Political Science | American Political Ideas 2
Y384 | 3729 | McDougall


What is American political thought and what does it contribute to the
field as a whole? Some scholars argue that American political thought
has its own unique history and development, otherwise known
as “American Exceptionalism.”   Critics, on the other hand, argue
that the United States has not culture of its own and is merely an
extension of  European thought. In this course we will examine the
origins of American political thought and its major developments in
the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  Focusing on the key themes,
influences, and thinkers of these two decades, we will read selected
essays and novels by Madison, Thoreau, Cady Stanton, Gilman, Arendt,
Dewey, MLK, Putnam, and others.  Particular topics include: does
American political thought stem from liberalism or civic
republicanism? What is the role of the individual in society?  What
is the role of intellectuals? Who is a citizen? And is there a crisis
in American political thought?