Political Science | Political Philosophy: Reinventing Liberalism
Y675 | 25780 | Hanson

Course time change:  6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Topic:  Reinventing Liberalism

In this seminar we explore Anglo-American reactions to
industrialization during the late 19th and early 20th centuries,
when classically liberal notions of self, society and state were
reworked in different ways.  Some of the new versions of liberalism
were unique to Britain, and others to the United States, but an
important class of innovations appeared in both countries as
reformers forged alliances across the Atlantic.  Thus, Herbert
Spencer brought Social Darwinism to the U.S., Henry George touted
agrarian reform in Britain, and advocates for women’s rights
organized in both places. We will map some of the most important
transatlantic connections, and examine ways in which liberal ideas
developed on one side of the Atlantic were selected, adapted, and
applied on the other.  The result will be a richer catalog of the
varieties of Anglo-American liberalism in this time period, a better
understanding of the political processes that produced and
disseminated them in popular culture, and a deeper appreciation for
the political dimension of political theory..

Much of the reading will be in primary sources, but the secondary
literature will include:

Nancy Cohen, The Reconstruction of American Liberalism, 1865-1914

Robert Kelley, The Transatlantic Persuasion: The Liberal-Democratic
Mind in the Age of Gladstone

Daniel T. Rodgers, Atlantic Crossings: Social Politics in a
Progressive Age

James T. Kloppenberg, Uncertain Victory: Social Democracy and
Progressivism in European and American Thought, 1870-1920

T. J. Jackson Lears, No Place of Grace: Antimodernism and the
Transformation of American Culture, 1880-1920

James Livingston and Alan Trachtenberg, Pragmatism and the Political
Economy of Cultural Revolution, 1850-1940

Participants in the seminar will each lead a week’s discussion,
prepare one book review, and write one research paper.