This field interprets, critiques, and constructs philosophical conceptions and arguments concerning morally appropriate and prudent standards and purposes for political actors and regimes. Topics include historically influential theories, the genealogy of political ideas, democratic theory, and contemporary theories of legitimacy, identity, ethics, the good society, and social justice.
Normative Political Theory & Philosophy
- 6 courses selected from the Normative Political Theory and Political Philosophy listing
Students work with the Field Director to develop an individualized curriculum, and will generally take all the Normative Political Theory and Political Philosophy courses over a period of three years. There are also designated courses that count among the theory courses, courses in the law school, courses in religious studies, psychology and other departments.
You will take a written and oral exam no later than September 30 of the third year of your graduate study. The written and oral examinations will assess whether or not you have attained a firm command of the literature in this field.
Each students who passes the qualifying procedure in Normative Political Theory & Political Philosophy is required to submit and present for defense before a committee of faculty in that field an original, plausibly publishable research paper on a relevant topic. The paper must be submitted no later than the end of the first semester of your third semester of graduate study. The committee administering the preliminary examination may pass a student with distinction on the basis of both your performance in the qualifying procedure and in your paper presentation and defense.
- 4 courses selected from the Normative Political Theory and Political Philosophy listing
Participate in the workshop for post-prelim students focused on writing academic articles.