Political Science | Modern Political Ideologies
Y281 | 29093 | Craiutu


Y281. MODERN POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES


Fall 2011                                             OFFICE: 401
Woodburn Hall


DESCRIPTION. One of the most important factors which shaped the course
of modern history has been the development of political ideologies.
For most of the twentieth century, the clash between liberalism,
conservatism, fascism, socialism, and communism dominated world
politics. Their proponents put forward comprehensive agendas for
social and political change that affected the lives of millions of
people. Today, political life continues to be dominated by political
ideologies and in this country the approach of a new election season
is a great time to revisit them in broader comparative and historical
perspective. This is what we shall do in this course. Our selected
readings will offer us an opportunity to engage in a critical
evaluation of liberalism, libertarianism, conservatism, socialism, and
communism by focusing on key theoretical texts that served as
blueprint for political action. The readings for this class include
representative selections from J. Locke, The Federalist Papers, E.
Burke, K. Marx, E. Bernstein, J.S. Mill, M. Rothbard, M. Oakeshott, A.
Solzhenitsyn, and A. Bloom. We will also try to address several
controversial contemporary issues such as health-care, immigration
reform, emergency powers, and gun control reform. The requirements for
the class include a mid-term and a final exam, and two selected
papers. The class will be divided in several groups and students will
be asked to argue (on selected topics) from a political perspective
that is different from their own in order to better understand the
viewpoints of those who disagree with them in politics.

REQUIRED BOOKS:

David Wootton, Modern Political Thought: Readings from Machiavelli to
Nietzsche, Hackett, 2008, 2nd enlarged ed. ISBN 978-0-87220=897-1

Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind, Simon & Schuster, ISBN:
0671657151