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Fall 2018 course descriptions and schedule

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CEL 100 Great Ideas of Politics and Ethics in Comparative Perspective

MWF | 12:55-1:45 pm | Class #93228 | Professor Trevor Shelley

TTh | 10:30 - 11:45 am | Class #93229 Honors Only | Professor Karen Taliaferro 

This course introduces fundamental debates and ideas of politics in both the West and beyond. It surveys ancient, medieval and modern thinkers in the Greek, Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions, tracing their influences on contemporary debates with focus on the great questions of human nature, social and political life, and the relationship between religion and politics. We study both the ideas and historical statesmanship of such figures as Plato, Cicero, Tertullian, Aquinas, Saadyah Gaon, Maimonides, Al-Farabi, Ibn Rushd (Averroes), and Al-Ghazali, as well as various leaders and writers from modernity in America and abroad. This lecture course will include separate discussion to encourage active learning, and students will write analytical papers and make a class presentation.

 

CEL 294 Debates in American Public Policy and Civic Affairs

MWF | 2:00-2:50 pm | Class #90305 | Professor Sean Beienburg

A university education should prepare thoughtful citizens for lives of participation and leadership in the self-government of a liberal democracy, and this requires awareness of why citizens in such republics or democracies constantly debate issues of liberty, equality, and social order and also appreciation of how and why to discuss contentious policy issues in a civil manner. This course discusses some basic principles of public debate and politics in a free political order, and contending views - from a range of sources - about major issues of our time to include free speech, the proper role of government, a social safety net, free markets, and America's role in international affairs. Students will regularly participate in formal debates in the course.

 

CEL 300 Capitalism and Great Economic Debates

TTh | 9:00-10:15 am | Class # 93220 | Professor Peter McNamara

TTh | 12:00 -1:15 pm | Class # 93218 Honors Only | Professor Peter McNamara 

Exploring fundamental ideas and debates about economics and political economy in Western civilization, from ancient Greece to our globalized era, especially the major arguments about commerce and capitalism – ideas that continue to shape economic debates in America and internationally, thus providing crucial foundations for future leadership roles in either public affairs or the private sector. Classic thinkers discussed in this seminar course include Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Montesquieu, Smith, Marx, Keynes, and Hayek, to understand the larger concepts of political economy and justice that provide crucial context for continuing debates about free markets, capitalism, economic efficiency, and inequality or fair opportunity.

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CEL 394 Tocqueville on Liberty, Equality, and Democracy

TTh | 10:30-11:45 am | Class #90348 | Professor Zachary German

Tocqueville's Democracy in America has been described as "the best book ever written on democracy and the best book ever written on America." What this description suggests is that Tocqueville's writings contain deep insight into the nature of democratic societies and the character of the United States beyond his particular historical context. Tocqueville prompts us to consider the relationship between democracy and politics, law, philosophy, religion, economics, the arts, education, and more. We will read Democracy in America closely, and we will evaluate the extent to which "Tocquevillean" analyses shed light on contemporary democratic challenges in the U.S. and beyond. Students will lead class discussions, write analytic papers, and deliver a presentation.

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CEL 394 Democracies in Crisis

MWF | 11:50 am-12:40 pm | Class #90349 | Professor Jakub Voboril

Is American democracy in a crisis? If it is, how can we respond? This course seeks guidance in answering these questions from the history of political thought. Throughout the course, we will be particularly interested in those ambiguous political leaders whose proponents saw them as populist heroes but whose opponents saw them as aspiring tyrants. The course will examine ancient Athens, ancient Rome, and early America and include writings by Plato, Plutarch, Montesquieu, and James Madison among many others.

