Political Science | Liberty and Its Enemies
Y200 | 23079 | Furniss
In this course we will explore the trade-offs between the
value of individual liberty and the presumed requirements of a
decent society and a democratic political order. What are our
responsibilities to our families, our society, our country? What
restrictions on our liberties might be warranted in the name of
family cohesion, social harmony or national defense? On the other
side what are the dangers that social, economic, or political forces
and demands might overwhelm our personal freedoms?
We begin considering these and related questions with John
Stuart Mill’s famous treatise, On Liberty. We pay specific attention
to how Mill’s ideas have shaped our understanding of First Amendment
rights. We next investigate the proposition, “no liberty for the
enemies of liberty.” Our focus will be on Germany and the United
States. Our major text is Rosenbaum, Explaining Hitler. We conclude
the course by putting our ideas to work in trying to identify the
major issues in the troubled relationship between the liberty and
homeland security in post 9/11 America. Our major text is
Dershowitz, Why Terrorism Works.
There will be two examinations and a number of quizzes.
There will be no final examination.