HS/PO 352 - German Political Thought
This course examines the patterns of German political thought from the eighteenth to the twentieth century and links these patterns to specific examples and events in German history. It focuses on the relationship between German history and politics on the one hand, and German political philosophy and literature on the other. The course thus revolves around a theoretical reflection on a wide variety of fundamental topics such as the nature of peace in international relations and the role of war therein, the importance of bureaucracy for a modern state, and the development of the public sphere. We will use examples drawn from political philosophy, but also history, literature, and the politics of the day. Thematically, the course will range from Enlightenment, the First World War, the Weimar Republic, and Nazism, to the Cold War to important more recent political trends such as environmental movements. We will read selections of both primary and secondary texts in German. The instructor will provide students with plenty of support for handling these texts. At the end of the course, we will be able to understand and assess the interaction of political thought and history in the German context.