Political Theory


Raphael’s 1511 Renaissance masterpiece “The School of Athens.” The central figures are Plato and Aristotle.



This course will examine the genesis, conceptual development, and relationship between power and legitimacy, focusing on how ideologies are used to either justify rule or oppose the established order. The initial part of the course will begin with the greater debates of political philosophy relevant to the meaning of these and other intimately related concepts, such as justice and the nature of the sovereign. The second section will revisit the different interpretations given to these concepts, looking at how they were operationalized throughout the twentieth century. Finally, the third section will turn to the questions of how ideology, legitimacy, and power interact with contemporary security threats and how the state can employ its sources of power and legitimacy to approach such challenges.

 All Office Hours are by Appointment Only: