Fall 2024 Course List

The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership offers four distinct academic tracks in its undergraduate curriculum.

  • Moral and Political Thought
  • American Political Thought
  • Economic Thought and Political Economy
  • Leadership and Statesmanship for the 21st Century

To graduate with a BA or a BS degree in civic and economic thought and leadership, students are required to take at least one course from each academic track in addition to the required core courses. A variety of upper-division courses are offered in each track every semester to allow you to tailor your academic experience in SCETL to your own goals and interests.

Schedule an advising appointment. 

"SCETL is kind of a mix of a few things. You get economics, you get history, you get philosophy all blended into one, which is a really cool and unique experience to be able to hear from all of these different schools of thought and you get to challenge yourself." - Justin H. 

Required Core Courses

Introduces fundamental debates and ideas of politics in both the West and beyond. Surveys ancient, medieval, and modern thinkers — such as Plato and Aristotle, Aquinas and Augustine, Machiavelli, Locke, and Rousseau — tracing their influences on contemporary debates with a focus on the great questions of human nature, social and political life, and the relationship between religion and politics. Enrollment requirements: Credit is allowed for only CEL 100 or CEL 194 (Great Ideas of Politics and Ethics)


M/W 1:30pm - 2:45pm | Eduardo Schmidt Passos | Tempe Campus | Session C: #69303

M/W 10:30am -11:45am | Aaron Kushner | Session C: #71625

M/W 3:00pm - 4:15pm | Trevor Shelly | Session C: #82563

M/W 9:00am - 10:15am | Aaron Kushner | Session C: #84540

T/TH 3:00pm - 4:15pm | Evan Lowe | Tempe Campus | Session C: #70835

T/Th 10:30am -11:45am | Hairuo Tan | Tempe Campus | Session C: #79862

T/Th 12:00pm - 1:15pm | Kent Wright | Tempe Campus | Session C: #74023

T/Th 1:30pm - 2:45pm | Nicholas O’Neill | Tempe Campus | Session C: #75160

MWF 10:10am -11:00am | Matt Slaboch | Tempe Campus | Session C: #78448

MWF 11:15am - 12:05pm | Eduardo Schmidt | Tempe Campus | Session C: #73690

T/Th 9:00am - 10:15am | Staff | Tempe Campus | Session C: #81611

Available as an iCourse

Evan Lowe | Session A: #71311

Introduces fundamental ideas and debates about liberty and equality in American thought from the colonial era to the present, focusing on major political figures and issues--ideas that continue to shape political debates in 21st-century America, thus providing crucial foundations for future leadership roles in either public affairs or the private sector. Enrollment requirements: Credit is allowed for only CEL 200 or CEL 294 (Great Debates in American Politics and Economics)


M/W 1:30pm - 2:45pm | Aaron Kushner  | Tempe Campus | Session C: #79900

M/W 3:00pm - 4:15pm | Sean Beienburg | Tempe Campus | Session C: #82777

M/W 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm | Emily Rap | Tempe Campus | Session C: #88561

T/Th 3:00pm - 4:15pm | Zach German | Tempe Campus | Session C: #71314

T/Th 12:00pm - 1:15pm | Adam Seagrave | Tempe Campus | Session C: #79899

T/Th 1:30pm - 2:45pm | Adam Seagrave | Tempe Campus | Session C: #84635

T/Th 10:30am - 11:45am | Zach German | Tempe Campus | Session C: #78473

Available as an iCourse and oCourse
Joseph Wachtel | Session A: #80756/81487
Joseph Wachtel | Session B: #72441/81848

Explores and debates the politics, economics and morality of 'capitalism'--the system of society that allows space for markets, profit-seeking and money-making. Readings cover the period from antiquity to modern commercial society. Authors studied include Aristotle, the Apostles, Aquinas, Locke, Franklin, Smith, Marx and Weber. Also serves as a broad introduction to the study of political economy.

T/Th 9:00am -10:15am | Nicholas O’Neill | Tempe Campus | Session C: #69301

Discusses 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 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. Incorporates a Marshall brief (a policy presentation) and a group simulation exercise.

