Political Science 301
Modern Political Ideologies
Fall Quarter, 2007
M, W, F: 1:30-2:35pm
076 University Hall
Instructor: Dr. Laura M. Luehrmann
Office: 313 Millett Hall
Office Hours: Mondays, 2:45-4:00; Wednesdays 10:00-11:15; and by appointment
Political ideologies are sets of ideas and beliefs that people hold about political regimes,
institutions, and the relationships between individuals, groups, and governments. Political ideologies
allow people to simplify political and social life, and they may be used to either rationalize or challenge
the state of current affairs.
In this course, we will examine the major ideologies that impact political life at the international,
national and individual levels. We will approach each political ideology in its appropriate context,
including its historical development, its major tenants, and its applications to the political world and
The aim of this course is to present ideologies as they are understood by their believers, together
with criticisms made by their opponents. This course is intended to generate informed discussion and
debate about political ideologies, and should be used by students to help clarify their own perspectives
on issues of politics and society in the contemporary world.
One textbook is required for this course. Required readings beyond the text can be accessed
through electronic reserve in the Dunbar Library (directions included at the end of the syllabus).
Nancy S. Love, editor, Dogmas and Dreams: A Reader in Modern Political Ideologies,
(Note: Third Edition), Congressional Quarterly Publishers, 2006 .
Students are also strongly encouraged to participate in the classroom studio for PLS 301,
available on the University‟s WINGS portal (http://wings.wright.edu). After entering your WSU
username and password, go to the “Academics” Tab and then find “My Courses.” Here you will find
each of your WSU courses. Click on “PLS 301” to open our course studio.
The instructor will post review guides, internet links, handouts and other important material to
the WINGS studio. In order to use WINGS, students must use their Wright State University e-mail
account. For questions about your WSU account, password, etc., please contact Computing and
Telecommunications Services (CATS) at 775-4827.
Attendance at all class sessions is extremely important for success in this course, since the class
is designed to elicit student participation and input. Students are expected not only to think critically
about what constitutes each ideology, but to also take what they have learned and apply it to the world
around them. If you must miss a class session, it is up to you to receive the lecture notes from another
student, and to take upon yourself the responsibility of finding out any changes made in the schedule for
class readings, exams, or assignments.
Participation is a formal part of your grade and it will be measured in multiple ways. Attendance
is a necessary but insufficient element of this part of each student‟s responsibility. Students with more
than 4 unexcused absences will receive a zero for the participation portion of their grade. It will be
assumed that students come to class having closely read and carefully thought about the assigned
Final grades will be based on the following:
Reflection Paper: 5%
Exam #1: 20%
Response Assignments: (2): 20%
Exam #2: 30%
Final Paper: 20%
NOTE: All assignments must be completed to receive
credit for the course.
Make-up exams will be administered only if arranged at least 24 hours before the scheduled exam is to
be taken. Acceptable documentation will be required, and the scheduling of such exams is at the
discretion of the professor.
Instructions for Writing Assignments
Reflection Paper: Due Wednesday, September 12th at the beginning of class
What are your basic beliefs about government and politics? For example, what authority do you
think governments should possess? Do you believe it is proper for the government to lessen hardships
(financial, physical, etc.) experienced by some members of society? Should political leaders set moral
and cultural standards for citizens? Should (or do) religion and politics mix? How would you define
“freedom,” and what do you think governments should do to help promote it? Finally, why do you hold
the political perspectives that you do?
In 3-5 pages, typed and double-spaced, please sketch your own political socialization, by which
is meant your experience and understanding of politics. Highlight how your life experiences have
influenced your views. Briefly describe the things in your life, such as family, party affiliations,
occupations, ethnic background, friendships, school experiences, study abroad, etc. that have contributed
to your political attitudes.
