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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

GOVT 86.47 The Rise of Capitalism

This class explores key works, ideas, and themes in modern political theory throughout the rise and development of capitalism, from the late seventeenth century to the present. Our approach will be to place primary texts in Western political thought within the socioeconomic contexts in which they were originally written and read, paying particular attention to how political thinkers have responded to pivotal events, innovations, crises, and policies that marked the capitalist societies in which they lived. Each session will focus on a specific moment of convergence between political theory and the history of capitalism, including: political economy and finance, the Enlightenment and colonial slavery, liberalism and the Industrial Revolution, and critical theory and Silicon Valley. Students will acquire an in-depth understanding of central concepts and problems in Western political theory and develop the necessary skills to analyze, discuss, and write about such concepts and problems within a long-range socioeconomic context.

Degree Requirement Attributes


The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.