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, what it means to its 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 their ideas of democracy and republicanism. By examining the key themes and issues of liberalism and conservatism, we look at pluralism from a variety of perspectives, asking each tradition to address the conundrums of individualism and pragmatism. What are the political and institutional arrangements we need to have democratic pluralism valued in America? How are issues of civil rights—especially in relation to class, race, gender, religion, ethnicity, age, and ableness—and civil liberties (especially the First Amendment freedoms) rooted in the American political tradition? Is there a postmodern challenge to American liberalism? Is there a 9/11 challenge to it? Readings include the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, The Federalist Papers, the Port Huron Statement, and the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville, Robert Dahl, John Rawls, Michael Sandel, C. Wright Mills, Herbert Marcuse, and Antonin Scalia, among others.

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: 2:10pm 8/25/2019

Meeting Info:

Days: Tuesday

Times: 6:00pm - 7:50pm

Building: TBD

Room: TBD

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