– the scope includes ONLY political doctrines covered during the course and all texts covered during the course are understood as political theories.
The limit for the essay: 2500 words.
Use standardized format (pdf, word) and font which is easy to read (not to small, and standard shape – not Comic Sans, for example).
1) Please, read the Plato’s dialogue “Apology” which tells us about philosophy of Socrates http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/apology.1b.txt. (Why do we read Plato in order to learn about Socrates? While reading, please find out what conclusions about Socrates’es approach to politics we can draw? Illustrate them with relevant fragments from the text.)
2)Machiavelli and the early modern statecraft-
Please find the link to Machiavelli, chapters from 1 to 17 are assigned. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1232/1232-h/1232-h.htm
While reading, please find the fragments best illustrating:
– the general vision of politics included in the text
– the characteristics of the good statesman.
Do you think it applies to contemporary politics? think about your own examples.
3) :Thomas Hobbes: the state of nature and the social contract
Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, chs. 1316. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3207/3207-h/3207-h.htm#link2HCH0013.
My major questions are:
– how Hobbes characterizes humans?
– why we need state?
– who is the ultimate source of power in the state?
4) John Locke – liberal approach to the state of nature and social contract
John Locke, Second Treatise on Government, chrs. 16 http://www.gutenberg.org/files/7370/7370-h/7370-h.htm
5)The Communist Manifesto, Ch.III. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm#007. Please read it text carefully and compare marxism with liberalism on the basis of the texts you already know (Locke & partly Hobbes) and the Manifesto. Find similarities and differences. How to distinguish somebody with Marxist political views? What is feudalism? What is capitalism?
6)John Rawls and the principles of modern social-democracy
“The Theory of Justice” by John Rawls
“The Theory of Justice” by John Rawls. Please read carefully the fragments of part I, up to page no. 22. Try to compare Rawls with liberalism and marxism – find relevant quotes.
What are the “original position”, “the veil of ignorance”. What rules people will agree upon under the veil of ignorance? Varieties of conservatism
Oakeshott, Michael. “On Being Conservative.” In Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays, 2nd edition, pp. 407-437. Liberty Fund: Indianapolis, 1991.
7)Please, read this essay by M.Oakeshott and compare conservatism with liberalism, marxism, and social-democracy. Find relevant fragments.
Sylvia Walby: Theorising Patriarchy, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990. Ch. 7 “State”
Please, read chapter 7 “State” from the book by Sylvia Walby: Theorising Patriarchy. How the state and major political doctrines are seen from the perspective of feminism?
9)Nationalism, fascism, and populism.
the third major ideology connected with fascism and populism – nationalism.
Mann, Michael. Fascists. Cambridge University Press, 2004, ch. 1 “Sociology of fasict movements”
What are the features of fascism, one of the most vague concepts in political debates, and still frequently used. How fascism differs from populism?
Mudde, Cas, Rovira Kaltwasser, Cristobal.; Populism: A Very Short Introduction, chapter 1
Please, read this short chapter discussing what is populism.
- Write an article “Why there is a worldwide shortage of vanilla” by C.D. in The Economist.
- What were the most surprising things you learned from this article?
- Write a research essay explaining how one theme in the novel Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler provides insight into or comments on our contemporary world.
- Write a book review of the insecure city: space, power, and mobility in Beirut.
- What is most important to you about a bank – swag/freebies, customer service, lowest/competitive rates, or ease of online access/app usage?
- Briefly describe other elements of the work(s): the form, the style of language, verisimilitude, and other elements we’ve discussed in class.
- Write a research paper on drug use among first generation college student.
- Explain why Recreational Marijuana Should Be Legal?
- Write a research paper on whether the healthcare should be a fundamental human right.
- Discuss some of the factors that lead to the acceptance of false beliefs as well as some of the factors that lead us to recognize and reject false beliefs.