POL 1102 – Political Theory

POL 1102 - Political Theory

Course Description

This is an introductory course in western political thought. Most of what we will discuss is called “normative political theory,” which is concerned with one question which we might state as follows: How should society be organized?

Or put another way, Who should rule whom, when, where, how, and why?

There are lots of ways of asking these questions, some of the most important human beings have asked. Every aspect of our lives has been shaped by how humans have answered these questions. The answers decide who lives and dies and how.

Course Materials


Princeton Readings in Political Thought, (second edition), Mitchell Cohen (editor).

Syllabus (PDF)


No Current Offerings

Department: Political Science

Course: POL 1102

Credit Hours:  4




SS Social Science requirement

The above requirements are from the Randolph College general education program.  Check with your home institution to see if this course fulfills your requirements.

Tuition & Fees:

$1,500 tuition

Textbooks and other course materials can be purchased separately from the source of your choosing.

Your Instructor

Vincent Vecera

Vincent VeceraAssociate Professor of Political Science

B.A. Reed College; M.A., Ph.D. University of Minnesota

I study American politics and political theory. My primary focus is the politics of civil rights in the United States. I’m interested in how Americans think and talk about constitutional rights and how rights figure in the making of public policy.

For the past several years I’ve dedicated most of my energy to a book project on the politics of rights in American democracy, focusing on public debates about labor and property, voting, abortion, sexuality and the family, crime and safety, guns, and immigration.

My other major interest is the discursive history of political economy, particularly the emergence of rights and norms defining and regulating property relationships and markets. Generally speaking, my work asks how the language of rights shapes American public policy.

I teach a variety of courses in American politics, public policy, and political theory in the departments of political science and philosophy.

Register for Summer Session