Modern Political Thought
This course looks at some of the more influential political theory texts of the 18th and 19th centuries. We focus on competing understandings of key concepts and tensions contained within political thought both leading up to the French Revolution and in its wake. The first term is focused on thinkers who help elucidate debates concerning the meaning of the concepts of “liberty”, “equality” and “fraternity”, as the key triad informing the politics of the French Revolution. During the second term, authors and texts will be divided into those who accept the basic conceptual terrain of post-revolutionary politics and those who develop a more radical contestation of it.
TBA but will include selections from Montesquieu, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, Kant, John Stuart Mill, Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche.
Format and Requirements
Two papers and a final exam, each worth 33 1/3 %. Bonus marks for participation.
POL200Y1 / POLC70H3 and POLC71H3