PLSC 300B: International Political Thought
MWF 1:40pm / LSC
International political theory addresses the ways in which the nature of international politics may be explained, understood and judged. It approaches these topics from theoretical texts and concepts (rather than empirical, historical material). This class will examine and attempt to bridge the disciplinary divide between International Relations and Political Theory in three units. In the first unit, we will read classical political philosophy texts that address questions of international relations, which form the basis for many contemporary debates in international relations. In the second unit, we will examine major theories of the international system -- such as realism, liberalism and various critical theories -- and link them up to their classical influences. In the third unit, our task will be to examine three contemporary issues (human rights, globalization and terrorism) in light of the classical texts and major theories discussed. Contributions to theorizing international politics in the tradition of Western political theory will include examining the ideas of Thucydides, Augustine, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, and Marx.
PLSC 302: American Political Thought
MWF 11:30am / LSC
PLSC 304 (WI): Ancient Political Thought
TTh 10:00am / LSC
The ancient Greeks were the first people to investigate rationally what is today called "multi-culturalism"--the multiplicity and variety of the "ways" of human life. In Greece we discover the beginnings of an enterprise which came to be known as "political philosophy," which can be defined as the investigation into the various ways of life, with an eye toward determining the best way of life for human beings. The best or most appropriate way of life for human beings is the way most in accordance with human nature, and with the nature of the world. Political philosophy is associated above all with one man, its founder, Socrates. We will be concerned chiefly with him, through an intensive study of Plato’s Republic. But we will also consider two classical alternatives to (or variants on) the Socratic enterprise portrayed by Plato: Thucydides, a historian, and Aristotle, a student of Plato and the man usually regarded as the founder of political science properly understood. Both have much to teach about the deepest issues of concern to human beings, then or now. We will also consider a play about communism by Aristophanes, Socrates’ contemporary.
PLSC 310 (WI): Catholic Political Thought
TTh 1:00pm / LSC
If someone believes that Jesus is the Christ, what should that person’s political commitments be? If another person’s faith is different, will that fact alter her political commitments? To what extent and why? This course explores the answers to these questions offered by the Roman Catholic tradition of political thought. The problems to be discussed include religious pluralism, moral decay, natural law, distributive justice, political obligation, war, and peace. Both classical and contemporary texts will be examined. Students of every faith and no faith are encouraged to enroll.