This course explores political philosophy in the post-WWII era, focusing on themes of social contract, community, identity, equality, liberty, and democracy. We begin with Rawls' revival of liberal social contract theory, and consider critiques by feminists, antiracists, and others. Behind these debates lies a renewal of concern with the material bases of inequality, and their tensions with the symbolic or recognitional demands of equality. We will investigate these tensions through an examination of multiculturalist theory and practice, in the U.S. and abroad. The second half of the course shifts gears to the international context. We will consider issues of international justice, such as global economic inequality, justice and climate change, immigration, nationalism and secession.
Class sessions will combine lecture and discussion.
There will be two papers and a final examination.