History of Political Thought II: Legitimacy, Equality, and the Social Contract


On what grounds does government derive its authority? What role does the "people" play in authorizing political legitimacy? And what recourse should they have when their political institutions no longer serve their interests? This course engages with influential social contract theorists from the early modern tradition, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, on these questions on the sources and limits of political authority. This course, moreover, will consider the relevance of past intellectual traditions for contemporary debates on growing fragility of democratic legitimacy both domestically and abroad.
Course Attributes: EN S; BU BA; AS SSC