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CEL 394 - Topic: Public Debate, Rhetoric, and Clashing Ideals

MW | 4:30 - 5:45 p.m. | Class #94243 | Professor Duncan Moench

In this course, we examine the core texts and ideas behind liberalism, conservatism, socialism, and fascism; in doing so, we will explore how the rhetorical construction of these different political belief systems often mirror their values and ideology. This course will empower students by providing the tools and history to understand their own beliefs as well as other people's. We will discuss the major political ideologies of the Western world beginning with Athenian democracy and continuing on through the rise of the Enlightenment and reactions to it. Honors Contracts available for this class 

CEL 394 Entrepreneurialism and Innovation

TTh | 1:30-2:45 pm | Class #92245 | Professor Ross Emmett

Creating and sustaining an entrepreneurial and innovative society is essential for the economic health of any nation. But what should we do, and what shouldn’t we do? Can anyone, anywhere be innovative and entrepreneurial? If innovation and entrepreneurship are not happening in a nation, is it the fault of the market, culture and people, institutions, or politics? Put differently, what can individuals do (or not) to foster an innovative society? What can organizations do (or not)? What can the policy process do (or not)? What can politicians do (or not)? And are the answers to those questions different in different political/cultural/ economic settings? Those are the questions of this course.

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CEL 394 Ideological Origins of Anglo-American Liberty: Four Modern Revolutions

MWF | 9:40-10:30 am | Class #90351 | Professor Charles Drummond

The tumultuous seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were marked by the English Revolution (1642-51), the Glorious Revolution (1688-89), the American Revolution (1775-83) and the French Revolution (1789-99). These centuries were also marked by the emergence of great thinkers including Thomas Hobbes, James Harrington, John Locke, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Edmund Burke. This course examines the development of political thought in early modern Great Britain and early America. It takes as its centerpiece the text and context of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. While the focus of the course is chiefly historical, students will additionally focus on the enduring legacy of the Atlantic republican tradition and the Founding Fathers in contemporary political discourse.

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CEL 494 Law of the Constitution: Governments and Powers

T | 4:50-7:35 pm | Class #90307 | Professor Sean Beienburg

This course examines the judicial power within the American constitutional order, especially the Supreme Court, and the crucial forms of our constitutional order within which courts operate and which they are supposed to help maintain: separation of powers, federalism, and rule by the law of the Constitution itself. We confront the origins of the stature that federal courts hold in American politics, as the most powerful unelected judiciary ever known - indeed, the model for judicial power around the globe; and we especially examine what the Supreme Court has declared about the meaning of the Constitution regarding federalism, separation of powers, the powers of the different branches of government, to include the emergency and foreign policy powers of the President. We also study the debates about standards for constitutional interpretation, and beyond our selected readings of constitutional law cases we will study other legal readings that raise fundamental questions of interest to thoughtful citizens and future leaders.

Honors Only

CEL 294 Women in Political Thought and Leadership

TTh | 9:00-10:15 am | Class #90328 Honors Only | Professor Carol McNamara

The role of women in the family and society is a persistent and foundational theme in the history of political thought from Sophocles' Antigone, Plato's presentation of the equal role of women in the Just City in his Republic, to the discussion of women by modern liberal political thinkers like John Locke in the Second Treatise of Government, John Stuart Mill's The Subjection of Women, and contemporary feminist writers from across the political spectrum. This course combines the treatment of women in the history of political thought, however, with the discussion of women in leadership roles in social and political movements and history. In the final section of the class, we will address a selection of case studies of women leaders in political life. These might include Elizabeth I, Catherine the Great, Victoria, Indira Ghandi, Golda Meir, Benazir Bhutto, Margaret Thatcher, and Hillary Clinton.

CEL 394 Liberalism and Conservatism in America

TTh | 3:00-4:15 am | Class #90347 Honors Only | Professor Zachary German

This course will examine two of the most prominent categories in American politics today: "liberalism" and "conservatism." Since both liberals and conservatives often have disagreements among themselves, we will study the intellectual origins and philosophies of the varieties of liberalism and conservatism in the United States, including classical liberalism, progressive liberalism, libertarianism, constitutional conservatism, traditional conservatism, and more. By providing students with a deeper understanding of the diverse viewpoints that shape the beliefs of American citizens, the course will help students to grapple more deeply with their own political and social positions, and it will prepare students to be leaders amid the diversity of American social and political life. Students will read philosophic texts closely, write analytic papers, and participate in class discussions.

