Intro to Mod Poli Theory

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Political Science

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Modern Political Theory
Fall 2022
Taught By: Andreas Kalyvas
Section: A

CRN: 13983

Credits: 4

This course offers an introduction to canonical texts, central concepts, and the main themes and debates that have shaped modern European political thought from the beginning of the sixteenth to the closing of the nineteenth century. What is modern political theory? What makes it modern and to what attributes does it own its modernity? Certainly there is, on the one hand, the rise of a new form of political association, the modern state as the primary subject of politics, law, and violence and, on the other, a gradual disassociation of the public sphere from church and religion. But what principles and values, aspirations and ends, came to animate the modern political vocabulary, thus distinguishing it from a before and an after? And how did the Enlightenment affect political discourse and debate? The course focuses on this conceptual and theoretical innovation in modern political discourse. We will discuss the rise of sovereignty as the master category of modern political thought and engage with the deployment of social contract arguments to explain, subvert, and re-found political power, social obligation, and individual consent. We will, of course, consider theories of disobedience, resistance, and revolution and the modern reinvention of democracy. Hence, of central importance are questions related to popular sovereignty and representation, the split between government and society, the dynamics of participation and inclusion, the tension between individual rights and political liberty, the private/public distinction, and the intertwinement of law and power in the making of constitutional democracy. Finally, we will examine the transition from nature to history and the struggle between the universal and the particular as reflected in the five intellectual and political protagonists of this period: republicanism, absolutism, conservatism, liberalism, and socialism.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Political Science (LPOL)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 12, 2022 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: December 18, 2022 (Sunday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few 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: 5:30am EST 2/6/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Tuesday, Thursday
Times: 4:00pm - 5:40pm
Building: 6 East 16th Street
Room: 912
Date Range: 8/30/2022 - 12/15/2022