In the 1990s, some political scientists believed that the "end of history" was inevitable: that with the triumph of liberal capitalist democracy all over the globe, the age of great ideological conflict was over. Few predictions have turned out to be so wrong. Today, in Western Europe, in Latin America, in the Middle East, in East Asia and in the United States, we have seen the reemergence of fierce ideological conflict, debates over the nature of populism and fascism, calls for socialism and the critique of capitalism, a re-energized conservatism and the revolutionary reappearance of religious political movements. The first aim of this course is to help us interpret the ideologies that make up our current political world by exploring the classical political ideologies of the modern political age: liberalism, conservatism, fascism, socialism and capitalism. We will ask: how are ideas composed to form ideologies that make sense of the world for us? How are touchstone political concepts such as liberty equality, justice, the people, citizenship framed by the various ideologies we will study? How do different ideologies shape not only our sense of what politics is and what its goals are, but even our sense of the basic meaning and purpose of our lives as political beings? How are these classic modern ideological forms related to the ideological movements of our contemporary world? The second aim of the course is to increase our ability to be self reflective upon and self-aware of our own ideological beliefs, and to articulate and defend our own ideological commitments with greater thoughtfulness, precision, insight, and persuasive force.
Political ScienceSocial Science
at the time of application
on the first day of session