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CEL 494 Political Thought: Islam, Hinduism, and Confucianism

TTh | 1:30-2:45 pm | Class #90307 Honors Only | Professor Paul Carrese

This course compares selected texts in political thought, across civilizations or traditions, that address the ultimate foundation(s) for basic political principles such as justice and order. A special focus is the relationship between reason, religious faith, and custom or tradition as sources of authority for political thinking and action. We will focus on traditions and texts from Islam, Hinduism, and Confucianism. Western texts on religion, philosophy, and political authority are interspersed with readings from classic Eastern texts, 20th century political works by Eastern and Western thinkers, and recent scholarship.

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Spring 2018 course descriptions and schedule

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CEL 194 Great Ideas of Politics and Ethics in Comparative Perspective

MWF | 1:55-2:45 pm | Class #28891 | Professor Karen Taliaferro

This course introduces fundamental debates and ideas of politics in both the West and beyond. It surveys ancient, medieval and modern thinkers in the Greek, Jewish, Christian and Muslim traditions, tracing their influences on contemporary debates with focus on the great questions of human nature, social and political life, and the relationship between religion and politics. We study both the ideas and historical statesmanship of such figures as Plato, Cicero, Tertullian, Aquinas, Saadyah Gaon, Maimonides, Al-Farabi, Ibn Rushd (Averroes), and Al-Ghazali, as well as various leaders and writers from modernity in America and abroad. This lecture course will include separate discussion to encourage active learning, and students will write analytical papers and make a class presentation.

CEL 294. Federalists, Anti-Federalists, and the Enduring Debate over American Constitutionalism

MWF | 2:00-3:00 pm | Class #28892 | Professor Zachary German

This course examines the arguments and questions raised by the Federalists and Anti-Federalists during their debates over the 1787 Constitution, regarding fundamental issues as political power, federalism, republicanism, representation, separation of powers, protection of rights, slavery, and the character of the people and their leaders. They model how intellectually deep, and morally serious, public discourse can be. We will study their arguments, and with the help of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, apply these debates to our current politics, while considering the rhetorical and other demands placed upon statesmen in constitutional, democratic systems. Students will write analytical papers and participate in a simulation of a modern-day constitutional convention.

CEL 394. Classical Political Philosophy and Statesmanship: The Greeks

TTh | 12:00-1:15 pm | Class #28893 | Professor Carol McNamara

This course examines the themes of justice and leadership in democracy and war through the texts of classical political thinkers, including Plato’s Republic, Aristophanes’ Clouds, Aristotle’s Politics and Ethics, and Thucydides account of The Peloponnesian War. Students will investigate questions of political leadership, ambition, and the common good. We will proceed through discussion and student led presentations of the big questions these texts raise.

CEL 394. Modern Political Thought: Origins and Debates about Modern Liberty

TTh | 9:00-10:15 am | Class #28896 | Professor Charles Drummond

The course examines crucial debates in modern political thought, especially in the United States. A focus is defining what is distinctive about “modern thought,” with recourse to Tocqueville’s Democracy in America on the difference between ancien régime monarchies and modern liberal democratic polities. Other primary readings include works from Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Locke, but America (not Europe) is the ultimate focus. Students will query the core documents and ideas of the American Founding, and discern the complex interplay of classical republican and liberal intellectual traditions. Close reading of The Federalist and selected Anti-Federalist writings will prepare for a broader re-examination of the American political tradition, concluding with the ongoing dispute between progressivism, socialism, and conservatism.

CEL 394. Classics of Modern Economic Thought: Smith to Hayek and Beyond

TTh | 10:30-11:45 am | Class #28897 | Professor Peter McNamara

This course addresses how major economic thinkers since Adam Smith (and his contemporaries) have dealt with the political, moral, and economic issues that arise from modernity’s embrace of the goal of economic progress. Course readings range from the age of Smith and Rousseau up to our times of Thomas Piketty and Deirdre McCloskey. Students will write analytical papers on these important authors and debates.

