STUDY GUIDE FOR POSC 342
AMERICAN POLITICAL THOUGHT
1865 - PRESENT

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

General Information on the Study of Politics
General Reference Works and News Sources
Writing Assignments
Study Questions for Reading Assignments for Each Class Meeting

GENERAL INFORMATION ON THE STUDY OF POLITICS WITH LINKS TO OTHER WEB SITES

The Longwood University Library has an excellent site with very good links to many political science collections:
http://www.longwood.edu/library/polysci.htm

The Longwood University Library now has a subscription  to Lexis-Nexis. This on-line resource is one of the very best electronic sources for good information on laws, court cases, news stories, government statistics, historical documents, general reference materials, public opinion polls, and business for serious students of politics and history. It may be found at:
http://web.lexis-nexis.com/universe/

For one of the best collections of general political science materials there is the University of Michigan listing of excellent sites:
http://www.lib.umich.edu/libhome/Documents.center/polisci.html

There is a great web collection of public documents, laws, historical papers, chronologies, and diplomacy on the site of Avalon Project at the Yale Law School at: http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/avalon.htm

A great online collection for the Humanities and the Social Sciences is the H-Net site:
http://www.h-net.msu.edu/

A useful page is the American government and politics listing with Yale University Library:
http://www.library.yale.edu/socsci

 


FOR GENERAL REFERENCE WORKS AND NEWS STORIES

Students should also follow ideological debates in contemporary American politics by going to the sites found below.
There are important think tanks on both the left and right and each produce informative research on contemporary political issues.
           You may read studies representing contemporary liberalism by going to the online site of the Center for American Progress at:
           http://www.americanprogress.org/    and Brookings at: http://www.brookings.edu/
           There are important political magazines found on both the left and right that feature stories and editorials on contemporary political issues.
           You may read articles representing different contemporary liberal views by going to the online version of The New Republic at:
            http://www.tnr.com/
           You may read studies representing contemporary conservatism by going to the online site of The Heritage Foundation at:
            http://www.heritage.org/    and the American Enterprise Institute For Public Policy Research at:  http://www.aei.org/
           You may read articles representing different contemporary conservative views by going to the online version of The National Review at:
           http://www.nationalreview.com/#

Students may also keep up with current political events and may follow the news through the following online sites:
http://www.nyt.com/
http://www.cnn.com/
http://www.washingtonpost.com/
http://www.foxnews.com/index.html
http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=5

A good nonpartisan source of news may also be found at the National Journal at: http://www.nationaljournal.com/

Every test will have at least one question dealing with current events and the ideological debates surrounding them.

A useful site for checking on the facts presented in public forums:
http://www.factcheck.org/
Many thoughtful students sometimes wonder how much they can trust information about politics they encounter when viewing political ads and reading political editorials. They also worry about the objectivity of media news reports. Both conservatives and liberals complain about the distortion of facts found in the political ads run by the other side and various websites sponsored by opposition ideological groups. Distorting the views and positions of the opposition to make them look as bad as possible is an all too typical campaign technique. As a citizen and a student you not only should consider examining many different perspectives and sources of information but also make use of above site sponsored by the Annenberg Public Policy Center. The experts at this site checks out the factual accuracy of many political speeches, ads, and news releases. They take on both the left and the right, finding errors put out by democrats and republicans. This site is especially useful when elections approach in examining current political debates over public policy.

One of the best general reference works in the world - The Encyclopedia Britannica - is now online with daily news stories from the Washington Post and links to excellent articles in scholarly journals:
http://www.britannica.com/

For the best information on public opinion, you may go to the site of the Gallup Organization at:
http://www.gallup.com/



WRITING ASSIGNMENTS

Part I Format
The papers will be done according to the Turabian format for a research paper. You will be encouraged to relate the issues raised in your research report to the broader themes examined in this course.
 A shorter version of that style manual can be found on the History style manual at the following web address: <http://www.longwood.edu/history/HDPTSTS2.htm>
 The following web site will introduce you to several useful links on how to document sources from the Internet:
<http://www.h-net.msu.edu/about/citation/>
The links found there will give general rules and specific examples of how to document according to the Turabian style manual (University of Chicago Press Manual) used in history and political science.

Part II  Writing Resources
The following are some useful books on how to conduct research and write good papers in political science:
Gregory M. Scott & Stephen M. Garrison. The Political Science Student Writer's Manual.
    Third Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc, 1998.
Kate T. Turabian. A Manual For Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. Sixth Edition.
    Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966.
Howard S. Becker. Writing for Social Scientists: How to Start and Finish Your Thesis, Book, or
    Article. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1986.
Diane Hacker. A Pocket Style Manual. Boston: Bedford Books of St. Martin’s Press, 1993.
Diane E. Schmidt. Expository Writing in Political Science: A Practical Guide. New York: Harper
    Collins College Publishers, 1993.

Part III  Research

While this online Study Guide obviously uses web materials, you will need to read the works (books and articles) written by the scholars who have investigated the subject matter of  your research project. Search the library, use inter-library loan if necessary, and consult with your instructor in order to cover principal primary and secondary works in your topic area.  While encyclopedias, especially the online Britannica service will be a good place for some general background information, one does not document from an encyclopedia in a scholarly paper at the college level. Do not overlook articles in academic journals, and make use of the Social Sciences Index and the Humanities Index.

While you should avoid over relying on internet materials for your projects, and avoid the use of worthless junk often found on the web, there are many excellent sites you will want to become familiar with as you prepare to enter an age in which individuals will have to become comfortable and proficient in finding and making good use of the electronic information resources. If you ever go Longwood University Library web site <http://www.longwood.edu/library/library.htm> you will find a guide with useful links to different information packets available at the library. There are also some excellent listings of good web sites by academic discipline under the Subject Guide <http://www.longwood.edu/library/subj.htm> If you go to the political science listing <http://www.longwood.edu/library/Polysci.htm> you will find great resources, including a listing of web sites.



