American Republicanism in Theory and Practice 4219-SF123
WEEK ONE: Introduction to the course; organizational matters.
The idea of republic and republicanism. Etymology of the term. Republic and democracy – mutual relations throughout the centuries. Ancient and modern republics – historical examples. Republicanism – as the paradigm of American political tradition.
WEEK TWO: The Classics
The ancient understanding of a regime. Typologies of regimes by Plato and Aristotle. Classical concept of republic. The idea of freedom, self-government and their understanding by the ancients. The basic components of republican paradigm: common good, citizenship, civic virtue, deliberation, civic education, mixed regime.
WEEK THREE: Modern revival of the republican tradition
Niccollo Machiavelli and his works – great renovation or derailment of the republican tradition? Renaissance republics – historic outline. British republicanism. The birth of liberalism and its impact on political thought. Self-interest and common good – allies or enemies? Montesquie – republicanism combined with modern science of politics (division of powers, representation, checks&balances, etc.).
WEEK FOUR: The Founding Era
America as a new Rome (American founding myths). Republicanism as the basic paradigm of ‘American experiment’. Classical and modern inspirations of American republicanism. American Revolution – its ideological and theoretical background. Declaration of Independence – analysis of the text. Republicanism of the Founding Fathers. Proceedings of the Philadelphia Convention and the frameworks of American political system. The Constitutional Debate and its course. Federalists vs anti-federalists.
WEEK FIVE: Projection of the movie
TV series – John Adams (one episode).
WEEK SIX and SEVEN: The Federalist Papers
Hamilton’s concept of commercial republic. Federalism. Factions. Sovereignty of the people and the principle of representation. Division of powers. Checks&balances. Differences between republican and democratic government. Senate and bicameralism – as embodiments of republican concept of a mixed regime.
WEEK EIGHT: The Federalist Papers and American political system
The Federalist Papers from today’s perspective: analysis of contemporary American political system (tracing its republican character). What has changed since the founding era?
WEEK NINE: From the republic of the Founders to 21st-century liberal democracy – evolution of the American regime
George Washington’s presidency and the shaping of American political system. John Adams and the ‘politics of disjunction’. Evolution of the Supreme Court. Jefferson’s ideal of ‘agrarian republic’ vs Hamilton’s model of strong national government supporting the development of ‘commercial republic’. From republic to democracy – Andrew Jackson and transformation of American politics. Evolution of American federalism.
WEEK TEN: American republic on the bend – considerations of Alexis de Tocqueville on Democracy in America
America as the ‘testing ground’ for democracy. The principle of the sovereignty of the people and its realization. Townships as ‘schools of freedom’ – the role of self-government and decentralization of power in American politics. The role of associations. The rule of law. The ‘public spirit’ in the United States. Manners as the fundament of American republic. Pragmatism – as American national feature. Egalitarianism and the love of equality. Individualism, egoism and common good. The mutual relation between freedom and equality. The danger of ‘soft tyranny’.
WEEK ELEVEN: Hannah Arendt – civic republicanism as remedy for the danger of totalitarianism
Atrophy of the public sphere and the nature of totalitarianism. Human condition in modern times. Politics as the essence of being free man. Politics as “promise”.
WEEK TWELVE and THIRTEEN: Current debates
Republican perfectionism vs. liberal minimalism (republicanism and liberalism – enemies or allies?). The problem of civic education and neutrality of the state. Does America need ‘public philosophy’? Communitarian-liberal debate. Cultivation of citizenship in the 21st century. Individualism, political participation and common good in liberal democracy – questions and challenges. Liberal (civic) virtues.
As the result of the course’s passing students should:
- become familiar with the basic elements of republican understanding of politics;
- obtain a comprehensive knowledge concerning the role of republican tradition in American politics;
- be able to recognize the elements of republican theory in “real” politics;
- be able to analyze specific institutions of American political system from the standpoint of republican paradigm;
- become competent enough to comment, discuss and analyze the evolution of American republicanism;
- have qualifications to analyze contemporary American politics and notice both its continuity and evolution.
