POLS 326 01 Modern Political Theory TR 1335

Term: Spring 2013
Course No: Political Science 326
Course Title: Modern Political Theory
Instructor: John M. Parrish
Course Description (principal topics covered):
This course surveys the Western tradition of political thinking from the Protestant Reformation
to the end of the 19th century. Major attention will be devoted to the political thought of Thomas
Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Stuart Mill, and Karl Marx. Other theorists
considered will include figures from the Protestant Reformation and Late Renaissance (Luther,
Calvin, Bodin, Montaigne, Grotius); the Enlightenment (Montesquieu, Hume, Mandeville, Adam
Smith, The Federalist, Paine, Burke, Wollstonecraft, Bentham, Kant); and the 19th century
(Constant, Tocqueville, Hegel, Nietzsche).
Student Learning Outcomes:
Students will learn to carefully examine and critically engage with key texts in the history of
Western political thought.
Prerequisites/Recommended Background:
At least one course in political theory or moral philosophy, or permission of the instructor.
Required Texts/References:
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (Cambridge).
John Locke, Two Treatises of Government (Cambridge).
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract and Discourses (Everyman).
John Stuart Mill, On Liberty and Other Essays (Oxford).
Karl Marx, Selected Writings (Hackett).
Students are expected to do all of the reading and to come to each class prepared to discuss the
material. Grades will be based upon 3-4 in-class debate exercises, a final paper of 12-15 pages,
periodic reading quizzes, and discussion/attendance.
This will be a challenging course with substantial reading requirements, but also with substantial
opportunities for intellectual growth.