STUDY QUESTIONS FOR READING ASSIGNMENTS FOR EACH CLASS MEETING

(This list is a work in progress based on daily assignments for the semester)
Links to Assignments for Each Week of the Semester

Week 1 Introduction to American Political Thought; the Debate over Social Darwinism
Week 2 Populism, Social Protest, and Alternative Visions

Week 3 American Socialism; Anarchism
Week 4 Union Protests
Week 5 Pragmatism, Social Reform, and the Progressives

Week 6 New Deal and Great Society Liberalism
Week 7 Contemporary Liberalism
Fall Break:  October 10-11
Week 8 Second Test
Week 9 America and the World; Debating the Constitution
Week 10 Immigration, Race, the Civil Rights Movement
Week 11 The New Left; Environmentalism
Week 12 Conservatism in America
Week 13 Feminism
Week 14 Civil Society Theory Part I
Thanksgiving Vacation  No Classes
Week 15  Civil Society Theory Part II;  Beyond Ideology
Classes end Dec. 6

Reading Day:  Dec. 7
Exam Period:  Dec. 9-13
Final Exam: The final exam will be on Friday, Dec. 9 at 3:00 P.M. – 5:30 PM.. The final exam will be worth 1/6 of your semester grade.



Week 1 Introduction to American Political Thought; the debate over social Darwinism
Monday
Read: Kramnick & Lowi – Articles by Sumner, Carnegie, Conwell, Ward
A good site with material on William Graham Sumner and other defenders of laissez-faire liberalism is maintained by The Online Library of Liberty found at: http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Fperson=236&Itemid=27
His What Social Classes Owe to Each Other may be found at: http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=346&layout=html
Introduction to American political thought after the Civil War
Questions for Class Discussion:
1. What were the most important economic developments taking place in America in the second half of the 19th century?
2. What were the most important social developments taking place in America in the second half of the 19th century?
3. What were the most important political conflicts taking place in America in the second half of the 19th century?
4. What were the most important ideological developments taking place in America in the second half of the 19th century?
5. How did all the above evolve during the 20th century?


Wednesday
Read: Kramnick & Lowi – Articles by Sumner, Carnegie, Conwell, Ward
A good site with material on William Graham Sumner and other defenders of laissez-faire liberalism is maintained by The Online Library of Liberty found at: http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Fperson=236&Itemid=27
His What Social Classes Owe to Each Other may be found at: http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?option=com_staticxt&staticfile=show.php%3Ftitle=346&layout=html
The debate over social Darwinism

Questions for Class Discussion:
1. What were the fundamental assumptions underlying 19th century laissez-faire liberalism?
2. How did this form of liberalism define freedom and justice?
3. How did this form of liberalism define the nature of the good society?
3. What were the core ideas at the heart of Sumner's political theory?
4. What were the key assumptions of social Darwinism?
5. What did social Darwinism and laissez-faire liberalism have in common?
6. How did those two theories differ?
7. What was involved in the gospel of wealth advanced by Canegie and Conwell?
8. How did Sumner's views about science influence his political theory?

9. How did Lester Frank Ward's use of evolutionary theory differ from Sumner's use of it?
10. How did Ward and other social scientists go about attacking laissez-faire liberalism and social Darwinism?

 

Friday

Read:  Check out online sites of ideological/organizational think tanks, political parties, magazines, newspapers, and opinion platforms for information on how the ideas you have been studying this week are still being addressed in ongoing debates in contemporary American politics.
Questions for Class Discussion:  On Fridays of most weeks we will be looking at contemporary political debates surrounding the political theories being studied for that particular week.


Critical Thinking Writing Exercise No. 1

Write a three page essay in which you explain the ideas advanced by 19th century advocates of laissez-faire liberalism and social Darwinism.  Evaluate the arguments for and against those theories.
This assignment is due on Friday.


 Week 2 Populism, Social Protest, and Alternative Visions
Monday
Populism, Social Protest
Read:  Kramnick & Lowi, Articles by George, Bellamy, Lloyd, Ward, Donnelly, Weaver, Watson, Lewelling, Bryan
           
For a contemporary site with left-wing populist articles, one can go to Salon at: http://www.salon.com
            For a critique of how the financial elites practice nepotism one can read the following: http://www.salon.com/2013/08/21/the_rich_summed_up_nepotism_cronyism_narcissism/
Questions for Class Discussion:

1. What were some of the chief criticisms of social and economic conditions advanced by the populists?
2. What was the basis of the critique of Standard Oil made by Henry Demarest Lloyd?
3. What are some of the reforms called for by Ignatius Donnelly when he discusses his utopian vision of a different future for the country?
4.  How does James Baird Weaver go about attacking the trusts of his day?
5.  How does Thomas E. Watson propose to deal with what he calls “The Negro Question in the South”?
6.  How does Lorenzo Dow Lewelling picture the situation facing farmers in his day?
7.  What were the key themes found in the “Cross of Gold” speech given by William Jennings Bryan at the 1896 Democratic Convention?
8.  What were some of the attitudes about race found in some of these social protests?

Wednesday
Alternative Visions
Read:  Kramnick & Lowi, Articles by George, Bellamy, Lloyd, Ward, Donnelly, Weaver, Watson, Lewelling, Bryan
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  What were some of the alternative visions for society advanced by social critics such as George and Bellamy?
2.  What was the solution that George advanced for the economic problems of his day?
3.  What were the arguments he used to support his solution?
4.  What were the central elements of Bellamy’s utopia?
5.  What arguments and assumptions were at the heart of Bellamy’s vision?
6. How did the utopian socialists such as George and Bellamy go about attacking social darwinism and laissez-faire liberalism?
7. How did the utopian socialists define the nature of the good society?

Friday  

Read:  Check out online sites of ideological/organizational think tanks, political parties, magazines, newspapers, and opinion platforms for information on how the ideas you have been studying this week are still being addressed in ongoing debates in contemporary American politics.
Questions for Class Discussion:  On Fridays of most weeks we will be looking at contemporary political debates surrounding the political theories being studied for that particular week.

Critical Thinking Writing Exercise No. 2
Write a three page essay in which you explain the main arguments advanced by the populists.  Evaluate their ideas.
This assignment is due on Friday.

