The course will survey 19th and 20th century Western political thought and its philosophical underpinnings. This period marks the dominance and fall of developmental historicism, or the view that history develops in a progressive direction. We will analyze how this view of history affects political questions, such as those of freedom, equality, democracy, and empire. Ending with the examination of Friedrich Nietzsche’s writings, the course will also offer a glimpse of contemporary political theories which take the fall of developmental historicism for granted. Thinkers studied will also include G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Marx, and John Stuart Mill.
Subfield: Political Theory