Fall/Winter Timetable

POL485H1S L5101

Graduate Course Code: POL2027H1S L5101

Topics in Political Thought II

Power and Interest in Political Theory


The need to consider interest and power as fundamental political concepts (on a par with, e.g., liberty, equality, democracy, and justice); liberal, radical, and conservative conceptions of interest and power; interests and power as characteristics of individuals, groups, and/or social systems; methods of evaluating and critiquing—analytically and normatively—assertions of interest and deployments of power.


To include some but probably not all of the following: Arendt, On Violence; Becker, The Economic Approach to Human Behavior; Elster, Securities Against Misrule; Foucault, The History of Sexuality; Galbraith, American Capitalism; Hirschman, The Passions and the Interests; Hobbes, Leviathan; Lukes, Power: a Radical View; Marx, Capital (selections); Weber, Economy and Society; various articles and selections (e.g. from Bentham, Bourdieu, Mansbridge, Shklar, I.M. Young)

Format and Requirements

One two-hour seminar per week. Course requirements TBA.


POL200Y1/ or POL200Y5 or (POLC70H3 & POLC71H3)