It may help you to frame this discussion in terms of particular beliefs that you hold on some
issues, such as affirmative action, abortion, indigenous (“first peoples‟”) rights, environmental
sustainability, public funding for education, genetic research, or gun ownership. With these issues, be
sure to include both your opinion and your sense of the source of your views. As we begin our study of
the evolution of political thought and action, it will be helpful for each of you to reflect on some of the
reasons why you hold particular beliefs.
The first topic‟s lectures, class discussions, and readings should be particularly helpful in writing
this paper. After the paper is returned to you, save it. You will need to turn it in with your final paper
assignment at the end of the quarter.
3-5 pages; 5% of your grade
Response Assignments: Due throughout the quarter
As a way to help students understand the material and integrate it into their own views on
politics, students will need to complete brief writing assignments based upon the readings. These
assignments will be directly related to issues we will be discussing in class and will encourage students
to spend time considering important issues before class. Throughout the quarter, there will be four
assignments distributed, and each student is required to complete two of them. Late writing assignments
and e-mail submissions will not be accepted. Students with excused university absences need to meet
with the professor in advance of the absence to facilitate the timely completion of these assignments.
Response assignments need to be thoughtfully prepared as formal papers. Any sources used for
these assignments, including course texts and internet sites must be acknowledged in a list of “sources
cited” for each paper.
2-3 pages each; 20% of your grade
Final Paper: Due November 14th by 3:00pm (exam week)
So where do you stand? Pick the subgroups of 2 political ideologies that we have covered in this
class: the ideology that most speaks to you and your political beliefs, and the ideology with which you
most disagree (example: neo-classical liberalism versus traditional conservatism --- do not vaguely
compare liberals and conservatives). In the first section of the paper, briefly explain the most important
tenants of each ideology, and its rationale as understood by its supporters. This section is designed to
demonstrate your ability to objectively present competing ideologies, and will be evaluated based on the
quality and completeness of your discussion.
In the second section, which should be longer and more developed than the first, construct a clear
statement of the most important components of your own political beliefs, drawing on the ideologies we
have examined in this class. You do not have to proclaim yourself a passionate member of a particular
camp, but you should identify the ideology or ideologies with which you most identify. Indicate how
various belief systems are integrated in your life, and develop an ideological description of yourself.
You need to provide references to authors that we have read throughout the quarter. Include an
assessment of how your beliefs differ from, or are similar to, the 2 political ideologies that you analyzed
in the first part of the paper. This section will be evaluated based on your level of insightfulness,
connections to authors we have read, and clarity of expression.
Remember to turn in your copy of the first paper assignment with this final paper.
Note: This paper is due during exam week. Late papers will be penalized 5 points per day.
6-8 pages; 15% of your grade.
Tentative Schedule of Assignments
Topic One: Ideologies and Regime Types
Wednesday, Sept 5: Introduction
Friday, Sept 7: Love, “Introduction: Ideology and Democracy" (pp. 1-10)
Monday, Sept 10: #2 Mill, "On Liberty"
Topic Two: Liberalism
Wednesday, Sept 12: Reflection Paper Due at the beginning of class
John Locke, "A Letter Concerning Toleration" (Reserve); #1 Locke, "Treatise of Civil Government"
