This course aims to provide a broad introduction to some of the main ideas in the history of the Western tradition of political thought. It follows a chronological path and is divided in two parts. In the first part, we look at classical Greek and Christian political thought both in antiquity and during the Middle Ages, focusing in particular on works by Plato, Aristotle, Polybius, Cicero, Augustine and Aquinas, as well as well as some extracts from both the Jewish Bible and the Christian New Testament. In the second part, we look at what is commonly referred to as the ‘modern’ period in the history of western political thought, from the Protestant Reformation to the end of the 19th century. Here we will be focusing on works by Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Marx, Tocqueville and Mill.
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