Week 3 American Socialism; Anarchism
No classes on Monday, Labor Day
Wednesday
American Socialism
Read:  Kramnick & Lowi, Articles by Tucker, Goldman, De Leon, and Debs
           One may access articles on democratic socialism at the site maintained by the Democratic Socialists of America at: http://www.dsausa.org/  and Marxism at: https://www.marxists.org/
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  How does De Leon distance his own socialist theory from the labor movement of his day?
2.  Why is De Leon critical of reformism?
3.  How does Eugene V. Debs try to combine socialism with the labor movement?
4.  What are the key elements of the type of socialism advocated by Debs?
5.  How did
Rauschenbusch try to combine socialist and Christian ideals?

Friday
American AnarchismRead:  Kramnick & Lowi, Articles by Tucker, Goldman,
Rauschenbusch, De Leon, and Debs
            A good site with material on a wide variety of anarchist thinkers may be found at the Anarchy Archives found at: http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/goldman/aando/anarchism.html
            Emma Goldman’s classic “Anarchism:  What It Really Stands For” may be found at: http://dwardmac.pitzer.edu/Anarchist_Archives/goldman/aando/anarchism.html 
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  What does Benjamin Tucker see as the greatest threats to liberty?
2.  How does Emma Goldman go about defending anarchism?
3.  What are the great enemies of liberty, according to Goldman?
4.  How do you evaluate anarchist theory?
5.  What is the relationship between the socialist and anarchist ideas being advanced at this time?
           
Critical Thinking Writing Exercise No. 3
Write a three page essay explaining and evaluating the ideas advanced by Emma Goldman.
This assignment is due on Friday.

Week 4 Union Protests
Monday
Union Protests
Read: Kramnick & Lowi, Articles by Debs and Gompers
          For articles representing the views of the contemporary American labor movement, one can go to the site maintained by the AFL/CIO at: http://www.aflcio.org/
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  What issues are at the heart of the union protests of the early 20th century?
2.  What is the vision for the country advanced by these thinkers?
3.  Where do they agree with some of the socialists of the period?
4.  Where do they disagree with some of the socialists of the period?
5.  What are the core beliefs advanced by Eugene V. Debs?
6.  What arre the core beliefs advanced by Samuel Gompers?
7.  How did Debs view World War I?

Wednesday

Read:  Check out online sites of ideological/organizational think tanks, political parties, magazines, newspapers, and opinion platforms for information on how the ideas you have been studying this week are still being addressed in ongoing debates in contemporary American politics.
Questions for Class Discussion:  We will be looking at contemporary political debates surrounding the political theories being studied for this particular week.

Friday: NOTE: You will have your first test on Friday. This test will count for 1/6 of your semester grade.

Week 5 Pragmatism, Social Reform, and the Progressives
Read: Kramnick & Lowi, Articles by Steffens, Sinclair, Ryan, Addams, Rauschenbusch, Veblen, James, Dewey, Beard, Croly, T. Roosevelt, Wilson
You may read articles representing contemporary progressive thinking by going to the online site of the Center for American Progress at:
           http://www.americanprogress.org/

Special Topics:
Monday

Pragmatism
1.
How does William James define pragmatism?
2. What does pragmatism owe to the understanding of science advanced by James?
3. What problems did James think he could solve by the method of pragmatism?
4. What are the implications of pragmatism for political theory?

Wednesday

The Progressives
Questions for Class Discussion:
On Veblen

1. How did Veblen go about criticizing the business classes in America?
2. What did he say about the leisure class?
3. What did he say about conspicuous consumption?
4. What kind of society did he see evolving?
5. How did evolutionary thinking influence his thinking?
On The Progressives
1.
Why did the progressives reject laissez-faire capitalism?
2. What did they see going wrong with American society?
3. What did they retain from earlier thinking?
4. How did they change the meaning of liberalism?
5. What kind of society did they want?
6. What did the progressive owe to pragmatism?
7. What were some of the most important ideas at the heart of John Dewey's political thought?

Friday

Read:  Check out online sites of ideological/organizational think tanks, political parties, magazines, newspapers, and opinion platforms for information on how the ideas you have been studying this week are still being addressed in ongoing debates in contemporary American politics.
Questions for Class Discussion:  On Fridays of most weeks we will be looking at contemporary political debates surrounding the political theories being studied for that particular week.
 
Critical Thinking Writing Exercise No. 4
Write a three page essay in which you explain the meaning of pragmatism and then discuss what the progressives owed to pragmatism.
This assignment is on Friday.

 

The rest of this study guide is under revision

Week 6 New Deal and Great Society Liberalism
Read: Kramnick & Lowi, Articles by Hoover, Beard, Dewey, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Tugwell, Wallace, Lippmann
1941 Four Freedoms: http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/fdrthefourfreedoms.htm
1944 The Economic Bill of Rights: http://www.apj.us/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=130&Itemid
1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights: http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html
Special Topics:
Monday:

New Deal Liberalism
Questions for Class Discussion:
1. What were the core principles of New Deal liberalism?
2. What were the four freedoms?
3. What did New Deal liberalism owe to earlier liberalism?
4. How did New Deal liberalism differ from earlier liberalism?

 
Wednesday
Great Society Liberalism
Questions for Class Discussion:
1. What did LBJ want to achieve in his Great Society?
2. What were the key assumptions at the heart of those efforts?
3. How did John Kenneth Galbraith contribute to those ideas?
4. What were the core principles of Great Society liberalism?
5. What is the meaning of equality of opportunity?

Friday

Read:  Check out online sites of ideological/organizational think tanks, political parties, magazines, newspapers, and opinion platforms for information on how the ideas you have been studying this week are still being addressed in ongoing debates in contemporary American politics.
Questions for Class Discussion:  On Fridays of most weeks we will be looking at contemporary political debates surrounding the political theories being studied for that particular week.

Critical Thinking Writing Exercise No. 5
Write a three page essay in which you explain the theoretical underpinnings of the liberalism represented by the New Deal and Great Society.
This assignment is due on Friday.
 
