PSCI 203 Fall 2012 Introduction to Political Theory

Also offered Spring 2013

Is politics war by other means? Is it merely a practical way to meet our needs? Or is it, rather, the activity through which citizens pursue justice and the good life? And what is justice? How can it be established and secured? What are the powers and obligations of citizenship? Who should rule? Who decides? On what basis? Political theory addresses questions such as these as it investigates the fundamental problems of how we can, do, and ought to live together. The questions have sparked controversy since the origins of political thinking; the answers remain controversial now. This course addresses the controversies, focusing on major works of ancient, modern, and contemporary theory by such authors as Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, Hegel, Mill, Marx, Nietzsche, Arendt, Rawls, and Foucault. Themes may include authority, obligation, power, war, violence, freedom, justice, equality, democracy, liberalism, capitalism, community, and pluralism, though the emphasis will vary from semester to semester.
Class Format: lecture/discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: two or three papers; some sections also have a final exam
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Prerequisites: none; this is an introductory course, open to all, including first-year students
Enrollment Preference: first- and second-year students
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: ENVP PTL Theory/Method Courses,ENVP Society + Culture Electives,LEAD Ethical Issues of Leadership,POEC Required Courses,PSCI Political Theory Courses
Enrollment Limit: 25
Expected Enrollment: 25
Class Number: 1879
PSCI203-02(F) LEC Intro to Political Theory Division 2: Social Studies Nimu Njoya
MR 2:35 PM-3:50 PM Griffin 2 1879
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