Monday, July 26, 2010

Time Horizons: Class Offerings Edition

So, in the continuing series about how liberals value the present and short-term more than conservatives, FLG presents two courses offered at Georgetown.

WWI in International Politics

This class will introduce students to major historical and theoretical debates regarding the causes, conduct, and impact of WWI on international politics. This class will analyze historical examples from WWI as test cases for evaluating International Relations theory and contemporary politics. Topics covered will include: the outbreak of war, combat tactics and strategic culture, peace negotiations, and the historical legacy and ramifications of the conflict.

Political Theory and the Global Order

This course is an introduction to a select number of themes within international political theory. This branch of normative political theory deals with the moral dilemmas, tensions and contradictions posed by the emerging global political order. We will not spend a great deal of time examining the institutions of the international order themselves.


Instead, our goal in this course is to think through the moral implications of our present condition. That is to say, we will explore and assess the social, political and cultural forces which govern the international movement of people, capital and political authority in the modern world. In order to so do, we will examine several of the responses to globalization adopted by contemporary political philosophers. For the purposes of this seminar, I have divided these into nationalist and cosmopolitan responses. Some nationalists have responded to world events by attempting to reassert the ethical value of nationalist sentiment, regarding it as a necessary and valuable restriction upon the kinds of moral duties we owe to those outside our own national borders (Miller). On the other hand, thinkers broadly operating under the banner of cosmopolitanism have sought to specify what the global rich owe to the global poor, notwithstanding the lack of a shared national identity (Pogge), how the international order ought to be restructured according to principles of a global democratic theory (Held), or how cosmopolitan norms can be grafted onto national democratic politics in the form of rights of hospitality (Benhabib). Others still have sought to transcend the distributivist paradigm by arguing that a theory of global justice ought to attend to the idea of cultural recognition at the level of international politics (Fraser). After surveying these trends, we will finish the course by speculating on some of the connections between ideology, violence and global terror.

The first uses words like "historical," "legacy," and "ramifications." Ergo, conservative. The second will examine, apparently at length and with much verbosity, the present condition with the help of contemporary philosophers. In other words...a Godless communist.

But wait, FLG, isn't there a Marxist historiography? Sure, but don't worry about that right now.

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