Week 7 Contemporary Liberalism
Read:  Kramnick & Lowi, Articles by Rawls, Sandel, Walzer, Rorty, Etzioni
           You may read studies representing contemporary liberalism by going to the online site of the Center for American Progress at:
           http://www.americanprogress.org/    and Brookings at: http://www.brookings.edu/
           There are important political magazines found on both the left and right that feature stories and editorials on contemporary political issues.
           You may read articles representing different contemporary liberal views by going to the online version of The New Republic at:
            http://www.tnr.com/
Special Topics:

Monday
Liberalism and the social contract
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  How does Rawls try to save the social contract mode of theorizing about politics?
2.  What does Rawls owe to the great social contact thinkers?
3.  What does Rawls owe to Kant?
4.  How does Rawls modify and use the social contract theory?
5.  How does Rawls define justice?
6.  What does Rawls contribute to the liberal tradition?


Wednesday
Process and Values

Friday

Read:  Check out online sites of ideological/organizational think tanks, political parties, magazines, newspapers, and opinion platforms for information on how the ideas you have been studying this week are still being addressed in ongoing debates in contemporary American politics.
Questions for Class Discussion:  On Fridays of most weeks we will be looking at contemporary political debates surrounding the political theories being studied for that particular week.

Fall Break:  October 10-11

Week 8 More on Contemporary Liberalism; Second Test
Special Topics:
M:  No classes – fall break
W:  More on contemporary liberalism
F:  Note:
You will have your second test on Friday. This test will count for 1/6 of your semester grade.

Week 9 America and the World; Debating the Constitution

Read:  Kramnick & Lowi, Articles by George Washington, Strong, Beveridge, Sumner, Platform of the American Anti-Imperialist League, Niebuhr, Kennan
Special Topics:


Monday:  What role should America play in the world?
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  What advice did Washington give to the country regarding American interaction with the rest of world in his Farwell Address?
2.  How does Beveridge see America’s role in the world?  How does he justify imperialism?
3.  What were the arguments of Sumner and the American Anti-Imperialist League regarding imperialism?


Wednesday: 

Friday

Read:  Check out online sites of ideological/organizational think tanks, political parties, magazines, newspapers, and opinion platforms for information on how the ideas you have been studying this week are still being addressed in ongoing debates in contemporary American politics.
Questions for Class Discussion:  On Fridays of most weeks we will be looking at contemporary political debates surrounding the political theories being studied for that particular week.

Critical Thinking Writing Exercise No. 7
Write a three page essay in which you explain the differences between those who disagree over America’s role in the world.
This assignment is due on Friday.

Week 10  Immigration, Race, the Civil Rights Movement
Read: Kramnick & Lowi, Articles by Slater and George, T. Roosevelt, Lodge, Amendments 13, 14, 15, Chief Joseph, Crazy Horse, Smohalla, Brown and Marshall, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Garvey, Evans, Hughes, King, SNCC, Malcolm X, Rustin, Carmichael, Thurgood     

          Marshall, Cornel West
          You may do a search for contemporary articles on civil rights, race, and immigration by going to the site maintained by the NAACP at: http://www.naacp.org/
Special Topics:

Monday: On what Basis did Du Bois and others Challenge Racism early in the 20th Century?

Wednesday: What were the Central Issues Surrounding the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960?

Friday

Read:  Check out online sites of ideological/organizational think tanks, political parties, magazines, newspapers, and opinion platforms for information on how the ideas you have been studying this week are still being addressed in ongoing debates in contemporary American politics.
Questions for Class Discussion:  On Fridays of most weeks we will be looking at contemporary political debates surrounding the political theories being studied for that particular week.
 
Critical Thinking Writing Exercise No. 8.
Write a three page essay in which you explain the theoretical justification advanced by Martin Luther King, Jr. for his views on civil disobedience.  Explain whether or not you find his arguments convincing.
This assignment is due on Friday.

Week 11 The New Left; Environmentalism
Read:  Kramnick & Lowi, Articles by C. Wright Mills, SDS (The Port Huron Statement), Savio, Rubin
Special Topics:
Monday:  The New Left’s critique of American society

Wednesday:  The Environmentalist Movement

Friday

Read:  Check out online sites of ideological/organizational think tanks, political parties, magazines, newspapers, and opinion platforms for information on how the ideas you have been studying this week are still being addressed in ongoing debates in contemporary American politics.
Questions for Class Discussion:  On Fridays of most weeks we will be looking at contemporary political debates surrounding the political theories being studied for that particular week.

Critical Thinking Writing Exercise No. 9
Write a three page essay in which you explain and evaluate the critique of American society advanced by the New Left.
This assignment is due on Friday.

Week 12 Conservatism in America
Read:  Kramnick & Lowi, Articles by Adams, Twelve Southerners, Buckley, Chambers, Lippmann, Goldwater, YAF (The Sharon Statement), Kristol, Bloom, Robertson
            You may read studies representing contemporary conservatism by going to the online site of The Heritage Foundation at:
            http://www.heritage.org/    and the American Enterprise Institute For Public Policy Research at:  http://www.aei.org/
           You may read articles representing different contemporary conservative views by going to the online version of The National Review at:
           http://www.nationalreview.com/#
Special Topics:

Monday: What are the principal schools of thought within American conservatism?

Wednesday: 

Friday: NOTE: You will have your third test on Thursday, November 12.  This test will count for 1/6 of your semester grade.

Week 13 Feminism

Read:  Kramnick & Lowi, Articles by Adams, Murray, Grimke, Beecher, Stanton, Brownson, Woodhull, Anthony, Gilman, Addams, Friedan, NOW Bill of Rights, Redstockings Manifesto, Millett, Schaffly, Hooks
            For articles representing feminist perspectives, one can go to the site maintained by the National Organization of Women at: http://www.now.org/
Special Topics:
Tuesday: What were the main themes of the Feminism found in the 19th and early 20th Centuries?
Thursday:  What were some of the main themes and competing schools of thought developed within Feminism in the second half of
       the 20th Century? What are the most Important Challenges facing Feminism today?
Critical Thinking Writing Exercise No. 10
Write a three page essay in which you explain the most important claims advanced by feminist theory.  How do you assess the strengths of these claims? You are quite justified in developing this essay if you wish to point out the problems with the question being asked.
This assignment is due on Friday.
 