1. Class attendance and participation (up to 3 pts)
2. Presentations (1 pt)
3. Final test (up to 6 pts)
Grading: 0-4 pts = 2 (fail)
5 pts = 3
6 pts = 3+
7 pts = 4
8 pts = 4+
9 pts = 5
10 pts = 5+
Class Two: Cicero, The Republic, book one; XXV–XXXV (39–54), XLV (69); Aristotle, Politics (excerpts).
Class Three: M. Fischer, Machiavelli’s Rapacious Republicanism, Machiavelli’s Liberal Republican Legacy, ed. P. A. Rahe, Ney York: Cambridge University Press 2006, s. xxxi–lxii; Montesquie, The Spirit of the Laws, book 2, ch. I–V, book 3, book 4, ch. V, book 11, ch. I–VI; T. Pangle, The Spirit of Modern Republicanism. The Moral Vision of the American Founders and the Philosophy of Locke, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press 1988, pp. 63–73.
Class Four: Declaration of Independence; J. Appleby, Liberalism and Republicanism in the Historical Imagination, Cambridge–London: Harvard University Press 1992, ch. 13 (pp. 320–339); P. Rahe, Republics Ancient & Modern, vol. 3: Inventions of Prudence: Constituting the American Regime, Chapel Hill – London: The University of North Carolina Press 1994, prologue (pp. 3–30); K. O’Connor, L. J. Sabato, American Government. Continuity and Change, New York: Longman 2000, pp. 38−50, 56−59; T. Pangle, op. cit., pp. 43–47.
Class Six and Seven: The Federalist Papers (various editions): The Federalist no. 1, 6, 9, 10, 37, 39, 47, 48, 49, 51, 62, 63.
Class Eight: The Constitution of the United States of America (various editions); K. O’Connor, L. J. Sabato, American Government, pp. 50−56, 72−77.
Class Nine: G. Washington, Farewell Address, The Washington Papers. Basic Selections from the Public and Private Writings of George Washington, ed. S. K. Padover, New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers 1955, pp. 309–325; K. O’Connor, L. J. Sabato, American Government, pp. 77−95, 102−103, 179−183, 277−282, 333−340.
Class Ten: A. de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (various editions): First Part, ch. IV–V, IX, XII, XIV (first two sections), XVII (sections 3 and 8), Second Part, book two: ch. I–II, IV–V, VIII, book four: ch. I, VI.
Class Eleven: H. Arendt, Human Condition, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press 1958, pt.: 3–7, 21, 24, 28–29 (pp. 17–58, 153–159, 175–181, 199–212) ; eadem, On Revolution, New York: The Viking Press 1963, ch. VI (p. 217–259).
Class Twelve and Thirteen: The Responsive Communitarian Platform – Rights and Responsibilities (http://www.gwu.edu/~ccps/platformtext.html); Habits of Heart. Individualism and Commitment in American Life, ed. R. Bellah et al., Berkley: University of California Press, preface (pp. vi–xii); R. Putnam, Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community, New York: Simon&Schuster 2001, ch. 21, 24; R. Rorty, The priority of democracy to philosophy and Postmodernist Bourgeois Liberalism, idem, Objectivity, relativism, and truth. Philosophical papers, vol. 1, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1991, s. 175–202; David A. Strauss, The Liberal Virtues, Virtue (Nomos XXXIV), eds. J. Chapman, W. Galston, New York – London: New York University Press 1992, p. 197–203; S. Macedo, Charting Liberal Virtues (ibidem, p. 204–230); G. Hart, Restoration of the Republic. The Jefersonian Ideal in 21st-Century America, New York: Oxford University Press 2002, s. 172–226; J. Maynor, Republicanism in the Modern World, Cambridge: Polity Press 2003, p. 61–89.
Dodatkowe informacje (np. o kalendarzu rejestracji, prowadzących zajęcia, lokalizacji i terminach zajęć) mogą być dostępne w serwisie USOSweb: