Black Politics

Course focuses on the evolution, nature, and the role of African-Americans within the American political system. The concern is with African Americans as actors, creators and initiators in the political process.

Social Contract Theory

Course investigates the use of social contract as a device to legitimize specific forms of social and political organization. Explores the origins of the social contract tradition, its most influential iterations in early modern philosophy and its revival in contemporary philosophy. We will study the role of social contract theory in the rise of liberalism, the question of the legitimacy of the state and the right to resistance. Course will also ask about the limits and exclusions intrinsic to the social contract as it has been developed historically,

Injustice, Domination and Exploitation

What is injustice? Why it is wrong if one group dominates another? How does exploitation work? Is imperialism wrong, necessarily? Recent years have witnessed a surge of theoretical and philosophical inquiry into the nature and forms of injustice including misogyny, racism and economic exploitation. Will read and discuss works by a diverse range of authors like Tommie Shelby, Kate Manne and Miranda Fricker. Will encounter classic works on the nature of justice by authors like John Rawls.

Information, Technology, Ethics, and Policy

The evolution of the internet and other information technologies and the related policies and regulations that have emerged both internationally and nationally (in the United States). The tensions surrounding the access to information and the controversies about content, such as issues of free speech. Includes an internet monitoring project designed to encourage in-depth analysis in order to place technology policy in their historical evolution and context. Explores the contemporary political and social impacts of the internet and other information technologies. Instructor: Rogerson.

Chinese Culture and Ideology

Exposes students to cultural and literary expressions and representations of modern China from the beginning of the 20th century to the present; focus on issues of politics and ideology and the formation of Chinese exceptionalism; the beginning of the 20th century (1900-1949) and the Mao era (1949-1976); contemporary China since the era of reform and opening up (1978-present); comparative, interdisciplinary approaches of intellectual and cultural history, literary and cultural studies, and political science.


Study of the republican political theory and its historical tradition. Emphasis on key concepts of this tradition, including freedom as non-domination, virtue, the mixed constitution and the common good. Study and comparison of the Roman Republic, English, American, Italian and French republic trends. Readings include Cicero, Machiavelli, Milton, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Arendt and contemporary neo-republican scholarship. Instructor: Rousseliere.

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.).

Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Prosperity and Distribution in the Long Run

Overview of the different explanations of the economic development of nations in the long run and the differential patterns of distribution within them.  Approach is global (what explains the dynamics of global inequality, the contrast between the developed and the developing world), historical (long term structural constraints and early institutional choices and their legacies), and analytical (theoretical identification of the mechanisms during the wealth and poverty of nations, and the methodological strategies to approach them empirically).  Instructor: Beramendi.

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.