Week 14 Libertarianism
Read:  The Cato Institute maintains a popular libertarian site at: http://www.cato.org/
            The Ludwig von Mises Institute advances the principles of laissez-faire liberalism at: http://mises.org/  
Special Topics:

Monday:  What are the principles of contemporary laissez-faire liberalism?

Wednesday and Friday:  No classes

Thanksgiving Vacation    No Classes

Week 15 Contemporary Populism of the Left and Right
Read:
Special Topics:
M:  Left-wing Populist Critique of Corporate Power in America; Occupy Wall Street
       For a contemporary site with left-wing populist articles, one can go to Salon at:
http://www.salon.com
W:  Right-wing Populist Critique of Big Government; The Tea Party Movement
       For two different sites with right-wing populist articles, one can go to these two sites run by competing Tea Party organizations:
http://www.teaparty.org/ and http://www.teapartypatriots.org/
F:    Debates over the Founders of the Republic;  Competing Claims

      
Read:  Check out online sites of ideological/organizational think tanks, political parties, magazines, newspapers, and opinion platforms for information on how the ideas you have been studying this week are still being addressed in ongoing debates in contemporary American politics.
       Questions for Class Discussion:  On Fridays of most weeks we will be looking at contemporary political debates surrounding the political theories being studied for that particular week.

Classes end Dec. 6

Reading Day:  Dec. 7
Exam Period:  Dec. 9-13
Final Exam: The final exam will be on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 3:00 P.M. – 5:30 PM.. The final exam will be worth 1/6 of your semester grade.

 



The following material is from older material from previous semesters



 

Week 5 Political Ideologies in America
The Sources of Political Ideologies in America
Monday, Feb. 10
Read:  Dolbeare and Medcalf, Chapter 1 of Part I -  Ideology and Politics in the U.S.
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  What is an ideology?
2.  What are the sources of ideologies?
3.  What are the sources of American ideologies?
4.  Why are ideologies important in American politics?

The Political Spectrum Today
Wednesday, Feb. 12
Read:  Dolbeare and Medcalf, Chapter 2 of Part I -  Ideology and Politics in the U.S.
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  What are the most basic values at the heart of American ideologies?
2.  Why is democracy such a core value in the American system?
3.  How are those core values the source of conflict?
4.  What determines how values get ranked in an ideology?

Are Political Ideologies Obsolete?
Friday, Feb. 14
Read:  Hollinger & Capper - "The End of Ideology in the West" by Daniel Bell
           Dolbeare and Medcalf, Part I -  Ideology and Politics in the U.S.
Questions for Class Discussion:
1. What did Daniel Bell mean when he said ideology in the West is at an end?
2. Was he correct in that claim?
3. What is the nature of the political spectrum in American politics?
4. How do Dolbeare and Medcalf suggest we understand American ideologies?
5. What framework do they use?
6. Is their framework valid?
Critical Writing Assignment No. 4
Write a three page on what are the principal points separating the competing ideological schools of thought dividing American today.  Be sure to explain the basic theoretical disagreements.  This essay is not about different stands on public policy issues but what leads to those different positions in the first place.
This assignment is due at the beginning of class on Friday, Feb. 14.



Week 6 American Liberalism and Some Challengers
No classes on Monday, Feb. 17 - President's day
American Liberalism and the Critique of American Liberalism by Neoconservatism and Neoliberalism should be studied outside of class
Reading assignment for this day without class: Dolbeare and Medcalf,  Part II - Ideology and Politics in the 1970s and 1980s
Questions for Reflection on Readings:
1.  What were the central ideas advanced by American liberalism by the 1960s and 1970s?
2.  What are some of the tensions within  contemporary American liberalism?
3.  What is the basis for the Neoconservative critique of 1960s and 1970s American liberalism?
4.  What are the problems facing Neoconservatism?
5.  What is the basis for the Neoliberal critique of 1960s and 1970s American liberalism?
6.  What are the problems facing Neoliberalism?

John Rawls and the Liberal Paradigm
Wednesday, February 19
Read: Davis (On Reserve): selection from A Theory of Justice by John Rawls
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  How does Rawls try to save the social contract mode of theorizing about politics?
2.  What does Rawls owe to the great social contact thinkers?
3.  What does Rawls owe to Kant?
4.  How does Rawls modify and use the social contract theory?
5.  How does Rawls define justice?
6.  What does Rawls contribute to the liberal tradition?

Populism and the New Left
Friday, February 21
Read: Dolbeare and Medcalf,  Part II - Ideology and Politics in the 1970s and 1980s
          Hollinger & Capper - "Letter to the New Left" by C. Wright Mills
          Davis (On Reserve): "Port Huron Statement" by the Students for a Democratic Society (SDA)
          Dolbeare and Medcalf, Chpt. 7 Working-Class Reform: Progressive Populism, Labor, and the Rainbow
Optional Material On Reserve:
Davis, Chpt. 8 The Challenge of the 1950s an 1060s: Democracy, Dissent, and the Struggle for Equality - Selection by Barber
Mason, Chpt. 15 Selection by Eisenhower from the "Military and Industrial Complex" section of his "Farewell Address"
Questions for Class Discussion
1.  What are the characteristics of American populist thought?
2.  What are the differences between populism of the left and populism of the right?
3.  What were the main themes of New Left political thought?
4.  What did the New Left owe to C. Wright Mills?
5.  What were the problems facing the New Left?
Critical Thinking Writing Exercise No. 5
Write a three page essay in which you explain the major claims about the nature of justice advanced by John Rawls.  Be sure to link his ideas to central themes found in the liberal tradition.
This assignment is due at the beginning of class on Friday, Feb. 21.



Week 7 Race, Civil Rights, and Multiculturalism
On what Basis did Du Bois and others Challenge Racism early in the 20th Century?
Monday, Feb. 24
Read: Hollinger & Capper - "Of the Sons of Master and Man" by W.E.B. Du Bois; selection from An American Dilemma by Gunnar Mydal
Dolbeare and Medcalf, Chpt. 6 Reform Liberalism: Race, Gender, and Cultural Diversity
Optional Background Material On Reserve:
Davis, Chpt. 8 The Challenge of the 1950s an 1960s: Democracy, Dissent, and the Struggle for Equality - Selections by Washington
Mason, Chpt. 15 Selections by Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois
Dolbeare, Selections by W.E.B. Du Bois
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  How did Booker T. Washington challenge racism?
2.  How did Washington think black Americans could best overcome racism?
3.  How did W.E.B. Du Bois challenge racism?
4.  What did Du Bois owe to Darwinism?
5.  How did Du Bois differ from Washington?
6.  What did they share in common?
7.  How do their differences show up in later disputes among African-Americans about how to best correct racial conditions?

