POL S 273 A: The Concept of Political Power

Summer Term: 
Meeting Time: 
MW 2:20pm - 4:30pm
* *
RCeballos Headshot
Rutger Ceballos

Syllabus Description:

Course Description:  How do we define political power? What are the different types of power? Who holds power? How do we wield power and to what ends – good or bad? Concepts of power have dominated the debates and writings of political theorists for millennia. In this course, we will trace the evolution of these debates in the Western political tradition. We will consider power as both an individual and structural phenomenon, which manifests itself in the tensions between collective power and individual autonomy, labor and capital, and freedom and domination. This course will draw on texts from a wide range of political traditions, from classical Greece and Rome, to the Italian Renaissance, to liberalism, Marxism, anarchist thought, critical, and post-structuralist theory, as well as post-colonial theory and the Black radical tradition. By the end of this course, you should have a clear understanding of the history of concepts of power in Western political thought.

Catalog Description: 
How to understand and explain relationships of power. Readings from Marxism, Weberian sociology, anarchism, classical political philosophy, and contemporary political science. May also include works of fiction.
Department Requirements: 
Political Theory Field
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Writing (W)
Last updated: 
June 24, 2021 - 10:33pm