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300-Level Interdisciplinary Course  
UI-361      Contemporary Political Theory
Catalog Description

A critical historical analysis and philosophical examination of contemporary political thought and the origins and development of major political ideologies of the late 19th century and 20th century.

Course Content

This course consists of a critical examination of the origins and development of contemporary political thought. Extensive analysis of several major political philosophical works by theorists associated with particular contemporary political ideologies, such as democracy, liberalism, conservatism, socialism, Marxism, anarchism, fascism, and Nazism. Critical analysis of the normative concepts that stimulated these theorists: The nation-state, nationalism, political authority, political obligation, civil rights, natural rights, natural law, consent, social contract, liberty, equality, property, justice, political participation, representation, constitutionalism, monarchy, privacy, and individualism. This particular course will analyze political theoretical concepts, normative principles and issues from the interconnected interdisciplinary perspectives of politics (political systems), culture, religion, and social philosophy (social systems), and ethical theory (behavioral systems). This course is designed to demonstrate to students the linkage between diverse political philosophical systems of thought and various forms of social and political behavior, public policies, and political institutions.

Nature of Course

This course consists of a conceptual analysis of the most significant perennial political ideas and political theories of contemporary political thought. Students will be encouraged to develop competency working in the area of ethical justification by applying moral principles and logical arguments to normative problems and issues in political theory. Students will be encouraged to participate in active Socratic dialogue with the instructor and with other students. At the end of each session, a series of analytical questions will be posed to students. Students will be required to orally respond to such questions in the following session.

Student Expectations
  1. To attend consistently all scheduled classes and to be prepared in all assigned work.
  2. To participate and to engage actively in class discussion and dialogue with other students and the instructor.
  3. To maintain diligently a systematic set of class notes and to finish all required reading assignments on time.
  4. To take three major examinations (including a final exam), that will be composites of objective questions (multiple choice and/or identification) and analytical essay questions in which they clearly demonstrate comprehension of the critical thinking skills and substantive material of the course.
  5. To prepare and orally respond to a series of analytical questions posed at the end of each prior session.
  6. To prepare an oral presentation on a political philosophical issue or normative concept.
  7. To prepare an interdisciplinary (10-15 page) written research paper.
  8. To comprehend the diverse conceptual frames of reference by which various political theories are designed and articulated.
  9. To be able to critically evaluate scholarly research in the discipline of political theory.

Political Systems (PS-103 or PS-104), a course in Social Systems and a course in Behavioral Systems.



Credit Hours 3