TRU 110-02: S&S Seminar: Ideologies and Political and Economic Communities

Dr. John J. Quinn
Self & Society Seminar: Ideologies and Political and Economic Communities
TRU 110-02
Office: McClain 206D x4578

Required Texts                   Assignments and Grading

The ideologies of nationalism and democracy have greatly shaped modern political lifeIdeologies are normative outlooks meant to shape mass behavior.  Each ideology that we shall study has moral or ethical obligations associated with their views of justice as well as who is a member of a particular community.  So in this class we will ask: Who is a member of our nation or our political communityWhat obligations do we have to members of the same nations or political community? What is the best form of government? What do we owe, if anything, to fellow human beings outside of our societyWe will examine the role of major political, social, and economic ideologies and their implications on national identity, political community, political and economic rights, any obligations we owe to others within our community, as well as on any international obligations emerging from our ideological views of the worldIn this course, we see how different ideologies lead us to different answers by examining nationalism, classical liberalism, modern liberalism, socialism, Marxism, anarchism, fascism, feminism, and environmentalismWe will also explore other traditional sources of identity.

Required texts:

Baradat, Leon P. and John A. Phillips. Political Ideologies and Their Origins and Impacts12th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2017.   

Recommended texts:

Covey, Steven.  1990. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. New York: Simon & Shuster (or later edition).  


Assignments and Grading

Paper / Assignment 1:  This assignment is to create a 4 year plan using your current major (and any minors) as an example of how you could complete within the 4 year period.  If you want to include an internship or study abroad, that is fine, but make sure it is planned for your junior or senior year.  This assignment has to be uploaded to the vault as well as turned in online or to me.  It should show specific courses which add up to enough to graduate and fulfill the requirements of your major.  After showing the plan, write in prose, why courses were chosen and how they helps you graduate within four years.  You also have to show (on a separate piece of paper) a weekly plan of when to study, eat, attend classes, go to the library, work out et cetera.  5%. 

Applies planning and critical thinking/understanding of liberal arts major/minors.  

Paper 2: Write a three to four page proposal for some reform you would like to implement at some level of government in the US (or internationally) (e.g., city, state, or federal/national).  Make the argument of why you want to implement the reform.  Make a normative argument of why it would be “good” for that part of government to implement the policy.  What “should be fixed” and why is it an improvement for that society in your opinion?  Examples could include pollution abatement, homelessness, a balanced budget amendment, welfare reform, corporate welfare, taxes and their effects, excessive government regulation in some domain, too little government regulation in some domain, the law of the seas, global climate change, abortion, medical reform, and so on.  5% of points.  

Paper 3:  Take your proposal from paper 2, rewrite, and expand it into a 7 – 10 page paper by adding an analysis of which ideologies covered in class could be mustered to support the bill. Show as many ideologies as you think might support this idea and why.  Also, discuss which ideologies could be used to oppose the reform and why.  Make sure you show which obligations or rights people or society have relative to each ideology you illustrate.  So show how the reform is potentially aligned (or opposed to) with at least four of the ideologies covered in class (classical liberalism, modern liberalism, anarchism/ libertarianism, socialism, fascism, nationalism, democracy, feminism, environmentalism) or any other relevant ideology discussed so far.  Also discuss why these ideologies are likely to be aligned or in opposition to your ideas looking at social/ natural rights or substantive or due process rights.  [Due the last day of classes].  Also, make sure you demonstrate and reflect upon somewhere in your paper why this reform would be an act of positive civic engagement.  This will be worth 20% of your grade.  

The second paper must be between 7 – 10 pages long, [not counting any title page, end notes, outline, or bibliography] be double spaced (or 1.5), and have a bibliography with at least three references. [Students may use either end notes or footnotes or inline citation. These need to be used when you do the following: quote someone else’s material directly; allude to someone else’s ideas or contributions; or cite hard to find or specific evidence (e.g., the per capita income for the US in 1994).] [See for various ways to cite papers.  I have a strong preference for APA, or APSA (if you are a political science major), but I can accept MLA from others.] 

Group Project/ Presentation: The class will be broken up into groups in the later part of the class.  Each group will have a debate over an important / relevant issue in the United States to look at how different ideologies would view each major issues.  These issues could include 1) government provided health care v market provision v a mix; 2) the rights to carry/ own guns (and other weapons); 3) if the government has a right to draft people for a war; 4) if the government has the right to tax citizens / or take away private property (and under what conditions); 5) does the government owe an education to its citizens (and to what age?); 6) can the government ban / regulate abortions; 7) can the government make you take a vaccination (or wear a mask?)?  Other topics could be used with the professor’s approval.  Each group will present their ideas of how classical liberalism, modern liberalism, anarchism/ libertarianism, socialism, nationalism, democracy, or any other relevant ideology discussed so far would either support/ opposed, or be indifferent to the issue chosen.  Be careful to think clearly about natural rights v social rights, procedural v substantive justice, the rights of minorities and the rights of majorities.  Look especially closely at social contract theorists, liberals (classical, modern and neoclassical), anarchists, socialists, and fascists as well as other ideologies you may want to include).  Also include a discussion of who is considered to be within the community of interest? (sub-groups? States? Nations? The whole world?) I also want each group to discuss which political parties. interest groups, or communities will likely take a side in this debate – and which side they would take.  Each group will give a 15 minute presentation to the class and then have a 10 minute Q and A session afterwards. Grade are given for all in group.  Groups will be of 3 people.  No one in the group can use the exact same ideas from their paper. 10% of grade.  

Weekly Quizzes: We will also have quizzes most weeks covering materials covered in class and the readings.  The quizzes will open Friday afternoon and close Monday mornings a half hour before class begins.  The quizzes will be combined or averaged to form a score of 10%. 

Mid-Term and Final: We will also have a mid-term and a final essay exams which will cover content mostly from our text as well any PowerPoint presentations or assigned readings.  Most will be on ideologies and ensuing best political systems and obligations one to the other.  Each will be worth 20% (so 40% total).