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Home > History home > Prospective students > Undergraduate > Modern Political Ideas
More in this section SecondandThird Year Courses

Modern Political Ideas


Value: one unit


Prof. Greg Claeys


Taught through weekly two-hour seminars


3-hour exam (60%), best two of three coursework essays (30%), oral presentation (10%)

The course examines the main currents of political thought in Modern European and World History from Rousseau to the present:
1. The Eighteenth Century and the French Revolution; Commercial society and its enemies (Hume, Smith, Rousseau); the French Revolution (Paine, Wollstonecraft); reactions to the revolution (Hegel).
2. The Nineteenth Century: Early socialism (Owen, Fourier, Saint Simon); Tocqueville and the American model; Marx and communism; Mill and liberalism; Nietzsche and modernity; Bakunin and anarchism.
3. The Twentieth Century: Anti-imperialist theorists (Fanon, Gandhi); Orwell and dystopia; green political theory


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