What were the Central Issues Surrounding the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960?
Wednesday, Feb. 26
Read:  Hollinger & Capper - selection from An American Dilemma by Gunnar Mydal; selection from "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" by Martin Luther King, Jr.; selection from "The Ballot of the Bullet" by Malcom X
Dolbeare and Medcalf, Chpt. 6 Reform Liberalism: Race, Gender, and Cultural Diversity
Optional Background Material On Reserve:
Mason, Chpt. 19 Selections by Warren, King, Powell, Marshall, Arendt
Dolbeare, Selections on the 1950s and after the 1960s; Selections by Douglass
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  What did Mydal suggest was the "American dilemma'?
2.  What arguments did Martin Luther King, Jr. advance for his strategy for social change?
3.  How did he defend civil disobedience?
4.  What do you think of his strategy and arguments?
5.  How did Maclom X challenge the approach of King?
6.  What did they finally share in common?
7.  What was mean by the term "black power"?

What are the Central Issues Involved in the Debate over Multiculturalism?
Friday, Feb. 28
Read:  Hollinger & Capper - selection from Killers of the Dream by Lillian Smith; selection from In My Father's House by Kwame Anthony Appiah; "What Does it Mean to be an 'American'?" by Michael Walzer
Dolbeare and Medcalf, Chpt. 6 Reform Liberalism: Race, Gender, and Cultural Diversity
Questions for Class Discussion:
1. What are the central claims of multiculturalism?
2. What are the main criticisms of multiculturalism?
3. How should America solve its racial problems?
Critical Thinking Writing Exercise No. 6.
Write a three page essay in which you explain the theoretical justification advanced by Martin Luther King, Jr. for his views on civil disobedience.  Explain whether or not you find is arguments convincing.
This assignment is due at the beginning of class on Friday, Feb. 28.



Week 8 Conservatism in America
What are the Principal Schools of Thought within American Conservatism?
Monday, March 3
Read:  Dolbeare and Medcalf, Part IV Challenges from the Right
Hollinger & Capper - "Reconstructed but Unregenerate" by John Crowe Ransom; selection from Witness by Wittaker Chambers; selection from We Hold These Truths by John Courtney Murray; "The Democratic Distemper" by Samuel Hunitngton
Optional Material at Library:
William R. Harbour, The Foundations of Conservative Thought: An Anglo-American Tradition in Perspective
Questions for Class Discussion:
1. What are the central claims of organic or traditionalist conservatism?
2. What are the central claims of libertarian or economic conservatism?
3. What are the central claims of religious or new right conservatism?
4. What was the role of anti-Communism in American conservatism after World War II?
5. What do these competing forms of conservatism have in common?

What are the main Problems confronting Conservatism in America?
Wednesday, March 5
Read:  Dolbeare and Medcalf, Part IV Challenges from the Right
Hollinger & Capper - "Reconstructed but Unregenerate" by John Crowe Ransom; selection from Witness by Wittaker Chambers; selection from We Hold These Truths by John Courtney Murray; "The Democratic Distemper" by Samuel Hunitngton
Optional Material at Library:
William R. Harbour, The Foundations of Conservative Thought: An Anglo-American Tradition in Perspective
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  What problems do each of the competing schools of conservative thought face?
2.  What does American conservatism owe to other parts of the American political tradition?
3.  What problems do certain parts of the American political tradition pose to various forms of conservatism?
4.  What are the strengths of conservative thought?
5.  What are the weaknesses of conservative thought?

Second Test
Friday, March 7
Note: You will have your second test on Friday, March 7. This test will count for 1/6 of your semester grade  



Week 9 Civil Society Theory Part I
Civil Society Theory
Monday, March 17
Read: Articles from Eberly: "The Meaning, Origins, and Applications of Civil Society" by Don E. Eberly; "The Quest for
          Community: A Study in the Ethics of Order and Freedom" by Robert Nisbet; " "The Good Society: We Live Through
          Our Institutions" Robert Bellah; "The Demoralization of Society: What's wrong with Civil Society" by Gertrude
          Himmelfarb
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  What are the central concerns of civil society theorists?
2.  What does Nisbet mean by "community"?
3.  How does Bellah understand the nature of a good society?
4.  How does Himmelfarb describe the challenges facing civil society?
5.  What does civil society theory share with some other political theories?

Moral Issues in Civil Society
Wednesday, March 19
Read: Articles from Eberly: "Whose Keeper? Social Science and Moral Obligation" by Alan Wolfe;   "Democracy on Trial:
         The Role of Civil Society in Sustaining Democratic Values" by Jean Bethke Elshtain; "Communitarianism and the Moral
         Dimension" by Amitai Etzioni;
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  What are the moral obligations of social scientists?
2.  Why does democracy need a strong civil society?
3.  What is the role of civil society in sustaining moral values?
4.  How important are moral values to civil society?

Social Capital
Friday, March 21
Read: Articles from Eberly: "To Empower People: from State to Civil Society" by Peter Berger and Richard John Neuhaus;
          "Professionalized Services: Disabling Help for Communities and Citizens" by John McKnight; "Culture, Incentives, and
          the Underclass" by James Wilson; "The Urban Church: Faith, Outreach and the Inner City Poor" by John Dilulio.
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  What is social capital?
2.  What aspects of the welfare state are criticized by Berger and Neuhaus?
3.  What does Wilson say about the impact of cultural forces on poverty?
4.  What do you think of Dilulio's views of the role of faith based organizations in civil society?
5.  What do you think of Dilulio's new position in the Bush administration?
Critical Thinking Writing Exercise No. 7
Write a three page essay in which you summarize the principal claims of civil society theory and then relate that theory to some of the other political theories you have studied this semester.
This assignment is due at the beginning of class on Friday, March 21.



