Junior Seminar: Foundations of Political Thought and Action

Course Description: 

This course is intended for outstanding students who intend to pursue graduate school in political science or another of the social sciences. The course is designed, and will be conducted, like a graduate seminar. The course aims to provide students with a rigorous introduction to core topics in social theory. The course centers on four major themes: power, equality, freedom, and community. Our class sessions will focus on discussions of course readings. Students are required to do all of the readings for the week in advance of class meetings and to participate actively in discussions. Grades will be determined as follows: one-half for the quality and quantity of contributions to seminar discussions; and one-half for a research paper that will be due at the time of our final class meeting. The paper will take the form of a comparative inquiry into several of the major theorists we are reading in the course. Students will begin developing plans for their research papers early in the course, and will present their work to the seminar at times that we will set aside for discussion of research-in-progress.

The Junior Seminars are intense writing seminars which focus on the research area of the faculty member teaching the course. The seminars provide an opportunity for students to have direct intellectual interactions with faculty members while also giving the students an understanding for faculty research.

Junior seminars fulfill upper division requirements for the major.

Subfield:   Comparative Politics or Political Theory


Political Science Majors of Junior and Senior status, with a minimum overall UC GPA of 3.3. Students must place themselves on the waitlist through TeleBEARS in Phase II. Selection and notification will occur around August 19 2013.   Priority may be given to students who have not yet taken a junior seminar.