Friday, Sept 14 : William Graham Sumner, “According to the Fitness of Things” (Reserve); #4 Green,
“Lecture on Liberal Legislation and Freedom of Contract”
Monday, Sept 17: #5 FDR, “The Continuing Struggle for Liberalism;” #6 Friedman, "Capitalism and
Freedom;" #7 Kramnick, “Equal Opportunity and the „Race of Life‟”
Wednesday, Sept 19: Donald Allen, “Paternalism vs. Democracy: A Libertarian View;” (Reserve)
Peter Beinart, “Reclaiming US‟s Liberal Soul,” (Reserve)
Also available at: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22262439-28737,00.html
Topic Three: Conservatism
Friday, Sept 21: #9 Burke, "Reflections on the Revolution in France;" #8 Oakeshot, "On Being
Monday, Sept 24: #11 Schlafly, "The Power of the Positive Woman;" Robert H. Bork, “Modern
Liberalism and Cultural Decline” (Reserve); Ralph Reed, “A Religious Conservative Vision for
Wednesday Sept 26: #10 Kristol, "The Neoconservative Persuasion;” Robert Kagan, “The Return of
History,” (Reserve), also available at:
Friday, Sept 28: #12 Bloom, "The Democratization of the University"
Monday, Oct 1: Andrew Sullivan, “Going Down Screaming” (Reserve)
Topic Four: Socialism and Communism, Pre and Post-Marx
Wednesday Oct 3: Thomas More, “Utopia” (Reserve); #13 Fourier, "Utopian Socialism"
Friday, Oct 5: Class Canceled Due to the Inauguration of David R. Hopkins as the Sixth President of
Wright State University
Monday, Oct 8: #15 Marx and Engels, "The Communist Manifesto;" #16 Marx, "Value, Price and
Profit; "#18 Lenin, "Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism"
Wednesday, Oct 10: #19 Bernstein, "Evolutionary Socialism;" #20 Tom Hayden and Dick Flacks,
"The Port Huron Statement"
Friday, Oct 12: EXAM 1
Topic Five: Anarchism
Monday, Oct 15: #21 Goldman, "Anarchism: What it Really Stands For;" #22 Thoreau, "Essay on
Wednesday, Oct 17: #23 Kropotkin, "Mutual Aid;" #24 Bakunin, "Scientific Anarchism"
Topic Six: Fascism
Friday, Oct 19: Joseph-Arthur de Gobineau, “Civilization and Race” (Reserve); #42 Mazzini, “The
Duties of Man”
Monday, Oct 22: #25 Mussolini, "Fascism: Doctrine and Institutions;" #26 Hitler, "Mein Kampf"
Wednesday, Oct 24: #27 MacDonald, “The Turner Diaries;” #28 Moser, “Age of Rage: Young
Extremists Find New Targets –and New Recruits”
Topic Seven: Feminism
Friday, Oct 26: #29 Wollstonecraft, “A Vindication of the Rights of Women;” Elizabeth Cady Stanton,
“Seneca Falls Declaration” (Reserve); #30 Friedan, "Our Revolution in Unique"
Monday, Oct 29: #32 Wittig, "One is Not Born a Woman;" #33 Lorde, “Age, Race, Class, and Sex:
Women Redefining Difference”
Wednesday, Oct 31: #34 Anzaldúa, "La Consciencia de la Mestiza…"; #35 Mohanty, "Under Western
Eyes‟ Revisited: Feminist Solidarity through Anticapitalist Struggles"
Topic Eight: Environmentalism
Friday, Nov 2: : #37 Carson, "Silent Spring;" #41 Shiva, “Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the
Global Food Supply”
Monday, Nov 5: #40 Bookchin and Foreman, “Defending the Earth: A Dialogue”
Topic Nine : Whither Ideology ?
Wednesday, Nov 7: #47 Huntington, “Clash of Civilizations;” #48 Barber, “Jihad Vs. McWorld”
Friday, Nov 9: Exam #2
Wednesday, November 14th: Final Paper Due by 3:00pm
Papers need to be dropped off to Dr. Luehrmann‟s office door (313 Millett) in the PLS Office,
before 3:00pm. E-mail submissions will NOT be accepted without prior written approval from
Accessing Electronic Course Reserves: (reserve readings)
Access the University Libraries‟ web page (www.libraries.wright.edu). Click on Course Reserves, then
Course Name or Instructor Name. Type pls301 or luehrmann and click on Search box. Click title,
then Connect to Electronic Online Version. Enter the password (announced in class) to view and
From non-library computers, you will need a web browser and Adobe Acrobat. Adobe Acrobat
is available free and is easily downloaded from the Acrobat home page (www.adobe.com/acrobat/). If
you encounter any difficulties, call the CaTS Help Desk at 775-4827.