GOVT-382 Dept Sem:Max Weber
Fall for 2015-2016
Max Weber (1864-1920) is commonly recognized as one of the pioneers in the development of modern social science. Trained as a lawyer and economic historian, he became one of the seminal figures in the development of the discipline we now know as sociology. But he was a scholar with wide-ranging interests, who did work of lasting significance on a whole series of subjects, ranging from the methodology of the social sciences to the sociology of religion. Both as a scholar and a citizen Weber was keenly interested in politics, and he wrote extensively on subjects that are of interest to political science and even political philosophy.
This course is designed as an opportunity for students to acquaint themselves in some depth with: 1) the writings of Weber himself on certain key themes that are of particular interest to students of politics; 2) the scholarly debates about his treatment of those themes; and 3) the relevant secondary literature. The themes to be emphasized are: 1) what it means to be modern; 2) the probable fate of modern societies; 3) the religious roots of cultural differences; 4) the distinctiveness of the West; 5) the cultural consequences of market economies; 6) the peculiar dynamics of modern politics; and 7) political ethics.
The course will be run as a seminar. All students enrolled in the course will be expected to write three papers: two short ones--one on a theme in the writings of Weber himself and another on a theme drawn from the secondary literature--as well as a more substantial research paper, which is due at the end of the term.
This course has been renumbered, effective Fall 2014. A student who earned credit for GOVT 492 Dept Sem: Max Weber in a prior term should not enroll and cannot earn credit in this class.
Prerequisites: GOVT 117 or GOVT 080
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