POLS 500, Theories of the State

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The course provides a historical and theoretical overview of the concept of the state. Each week we will discuss a different kind of state, beginning with the very first states in ancient Mesopotamia, and finishing with contemporary examples such as nation-states, welfare-states and illiberal states. We will look at the way the respective states were organized, their aims and the scope of their power, and the rights and obligations of the people subject to them. We will also discuss why states “fail.”

The course will be conducted in person. We are meeting in YBF Z-47 every Thursday between 2.00 and 4.30 pm. You are required to do the readings before each class and be prepared to discuss them. You are also required to complete a 5,000 word research paper. There is no mid-terms and no final. The grade will be determined by the in-class performance (50%) and the research paper (50%).

The class has a Telegram group. It is essential that you join.

For the respective weeks and more information, click on the popup schedule.