Course Catalog


Conservative Political Thought

This course examines conservative political thought, with emphasis on its origins, development, variety, premises, aims, arguments, and public policy implications. Readings include major figures in the history of conservative political thought as well as recent and contemporary conservative writers. Students are required to make extensive use of resources available on the World Wide Web. While the focus of the course is largely on American conservatism, some attention is given to other varieties of conservatism as well. Issues include: How and why did conservatism emerge? What are conservatives for and what are they against? Does conservatism have an essential core of ideas, or does the content of conservatism vary according to historical conditions? Does conservatism require a belief in religion? How do contemporary conservatives understand important political controversies? What do conservatives propose as solutions to important problems in modern society? What might the future of conservatism be?

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