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GVPT 241: The Study of Political Philosophy: Ancient and Modern Spring 2022

Guide to resources for gvpt 241


This guide will help you identify and locate sources for your writing assignments.

From your syllabus:

Essay Question 1

Define liberty using one or more of the four main interpretations of liberty (positive, negative, triadic, or republican). Then, make an argument that masks (to protect from COVID) increase and/or decrease liberty as you've defined it. Finally, taking into account their effect on liberty and other values, should masks be mandated and why?

Your essay must also make use of at least 3 scholarly sources from the bibliographies of the textbook chapter on liberty and/or the other sources we read in weeks 2 and 3. The textbook itself cannot be a source-- use primary sources referred to in the textbook. You are welcome to use non-scholarly sources (news stories, reports, blog posts, etc...), but only in addition to 3 scholarly sources. All sources must be listed in the bibliography.

Answer in 700 - 1000 words (excluding bibliography and quotes), double-spaced, Times New Roman font, 1'' margins, MLA format (no cover page necessary), pages numbered, uploaded as a Word document.


Group Project

A fictional nonprofit organization is concerned about the lack of theoretical knowledge of politics. They fear that voters do not fully understand the nature of political controversies because they only hear from politicians, advocates and the media. They have hired your group to write a report demonstrating how the themes and concepts of political theory help to understand the practice of politics.

Each Discussion Section will be divided into groups of 4 (or 5). Each group will select a theme from the course (from the titles of the textbook chapters) and then write a minimum 2800 word (for groups of 4) or 3500 word (for groups of 5) report, applying the theories and concepts of the theme to three cases. Each case should be a recent event, controversy, problem, or trend in political or social life. The goal is to create a report that demonstrates how political theory illuminates the deeper nuances of your cases, beyond how they are reported in the media.

The Learning Outcomes are:

 - To demonstrate knowledge of a theme in political theory, along with the major topics and thinkers associated with this theme.

 - To apply the vocabulary and concepts of political theory to recent events, controversies and trends in political and social life, in such a manner that illuminates the cases beyond political rhetoric.

- To demonstrate the ability to understand and cite primary sources in political theory.

- To work collaboratively with a group by establishing rules, norms, conflict resolution strategies, and a system of equity and accountability.

Which Sources are Allowed?

Each report must make use of at least 9 scholarly sources. Reports may make use of non-scholarly sources (like news reports), and in fact will probably have to use, as part of the background for your cases, but these do not count towards the 9 scholarly sources minimum. The text book remains the best source for finding relevant scholarly articles/books, but do NOT confine yourselves to these articles/books. As we learned, the library has a wide selection of databases full of sources, and you can use the library's search engine filters to search for only scholarly (or "peer reviewed") sources. Email your uTAs, Joel, or Prof. Kumar if you are unsure about a source.

Do not cite the textbook! Instead, cite the primary sources that the textbook points you toward. To succeed at this project, you must cite and interact with primary sourcesQuote sources alone will not suffice. Each report must demonstrate a basic comprehension of the theories, thinkers and concepts of your theme.



Library-related questions? Please email me. I am here to help.
Judy Markowitz