American Political Thought: Theory and Practice

Schools of Public Engagement: Social Sciences

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Majors Only

American Political Thought

Spring 2020

Taught By: Karsten Struhl

Section: A

CRN: 6697

Credits: 3

We look at the philosophical and cultural meanings of American political thought, at what it means to the proponents and why its dark side worries its detractors. With a nod to natural law and social contract theory, we turn to America’s founders and to their ideas of democracy and republicanism. We examine the key themes and issues of liberalism, conservatism, neo-conservatism, and radicalism of both the left and the right, and we look at the tradition of American individualism and pluralism from a variety of perspectives. We analyze the ways in which civil rights and civil liberties (particularly the First Amendment freedoms and idea of privacy) are rooted in the American political tradition. We consider such topics as the legacy of slavery and the race problem, the socialist and anarchist tradition, modern liberalism and its challengers, different ideas of democracy and economic justice, women’s rights and feminism, mass incarceration, the climate change crisis, the America dream, the aftermath of 9/11, the alt-right, and the threat of Fascism. Readings include the Declaration of Independence, the U. S. Constitution, the Federalist Papers, the Port Huron Statement and the writings of Thomas Jefferson, Henry David Thoreau, Eugene V. Debs, Emma Goldman, Bell Hooks, Robert Dahl, Milton Friedman, W.E.B. Dubois, M.L. King, Malcolm X, Michelle Alexander, Naomi Klein, and Noam Chomksy.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Social Sciences (NSOS)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Lecture (L)

Max Enrollment: 22

Enrollment Status: Open*

*Enrollment 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: 4:55am 10/20/2019

Meeting Info:

Days: Tuesday

Times: 6:00pm - 7:50pm

Building: TBD

Room: TBD

Date Range: 1/21/2020 - 5/5/2020