Week 10 Civil Society Theory Part II
Social Trust and Authority
Monday, March 24
Read: Articles from Eberly: "The Lost City: The Case for Social Authority" by Allan Ehrenhalt; "Trust: The Social Virtues and
          the Creation of Prosperity" by Francis Fukuyama
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  Explain how Allan Ehrenhalt defends social authority?
2.  Are there problems with his position?
3.  Why does Fukuyama view trust as so important?
4.  Do you agree with his analysis of American society?

The Democratic State and Civil Society
Wednesday, March 26
Read: Articles from Eberly:  "Democracy's Discontent: The Procedural Republic" by Michael Sandel;  "The Progressive Assault
          of Civic Community" by William A. Schambra;  "Politics, Morality, and Civility" by Vaclav Havel.
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  What are Sandel's chief criticisms of liberal democracy?
2.  What does he contribute to civil society theory?
3.  Why does Schambra believe progressives have damaged civic community?
4.  Are his criticisms fair?
5.  What does Havel have to say about the obligations of those who participate in politics?
6.  What do you think of his arguments?

Individualism and American Exceptionalism
Friday, March 28
Read: Articles from Eberly:  "Rights Talk: The Impoverishment of Political Discourse" by Mary Ann Glendon;  "Individualism,
          Liberalism and Democratic Civic Society" by William Galston; "American Exceptionalism Revisited: The Role of Civil
          Society" by Daniel Bell
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  Why does Mary Ann Glendon attack the emphasis on rights?
2.  How do you assess her arguments?
3.  How does William Galston go about defending important parts of the liberal tradition from civil society theorists?
4.  Could he argumetns be used to answer many of the criticisms advanced by civil society theorists against the marketplace?
5.  How do you evaluate Daniel Bell's observations about American society?
Critical Thinking Writing Exercise No. 8
Write a three page essay in which you briefly summarize the principal claims of one the assigned articles for this week and then use that article to critique some of the other political theories studied this semester.
This assignment is due at the beginning of class on Friday, March 28.



Week 11 Communitarian Theory  Part I
The Communitarian Paradigm
Monday, March 31
Read: Etzioni, Preface; Introduction; The Responsive Communitarian Platform: Rights and Responsibilities; Articles in Part I
          TheCommunitarian Paradigm: 1. "Rights in Twentieth Century Constitutions" by Mary Ann Glendon; 2. "Rights and
          Responsibilities" by Dallin H. Oaks; 3. "The Quest for Self" by Robert N. Bellah; 4. "Communitarianism or Populism" by
          Christopher Lasch; 5. "Japan: The Price of Safe Streets" by Juan Williams
Questions for Class Discussion:
1. How does Etzioni describe the communitarian paradigm?
2. What do Glendon and Oaks say about rights?
3. What does Bellah say abou the self?
4. What does Lasch say about communitarianism?
5. What does Williams say about public safety measures in Japan?

Policy Implications of Communitarian Theory
Wednesday, April 2
Read: Etzioni, Articles in Part II Policy Applications; 6. "Preventing HIV: Rights, Duties, and Partner" by Ronald Bayer and
          Kathleen E. Toomey; 7. "Checkpoint at Inkster: Reasonable or Unreasonable?" by Roger Conner; 8. "Free Speech,
          Equal Rights, and Water Buffaloes: University Regulation of Discriminatory Verbal Harrassment" by Mary Ellen Gale; 9.
          "Pornography: Free Speech versus Civil Rights?" by Sharon J. Pressner; 10. "The Misunderstandings of the 'Property
          Rights' Movement" by Donovan D. Rypkema
Questions for Class Discussion:
1. Should communities be able to develop their own rules about pornography free from court interference?
2. What problems do privacy rights pose to communitarian theory?
3. Do university speech codes violate free speech?
4. Are police checkpoints unreasonable?

Moral Infrastructure
Friday, April 4
Read: Etzioni,  Articles in Part III Moral Infrastructure: 11. "In Defense of the Nanny State" by Robert E. Goodwin; 12. "The
          New Paternalism: Earned Welfare" by Isabel Sawhill; 13.
"A Liberal-Democratic Case for the Two-Parent Family" by
         William A. Galston; 14.
"Moral Guidance for Today's Youth, In School and Out" by William Damon; 15. "Schools to
         Parents: Keep Out" by John Leo; 16. "Buiding a Responsive Community" by John Gardner; 17. "Pluralism within Uniity:
         A Communitarian Version of Multiculturalism" by Diane Ravitch; 18.
"Mosaic of Hope: Ethnic Identities Clash with
         Student Idealism at a College" by Dennis Farney; 19. "A Mandate for Liberty: Requiring Education-Based Community
         Service" by Benjamin R. Barber; 20. "Crossing the Tracks: A Lesson in Public Service" by Suzanne Goldsmith; 21.
         "Between the State and Market: Voluntarism and the Difference It Makes" by Robert Wuthnow.
Questions for Class Discussion:
1. How can strong communities be built?
2. Are communitarians paternalistic?
3. Is paternalism bad?
4. Should communities have more control over their own schools?
5. What does communitarian theory share in common with civil society theory?
6. How are those theories different?
Critical Thinking Writing Exercise No. 9
Write a three page essay in which you summarize the principal claims communitarian theory and then relate that theory to some of the other political theories you have studied this semester.
This assignment is due at the beginning of class on Friday, April 4.



Week 12 Communitarian Theory Part II
Strengthening Communities
Monday, April 7
Read: Etzioni, Articles in Part IV Shoring Up Communities: 22. "The Loss of Public Space" by Fred Seigel; 23. "Community
          Policing" by Brian Forst; 24.
"L.A. Gated Communities" by Elizabeth Ginsburg; 26. "Where Necessity Ends for Hopital
          Care" by Lisa Belkin; 27
Questions for Class Discussion:
1. Why do communitarians value public space?
2. Are gated communities good or bad?
3. How can communities be strengthened?
4. Why are local schools so important to communitarian theory?

