Skip to main content

Classics of Social and Political Thought II

Program(s): Undergraduate Courses

*Taught Online*  This second section of Classics spans the history of Western political thinking from seventeenth-century natural law to eighteenth-century reflections on freedom, government, and commercial society. It is during this period that the modern liberal representative state became a philosophical possibility when the political theories of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke were combined with, and contested by, eighteenth-century discussions of human sociability, governmental rationality, and popular sovereignty. The fundamental modern dilemma of how to combine political rule, which rests ultimately on a moment of coercion, with a robust notion of popular freedom, also makes its most famous formulation during this period in the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. We'll see that these were some of the ideas with which American and French revolutionaries articulated their radical experiments in mass democracy, the aftermath of which saw the spread of modern nationalism, the demand for gender equality, and the consolidation and most fundamental criticisms of capitalism. This section will thereby introduce you to the theoretical foundations and concepts of modern politics.

Remote or Residential

✓ Remote Course


Course Considerations

Must take SOSC 15100 Classics of Social and Political Thought I prior to taking this course. 

Course Overview

Current Grade / Education Level

Undergrad / Grad


Undergraduate Courses

Start Date

July 05

End Date

July 22

Class Details

Primary Instructor

Sarita Zaffini

Academic Interest

Social Sciences (e.g., history, sociology)

Class Specifics

Course Code

SOSC 15200 91

Class Day(s)

Mon Wed Fri

Class Duration (CST)


4:30 P.M.


Session II

Course Length

3 weeks