POLS 540, Theories of the State

More about the course

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 emphasis will be on the general aspects of each kind of state and the theories which explain, and justify, them.

The course will be conducted in person. We are meeting in YBF B-35, every Monday, 13:30-16:30. You are required to do the readings before each class and be prepared to discuss them. The final grade for the course will be based on a mid-term exam (25%), final exam (25%), and in-class discussions (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.