Political Theory

Our department has a deep commitment to Political Theory, a subfield of political science that seeks to critically interrogate some of the key concepts and assumptions of political science and political life.

Telescope with Point of View written on it

We are particularly strong in the field of comparative political theory, critical theory, environmental theory, Anglo-American theory, rhetoric, and post-structuralism. With four tenured political theorists and several long-term lecturers who specialize in this subfield, the department offers one of the richest undergraduate theory programs in the country.

Our theory faculty's research and publications are widely regarded as important and cutting-edge works within the field and the discipline. We welcome inquiries about our special political theory curriculum.

Political Theory Breadth Courses

  • PLSI 309: Methods and Approaches in Political Theory (4 Units)
  • PLSI 351: Political Theory: The Classical Tradition (4 Units)
  • PLSI 352: Political Theory: Reformation to the 19th Century (4 Units)
  • PLSI 353: Political Theory: The 20th Century (4 Units)
  • PLSI 354: Politics, the Environment, and Social Change (4 Units)
  • PLSI 355: Politics and Ethics of the Consumer Society (3 Units)
  • PLSI 356: Political Theories of Neoliberalism (4 Units)
  • PLSI 357: Political Movements:Lessons from Freedom Summer (4 Units)
  • PLSI 360: Development of American Political Thought (4 Units)
  • PLSI 371: Marxist Political Theory (4 Units)
  • PLSI 372: Critical Political Theory (4 Units)
  • PLSI 381: Political Theories of Sexuality (4 Units)
  • PLSI 382: Politics and Literature (4 Units)
  • PLSI 386: Introduction to Critical Social Thought (3 Units)
  • PLSI 387: Non-Western Comparative Political Thought (4 Units)
  • PLSI 388: Politics and the Popular (4 Units)
  • PLSI 389: Latin American Revolutionary Societies (4 Units)
  • PLSI 392: Latin American Political Thought (4 Units)
  • PLSI 393: Anarchist Political Theory (4 Units)
  • PLSI 394: Political Theories of Work, Labor and Free Time (4 Units)
  • PLSI 396: Fascism and Communism in 20th Century Europe (4 Units)

four students with their desks together in discussion