Creating a Responsive Society
Wednesday, April 9
Read: Etzioni,  Articles in Part V Toward a Responsive Society: 27. "Participation and the Problem of Civic
          Understanding" by Rober Dahl; 28.
"On Restoring the Moral Voice" by Amitai Etzioni; 29. "Communitarian vs.
          Individualistic Capitalism" by Lester Thurow; 30.
"Beyond Left and Right: A New Political Paradigm" by David Osborne.
Questions for Class Discussion:
1. Is Lester Thurow right about communitarian capitalism?
2. Is the communitarian paradigm really beyond the usual left-right divide in ideology?
3. What are the strengths of communitarian theory?
4. What are its weaknesses?

Third Test
Friday, April 11  Test Three
NOTE: You will have your third test on Friday, April 11. This test will count for 1/6 of your semester grade.



Week 13 Feminism
What were the Main Themes of the Feminism found in the 19th and early 20th Centuries?
Monday, April 14
Read:  Dolbeare and Medcalf, Chpt. 6 Reform Liberalism: Race, Gender, and Cultural Diversity
Hollinger & Capper - "The Solitude of Self" by Elizabeth Cady Stanton; selection from Women and Economics by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Optional Background Material On Reserve:
Selections from Shumaker, Kiel, and Heilke (On Reserve): "The Seneca Falls Declaration" by Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Mason, Chpt. 14 Selection by Jacobi; Chpt. 15 Selection by Addams; Chpt. 12 Selection by Stanton; Chpt. 11 Selection by Fuller
Dolbeare, Selections by Stanton and Anthony
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  What were the essential arguments advanced at Seneca Falls?
2.  How did Elizabeth Cady Stanton go about defending the rights of women?  What was her beginning point?
3.  What other reform movements, in addition to the suffrage battle, did women play an important role in during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries?
4.  What did these movements have in common?
5.  How did Charlotte Perkins Gilman understand the historical position of women?

What were some of the main Themes and Competing Schools of Thought Developed within Feminism in the second half of the 20th Century?
Wednesday, April 16
Read:  Dolbeare and Medcalf, Chpt. 6 Reform Liberalism: Race, Gender, and Cultural Diversity
Hollinger & Capper - selection from The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan; "Gender and Science: 1990" by Evelyn Fox Keller; selection from Gender and Trouble by Judith Butler
Optional Background Material On Reserve:
Selections from Shumaker, Kiel, and Heilke (On Reserve):  "The Feminist Standpoint" by Nancy Hartsock; "Justice, Gender and the Family" by Susan Moler Okin; "In a Diffferent Voice" by Carol Gilligan
Davis, Chpt. 8 The Challenge of the 1950s and 1960s: Democracy, Dissent, and the Struggle for Equality -Selections by Gilman, Addams, NOW, and Pollitt
Yates, What Women Want
Questions for Class Discussion:
1. What direction did Betty Friedan offer for the feminist movement?
2.  How was her position challenged by more radical feminist thinkers in the 1960s and 1970s?
3.  What ideas does Carol Gilligan advance about moral thinking?
4.  What does Evelyn Fox Keller argue about gender and science?
5.  How does Judith Butler try to explain the construction of the the concept of "woman"?

What are the most Important Challenges facing Feminism today?
Friday, April 18
Read:  Dolbeare and Medcalf, Chpt. 6 Reform Liberalism: Race, Gender, and Cultural Diversity
Hollinger & Capper - selection from Women and Economics by Charlotte Perkins Gilman; selection from The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan; "Gender and Science: 1990" by Evelyn Fox Keller; selection from Gender and Trouble by Judith Butler
Optional Background Material On Reserve:
Selections from Shumaker, Kiel, and Heilke (On Reserve): "The Feminist Standpoint" by Nancy Hartsock; "Justice, Gender and the Family" by Susan Moler Okin; "In a Diffferent Voice" by Carol Gilligan
Davis, Chpt. 8 The Challenge of the 1950s and 1960s: Democracy, Dissent, and the Struggle for Equality -Selections by Gilman, Addams, NOW, and Pollitt
Yates, What Women Want
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  How have feminist thinkers been criticized by other schools of thought?
2.  What principal divisions exist among feminist thinkers?
3.  What are the strongest points of feminist theory?
4.  What are the weakest points of feminist theory?
Critical Thinking Writing Exercise No. 10
Write a three page essay in which you explain the most important claims advanced by feminist theory.  How do you assess the strengths of these claims? You are quite justified in developing this essay if you wish to point out the problems with the question being asked.
This assignment is due by noon on Friday, April 18.



Week 14 Environmentalism
What are the Main Claims of Mainstream Environmentalism?
Monday, April 21
Read:  Dolbeare and Medcalf, Part V The Reconstruction of the American Political Spectrum
Selections from Shumaker, Kiel, and Heilke (On Reserve): ""The Land Ethic" by Aldo Leopold; "Creating an Ecological Economy" by Petra Kelly
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  What are the theoretical foundations of mainstream environmentalism?
2.  What do these thinkers see as solutions to our most important environmental problems?
3.  What political theories are closest to this school of thought?
4.  What are the principal problems facing this school of thought?

What are the main points advanced by more Radical Schools of Thought within Environmentalism?
Wednesday, April 23
Read:  Dolbeare and Medcalf, Part V The Reconstruction of the American Political Spectrum
Selections from Shumaker, Kiel, and Heilke (On Reserve): ""The Land Ethic" by Aldo Leopold; "Creating an Ecological Economy" by Petra Kelly
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  How do more radical environmentalists go about attack liberal environmentalism?
2.  What are some of the most important theoretical perspectives of the more radical schools of environmentalism?
3.  What are the most important differences among these competing radical perspectives?
4.  What are the principal problems facing these schools of thought?

Do Animals have Rights?
Friday, April 25
Read:  Dolbeare and Medcalf, Part V The Reconstruction of the American Political Spectrum
Selections from Shumaker, Kiel, and Heilke (On Reserve): "The Case for Animal Rights" by Tom Reagan
Questions for Class Discussion:
1.  Do animals have rights?
2.  What are the most important claims of the animal rights movement?
3.  What are the strongest arguments advanced by animal rights advocates?
4.  What do you see their majors weaknesses?
5.  What theoretical perspectives are closest to this movement's claims?