Modern Political Ideologies


William E. Scheuerman
Course Description

Trying to make sense of the confusing --and sometimes bewildering-- world of political discourse? For example, what in fact makes a “liberal” liberal or a “conservative” conservative? How do “anarchists” or “socialists” think? Why can’t experts or pundits decide if President Trump is a “conservative,” “populist,” or something else? This course will explore the answers to these questions and more.

This course should help. After briefly discussing the term “ideology,” the course examines those political ideologies that continue to shape political experience worldwide: anarchism, conservatism, environmentalism, feminism, liberalism, nationalism, populism, and socialism.

There are no course prerequisites, but students should be prepared to read a range of provocative texts and writers, and be ready to discuss them in class and write about them. By the course’s conclusion, students can expect to have gained familiarity with the world’s most significant contributions to political ideas or “ideology.”