Undergraduate Course Code: POL480H1S L0101
Studies in Comparative Political Theory
We will critically examine what “comparative political theory” is and what it would mean to genuinely “deparochialize” political theory, that is, to de-center Euro-American thought in the study of political ideas. The course neither presupposes background knowledge of any non-Western thought tradition, nor does it aspire to provide students with sufficient knowledge of particular traditions to ground serious scholarly contributions to this emerging field. To provide that background would require a series of specialized courses in, e.g., East Asian political thought, Indian political thought, Latin American political thought, Indigenous political thought, African political thought, and so on. Rather, the course aims at sharpening our understanding of (a) the purposes served by “deparochializing” political theory; and (b) the various methods by which we can seek to serve these purposes
Texts will include works by contemporary theorists such as John Rawls, Thomas Nagel, Jurgen Habermas, Iris Young, Seyla Benhabib, Martha Minow, and Drucilla Cornell.
Format and Requirements
Weekly participation, seminar presentations, and term papers.