Political Theory

In the political theory subfield at Davis, we take a broadly textual approach to the history of political thought, focusing on major political philosophers from the ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary eras. We provide our students with training in textual analysis that is also sensitive to the broader philosophical issues and historical contexts necessary for understanding these texts. While we offer courses across the entire range of the history of political thought, including seminars focusing on a single thinker or text, our program is particularly strong in the early modern era and in questions of law and ethics as they relate to political theory. The faculty and students in political theory form an unusually active and cohesive group. In addition to recurrently offered graduate seminars, a reading group in our department that meets regularly enables students and faculty to explore topics in political theory of common interest.