Oligarchy: The Politics of the Few

New School for Social Research: Politics

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Graduate Course

Degree Students (with Restrictions)


Spring 2021

Taught By: Andreas Kalyvas

Section: A

CRN: 9527

Credits: 3

This course examines the political theory and conceptual history of oligarchy from Greek and Roman antiquity to Western modernity and the age of capitalist globalization. We will treat oligarchy as a central yet evolving political concept through which we can explore and interrogate the relationship between wealth and power, private property and public authority, state and social classes, legal rights and economic inequalities, capitalism and democracy in an attempt to elucidate and reconstruct the broader paradigm of politics that became associated with this concept. The course also focuses on the different forms and modalities of the politics of the few rich, their source of legitimacy, their claims to rulership, and their hierarchies, entitlements, and exclusions. Respectively, we will critically investigate how oligarchy, which in the long tradition of political thought, has been defined in tension with democracy, has in the last two centuries gradually fused with it giving birth to new political forms such as the representative governments of liberal competitive oligarchies.

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Politics (GPOL)

Campus: Online (DL)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: February 8, 2021 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 13, 2021 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every five minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 12:56am 7/1/2021 EDT

Meeting Info:

Days: Wednesday

Times: 4:00pm - 5:50pm

Building: Online Course

Date Range: 1/20/2021 - 5/5/2021