CEL 394. Politics and Leadership in the Age of Revolutions, 1776-1826

TTh | 1:30-2:45 pm | Class #28898 | Professor Kent Wright

This course explores political thought and political leadership, in the era of the American, French, Haitian, and Latin American Revolutions. It begins with a look at Enlightenment political thought, focusing on natural rights, constitutionalism, and political economy. It then considers leading political ideas connected with each of the great upheavals that began with the American Revolution and ended, 50 years later, with the independence of Latin America. Along the way, we will examine the political leadership of figures such as Washington and Jefferson, Sieyès and Robespierre, Toussaint and Napoleon, Bolivar and San Martín.

CEL 494. Leadership 404: Statesmanship and American Grand Strategy

TTh | 3:00-4:15 pm | Class #28894 | Professor Paul Carrese

Discussing great ideas and figures in political leadership and statesmanship, from ancient Greece and early modern Europe to America’s founding and the present global uncertainty, especially the major arguments about war, peace, and international affairs – ideas that shape foreign policy and grand strategy debates in the 21st century, thus providing crucial foundations for future leadership roles. Major thinkers and episodes discussed in this seminar course include Thucydides, Plutarch, Montesquieu, George Washington, Lincoln, Truman and the Cold War, and Reagan, as well as contemporary debates about America’s post-Cold War strategies for its leadership role in global affairs. 

Fall 2017 course descriptions and schedule 

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CEL 194. Leadership 101: Great Ideas of Politics and Ethics

MWF | 12:55-1:45 am | Class #91312 | Professor Kent Wright and Professor Karen Taliaferro

An introduction to fundamental ideas about politics, human nature, and ethics from ancient Greece to the modern era – ideas that continue to shape politics in the 21st century, thus providing crucial foundations for future leadership roles in either public affairs or the private sector, in America and internationally. Great philosophers and figures studied include Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Locke, The Federalist, Rousseau, Marx, Mill, and Tocqueville. Studies of statesmanship and leadership will draw on Thucydides, Plutarch, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr. This lecture course will include separate discussion sessions at the end of each week to encourage active learning, and students will be expected to write analytical papers and make a class presentation.

CEL 294. Leadership 202: Great Debates in American Politics and Economics

MWF | 2:00-2:50 pm | Class #91313 | Professor Zachary German

An introduction to fundamental ideas and debates about liberty and equality in American thought from the colonial era to the present, focusing on major political and economic figures and issues – ideas that continue to shape political and economic debates in 21st century America, thus providing crucial foundations for future leadership roles in either public affairs or the private sector. A major theme is the tensions between liberty and equality, and between constitutionalism and democracy, in our three centuries as a democratic, commercial republic. This lecture course will include separate discussion sessions at the end of each week to encourage active learning, and students will be expected to write analytical papers and make a class presentation.

CEL 394. Leadership 303: Capitalism and Great Economic Debates

TTh | 12:00-1:15 pm | Class #91314 | Professor Peter McNamara

Exploring fundamental ideas and debates about economics and political economy in Western civilization, from ancient Greece to our globalized era, especially the major arguments about commerce and capitalism – ideas that continue to shape economic debates in America and internationally, thus providing crucial foundations for future leadership roles in either public affairs or the private sector. Classic thinkers discussed in this seminar course include Aristotle, Aquinas, Locke, Montesquieu, Smith, Marx, Keynes, and Hayek, to understand the larger concepts of political economy and justice that provide crucial context for continuing debates about free markets, capitalism, economic efficiency, and inequality or fair opportunity.

CEL 494. Leadership 404: Statesmanship and American Grand Strategy

TTh | 1:30-2:45 pm | Class #91317 | Professor Paul Carrese and Professor Charles Drummond

Discussing great ideas and figures in political leadership and statesmanship, from ancient Greece and early modern Europe to America’s founding and the present global uncertainty, especially the major arguments about war, peace, and international affairs – ideas that shape foreign policy and grand strategy debates in the 21st century, thus providing crucial foundations for future leadership roles. Major thinkers and episodes discussed in this seminar course include Thucydides, Plutarch, Montesquieu, George Washington, Lincoln, Truman and the Cold War, and Reagan, as well as contemporary debates about America’s post-Cold War strategies for its leadership role in global affairs.