, such as Piketty and inequality, climate change; major engagement with founding theorists of these issues, including Adam Smith, J.S.

The Middle East Through Film

Film as access into the region through a series of direct, as well as poetic connections woven across films viewed, filmmakers featured, lectures, discussions, and texts read. By means of the integration of course components and students' weekly responses, an understanding of the region is developed by way of inquiry into and rigorous engagement with cultural production.  From feature length films to shorts, the breadth of the work we will engage with includes documentaries, dramas, and less traditional forms.