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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "PL 210-2"
COURSE NAME: "Introduction to Political Theory "
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2019
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Gabriele Simoncini
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 6:00-7:15 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS:

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
An introduction to the history of political thought, from Ancient Greece to the 19th century. Through a close reading of selected canonical texts, students will examine the evolution of ideas about democracy, liberty, equality, justice, political authority, the social contract, different conceptions of human nature and the role of the individual in society. The theorists examined may include Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, de Tocqueville and John Stuart Mill.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:
This course covers the development of political theory and the major political theorists from the classical times to the modern era. Attention is given to the various articulations of political thought including ethics, morals, society and state organization, the rule of law, and the science of politics.  The foundations for the formation of the modern nation state are analyzed.  The course covers major political thinkers including Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hegel, and Marx.  Modern absolutism, Enlightenment, and Romanticism will be covered.  The concepts of natural rights, general will, and individualism will be studied. Ideologies are treated including Liberalism, Nationalism, Communism and their articulations.  Utopia, revolution, and the production of totalitarianism are the conclusive topics of the program.  Major political and scholarly interpretations of thinkers, schools of thought, and periods covered will be considered.  The class format includes lectures, discussion, team work, presentations, and audiovisual materials.  The students will be asked to produce a research project, making extensive personal use of information and communication technology.  Guest speakers and field trips are planned.
LEARNING OUTCOMES:
Students will develop the ability to critically analyze the evolution and the diversity of political speculation.  They will be able to relate theories and thinkers with political structures, players, and phenomena within the western and global political context.  Students will develop ability to conduct basic research, and organize and present their findings in logical and independent way.
TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
An Invitation to Political Thought.Deutsch K. L., Fornieri J. R.,Thomson, 2009. 100534545637  
A History of Political Theory. Chicago, 1980.Sabine G. H., Thorson T. L., Chicago, 1980.0039102831  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Classics of Moral and Political Theory.Morgan M. L. (Ed.),Cambridge, 2010. 0872207773  
The History of Political Thought in National Context.Castiglione D., Hampsher-Monk L., Cambridge, 2011.0521174937  
History of Political Philosophy. Third Edition.Strauss L.,U. of Chicago, 2009.0226777103  
Political Thinkers: From Socrates to the Present. Boucher D., Kelly P., Oxford, 2010. 0199215529  

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
A History of Political Thought: From Antiquity to the Present.Haddock B., Polity, 2008.745640850  
The Oxford Handbook of the History of Political Philosophy. Klosko G.,Oxford, 2011.0199238804  
Political Philosophy: A Beginner’s Guide for Students and Politicians.Swift A., Oxford, 2001.0745635326  
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Class participationRegular attendance and active participation in class is required. Attendance requirements: A maximum of four absences are allowed throughout the semester. Any additional absence will result in a penalization of one grade level (e.g.: from B+ to B for five absences, B+ to B- for six absences, B+ to C+ for seven absences, etc.). Two latenesses count for one absence. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class by calling students’ names. Students not answering will be marked absent. Students arrived late will ask the instructor to be marked late at the end of the class, after which attendance records will not be modified. Use of Computers in class: The use of personal computers and technological devices in class is not permitted except for taking notes, or contributing to class activity during designated times. Students not respecting the rule will be penalized by getting no points in the Class Participation requirement (worth 10% of the final grade). Recording and filming in class is not allowed.10%
Midterm examThe midterm and final exam have the same format. The exams consist of two parts of equal value. The first part is an essay, the student will choose from one of three proposed themes, and will write a well-organized essay. The second part of the exam consists of ten terms to be concisely defined.20%
Presentation and other assignmentsIn-class Presentation: Students are required give a short individual or team presentation on a specific topic of their choice, approved by the instructor and related to the class program. The presentation will be well-organized, concise, and include (when opportune) audiovisual and electronic materials. A draft presentation must be submitted to the instructor before presenting in class. An electronic version of the presentation must be given to the instructor in class, in person, during any of the last three classes. Files send by email are not accepted. The deadline is the last class. No materials will be accepted past the deadline. 15%
Final exam The midterm and final exam have the same format. The exams consist of two parts of equal value. The first part is an essay, the student will choose from one of three proposed themes, and will write a well-organized essay. The second part of the exam consists of ten terms to be concisely defined.25%
Final project with portfolioFinal Project: The final paper (3,000 words) will be on any topic of the student’s choice related to the class program. The topic should be precisely defined and worthy of investigation. An electronic version of the project must be given to the instructor in class, in person, during any of the last three classes. Files sent by email are not accepted. The deadline is the last class. No materials will be accepted past the deadline. To produce the final project, students will receive written instructions in class. During the semester, students will show the instructor their final project work in progress and receive checks. Portfolio: In order to produce their final papers, students will keep a portfolio of research materials during the semester. The portfolio will be shared with, and evaluated by the instructor. The production of the final paper is a work in progress during the semester. The portfolio and the paper project are progressive steps toward completion of the final paper. A portfolio containing samples of reference materials must be attached to the final project.30%

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the cou
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:

A maximum of four absences are allowed throughout the semester.  Any additional absence will result in a penalization of one grade level (e.g.: from B+ to B for five absences, B+ to B- for six absences, B+ to C+ for seven absences, etc.).  Two latenesses count for one absence. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of each class by calling students’ names.  Students not answering will be marked absent. Students arrived late will ask the instructor to be market late at the end of the class, after which attendance records will not be modified.

ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

 

Unit    1          Introduction.  Methodology. Definitions.  The Context of Political Theory.  The Invention of Political Philosophy.

(Jan. 21, 23)                                                                                                                                                                      (assigned readings)

Unit    2          Ancient Greek Political thought.  Socrates and Plato.  The Republic.  Virtue and Knowledge.  Classes and Souls.

(Jan. 25, 30)                                                                              (Deutsch, p. 1-34; Sabine, p. 3-34; Morgan, p. 75-251; assigned readings)

Unit    3          Aristotle and the Science of Politics.  The Rule of Law.  The Best Practicable State.  From Polisto Cosmopolis.

(Feb. 4, 6)                                                                       (Deutsch, p. 35-70 Sabine, p. 125-140; Morgan, p. 361-418; assigned readings)

Unit    4          From Feudalism to Capitalism.  Augustine and Aquinas.  Renaissance. The Discovery of  the Individual. 

(Feb. 11, 13, 15)                                                                                              (Deutsch, p. 71-142;Morgan, p. 442-476; assigned readings)

Unit    5          Machiavelli and Modern Absolutism.  The Nature of Politics.  The Role of the State.  Moore’s Utopia.

(Feb. 18, 20)                                                                                                (Deutsch, p. 183-224; Morgan, p. 482-526; assigned readings)

Unit    6          The Protestant Reformers:  Luther, Calvin, Anabattists, and the Radicals.  Political Authority Reconceived.

(Feb. 25, 27*)                                                                                                                                 (Deutsch, p. 143-182assigned readings)  
                 
                  * MIDTERM  EXAM

Unit    7          The Individual and the Community.  Society, State, and Government.  Class Discussion.

(Mar. 4, 6  , 8)                                                                                            (Deutsch, p. 225- 310;  Morgan, p. 551-749; assigned readings)

 Unit    8          Rousseau, Hobbes and Locke.  The Social Contract and the General Will.  The Paradox of Freedom.

(Mar. 18, 20)                                                                                               (Deutsch, p. 311-350;  Morgan, p. 831-890; assigned readings)

Unit    9          Enlightenment and the Development of the Modern State.  Voltaire.  Origin of Modern Ideologies.

(Mar. 25, 27)                                                                                                  (Deutsch, p. 351-416;Morgan, p. 752-774;assigned readings)

Unit  10
          Nationalism.  Hegel and Dialectic.  The Spirit of the Nation.  Individualism and the Theory of the State.

(Apr. 1*, 3)                                                                                                                                       (Sabine, p. 570- 607; assigned readings)

                  * PROJECT PROPOSAL

Unit  11          Liberalism.  The Question of Liberty.  Economic and Political Theory.  John Stuart Mill.

(Apr. 8, 10)                                                                                                    (Deutsch, p. 441-466;Morgan, p. 936-994; assigned readings)

Unit  12          Socialism.  Marx and Communism.  Dialectical Materialism.  Economic Determinism.  Social Democracy.

(Apr. 15, 17)                                                                                               (Deutsch, p. 418-440;Morgan, p.1093-1108; assigned readings)

Unit  13          Totalitarianism.  Utopia and Revoution.  Modern Crisis.  Irrationalism and Anti-Rationalism.

(Apr. 24)                                                                                                    (Deutsch, p. 467-491; Morgan, p. 1142-1209;assigned readings)

Unit  14          Political theory in Global Context.  The Education of Political Thought.  Class Discussion.  Conclusion.

(Apr. 29*)                                                                                                                                                                         (assigned readings)       
   
                 * FINAL RESEARCH PROJECT  * PORTFOLIO 


(
May 6 - May 10, t.b.s.*)           

                 * FINAL EXAM

Films/Audiovisual Materials Sessions:

(1.  Feb.  (date t.b.s.) at 19:30)    “on power”

(2.  Mar. (date t.b.s.) at 19:30)    “on diversity”

(3.  Apr. (date t.b.s.) at 19:30)    “on ideology”

NOTE: 

The syllabus schedule may undergo reasonable changes in relation to guest speakers, field trips, make-ups, discussions, events, and other contingencies


References
:                

Plato               The Republic                          424-347bce

Aristotle         Politics                                     384-322bce

Aristophanes  Ecclesiazusae                                 391bce

Lucretius        De rerum natura                          99-55bce

Augustine      City of God                                            415

Aquinas         Summa Theologica                              1274

Moore             Utopia                                                 1516

Mȕntzer          Sermon to the Prince                          1524

Machiavelli     The Prince                                          1532

Luther             On the Jews                                       1543

Campanella     The City of the Sun                            1602

Hobbes            Leviathan                                           1651

Locke                Two Treaties of government                            1689

Voltaire             Candide                                                            1759

Rousseau         Government of Poland                                    1772

Burke               Reflections on the Revolution in France          1790

Kant                 Perpetual Peace                                               1795

Tocqueville       Democracy in America                                    1840

Marx                 On the Jewish Question                                   1843

Stirner              The Ego and His Own                                      1844

Mill                   On Liberty                                                       1859

Bakunin            Statism and Anarchy                                        1873

Nietzsche         Thus Spoke Zarathustra                                   1885

Nilus                The Protocols of the Elders of Zion                  1898