Political theory focuses on developing students' abilities to appreciate the depth and complexity of the Western tradition in political theory and their abilities to analyze and to make theoretical arguments of their own.
As a faculty, we think most talk about politics is normative, though often in covert & disguised ways. We try to bring discussion of norms into the open--including norms that we ourselves embrace--to scrutinize them critically from different points of view, and to be optimally aware of different human possibilities.
Students who study political theory at CUNY will develop a solid foundation in the history of Western political thought and will confront vital issues in contemporary political thought. Special interests of the faculty, and thus the focus of work in the program are: twentieth century political thought, contemporary political theory, feminist political theory and the political theory of gender and sexuality, Marxism, liberal and social democratic theory, democratic political theory, human rights, political theory in globalized societies, and political theory from non-Western and post-colonial perspectives.
This subfield features studies in these areas:
- Ancient and medieval political thought
- Modern political thought (Machiavelli through Hegel)
- Contemporary political thought (Marx to the present)
- Analytical theory
- Modern systematic theory
- Marshall Berman, cultural history, urbanism
- Susan Buck-Morss, cultural studies, visual theory, globalization
- Mitchell Cohen, European political thought
- Jack Jacobs, history of political thought, Marxism, Critical Theory
- Young Kun Kim, comparative philosophy, Asian political thought
- Uday Singh Mehta, liberalism, post-colonial theory, globalization
- Rosalind Pollack Petchesky, feminist theory, international relations, human rights
- John Wallach, democratic theory, ancient Greek political thought, constitutionalism.