M/W 1:30pm - 2:45pm | William Anthony Hay | Tempe Campus | Session C: #74022

Moral and Political Thought

Examines political thought and political leadership in the era of the American, French, Haitian, and Latin American Revolutions. Begins with a look at Enlightenment political thought, focusing on natural rights, constitutionalism, and political economy. 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.

T/Th 3:00pm - 4:15pm | Kent Wright | Tempe Campus | Session C: #84643

Are you ever in a difficult situation and ask yourself, ‘What should I do?’ or what is the right thing to do?’

SCETL’s ‘Justice and Virtue’ course will explore these challenging questions in a seminar of lively discussion and debate.

T Th 10:30-1:45. | Evan Lowe | Tempe Campus | Session C: #84918

Technology & the Good Life: We live in a world that, for most people, has been fundamentally transformed by modern science and technology. Of the technology we often say: it can be used for good or for evil, it is morally neutral. Does that mean that the transformation we speak of is about new means, but not new ends, new devices but not new goals or purposes for human life? Or does modern technology radically transform our visions of the human good? In this course we will explore these alternatives, for differing views on them are at the heart of many a current debate about technological development and regulation.e these challenging questions in a seminar of lively discussion and debate.

T 4:50-7:35 p.m. | Charles Rubin | Tempe Campus | Session C: #95906

American Political Thought

Who sets policy under the U.S. Constitution? Arizona? Congress? President Biden? Beginning with a discussion of the American Founding, we will learn about how and where the Constitution allocates power among the states, Congress, presidents, and justices. This is the first of a two-part sequence on the U.S. Constitution and its development.

M/W 12:00pm - 1:15pm | Sean Beinberg | Tempe Campus | Session C: #73693

This course covers the period from 1776 until 1800 from the Revolution until the peaceful transfer of power between parties. The Constitutional Convention and the early debates about the meaning of the Constitution will be a particular focus.

M/W 1:30pm - 2:45pm | Colleen Sheehan | Tempe Campus | Session C: #74025

Economic Thought and Political Economy

A survey of economic thought from classical to modern economics; including classical economics, Marxist economics, neoclassical economics, institutionalist economics, Austrian economics, Keynesian economics, Chicago economics, new institutionalist economics, and public choice.

T/Th 10:30am - 11:45am | Ross Emmett | Tempe Campus | Session C: #76847

Prepares the foundation for students to become active participants, as citizens and leaders, in a liberal democratic society that faces an uncertain future. Provides familiarity with core conceptual tools provided by philosophy, politics, and economics, and an appreciation for the foundation they provide together to address social and political uncertainties we face today as well as in the future. Reliance on any one disciplinary set of tools and skills is useful, of course, but the real challenges of any liberal democracy are met by neither technocratic nor bureaucratic solutions. They require an awareness of the relevance of ethics, politics, and economics, as well as an appreciation for the limitations of each and the necessity of thinking through their interactions.

Available as an iCourse and oCourse

Hairuo Tan | Session B: #80758

This course considers the distinctive political economy of the United States. Political economy is usefully defined as the arrangements and interactions between the government and the economy. Some attention will be given to the period from 1776-1900, but the emphasis will be on the period from 1900 until the present, especially the key transformations in the relationship between the government and the economy (the Progressive Era, the New Deal, the Reagan Revolution, and the Progressive Revival under Barack Obama). We will explore the interplay of ideas, policy, and politics. We will in addition explore specific policy issues such as economic growth, inequality, the environment, the regulatory state, immigration, inflation, public debt, and trade.

TTH 1:30pm - 2:45pm | Peter McNamara | Tempe Campus | Session C: #80077

Leadership and Statesmanship for the 21st Century

Conquer your fear of Shakespeare! Read, perform, and discuss Shakespeare's oh-so-relevant lessons for 21st-century leadership through three classic plays with two nationally acclaimed leadership experts. Study Henry V in preparation for a SCETL faculty-student retreat where we will explore the Tragedy of Macbeth and The Tempest in the pines, on hiking trails, and over meals in Prescott, Arizona. Spend the final two days in workshops back at the ASU Tempe campus being coached in a leadership lab, focusing on Henry V, by the dynamic "Movers and Shakespeares." This is boot camp the Bard's wav!

 Susan Carrese | 10/11/2024 to 10/15/2024 & 10/19 8:00am-8;00pm &10/20 8:00 am - 3:00pm | Session B: #87971

Why are sports important to society? Discover why fans are obsessed with their favorite teams, by taking Sports and Leadership with Professor Jack Doody. Enroll today!

Jack Doody | ICourse | Session A: #86338

In “Left and Right Around the World,” we will explore how various ideologies emerged in Europe as responses to the French Revolution and the shift from absolute monarchy to republicanism, looking particularly at conservatism, nationalism, liberalism, and socialism. We will then move from a discussion of ideas and theory to an investigation of institutions and behaviors in contemporary societies worldwide. What does it mean to be on the political left or right today? Why can third parties win elections in other countries, but not in the United States? And how do parties of the extreme left and extreme right that reject democratic norms gain and maintain power?

MW 1:30pm - 2:45pm | Matthew Slaboch | Tempe Campus | Session C: #85029

This will be a seminar-style class that will rely heavily on class discussion to review the foundational principles that underlie civil-military relations (CMR) in the United States, identify the historical and current controversies, and explore the ‘big ideas’ frequently associated with this topic.

T/TH 1:30am - 2:45am | Bruce Pagel | Tempe Campus | Session C: #76485

In partnership with the nonprofit organization, Veterans Heritage Project, students will interview a military veteran preserving the veteran's oral history in video and written form, submitting both to the Library of Congress and publishing it in a hardbound book, 'Since You Asked.' Students will become published authors, test their leadership skills and learn about civic responsibility, all while performing a valuable service to both the individual veteran and the larger national community.

F 10:30am - 11:30am| Bruce Pagel | Tempe Campus | Session C: #80078

Romania plays an increasingly military, strategic, and humanitarian role as a member of both the EU and NATO. While in Romania you will learn about the country's geo-strategic positioning and explore the Black Sea and Danubian region as a gateway to "the Other Europe". Stepping back in history, you will also learn about the country's ties with the former Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires as well as the USSR that will cast a long shadow over the nations of Central and Eastern Europe. Students will also participate in academic visits to Ceausescu's People Palace, Dracula's Castle in the Carpathians, Transylvania Castles, and more!

Ileana Orlich | #80079

This program is a leadership workshop "in the field" of urban New Delhi and rural Rajasthan, India. Students will travel to India's urban and political heart, Delhi, to engage with cultural, religious, political, and economic leaders, then interact with university students in a peer-to-peer leadership workshop. Please see the GEO website for additional details, including the application.

Susan Carrese |  #88210

This course looks at Europe, past and present, and the interdependency of history, religion, politics and political statesmanship, societies and culture through incomplete but indefinitely expandable groupings selected for their transmission dimensions—a transmission that includes historically effective patterns of cultural power projection and appropriation beyond the national focus.

This course is part of the European Studies Certificate

1:30pm - 2:45pm | Ileana Orlich | Tempe Campus | Session C: #88515

Students deepen their understanding of the different and alternate political forms or bodies that communities have taken, including but not limited to national states and global empires, and what advocates and critics alike have said about the advantages and shortcomings of each. Students also examine the varieties of citizenship from the ancient and modern world, including different perspectives on what citizenship entails and how it is defined or delineated; what rights and/or responsibilities may be involved; and what such concepts as "global citizen" may or may not mean.

MW 12:00pm - 1:15pm | Trevor Shelley | Tempe Campus | Session C: #86191

We will discuss issues relating to the three empires spread across Central and Eastern Europe, the fault line of the Western, Islam and Orthodox civilizations, the Soviet and Communist Gulag, Stalinist tactics, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the Prague Spring and the Velvet Revolution, the dramatic execution of the Ceausescus in Romania two centuries to the year after the French guillotined Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette and stormed into the Bastille (1789), and the new, emerging democracies of a fragmented Central and Eastern Europe. Finally, we will examine the crisis triggered by BREXIT, the rising of Islam and ascending secularization of Western Europe, the ongoing war in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea (2014), NATO presence 1 of 13.

MW 3:00pm - 4:15pm | Ileana Orlich | Tempe Campus | Session C: #80508

Course Spotlights

Explore the roots of political order, from ancient Greece to modern India or study the debates over fundamental American principles! Hear directly from our students and faculty on what civic and economic thought and leadership courses are all about.