This seminar reviews normative reasons given for and against the concept of the Welfare State as an abstract political ideal. It explores issues such as the role of solidarity for political thinking, what duties of fair play towards fellow citizens amount to, the ethical foundations of social rights, and many more. Importantly, it explores the normative basis of different types of “welfare state models.” The course touches on innovative social policy proposals such the the Basic Income and the Participation Income, among others.
This course reviews the most important and general debates in political theory. It examines fundamental questions that have taxed political thinkers over the course of millennia from Plato and Aristotle, including social contractarian theorists like Hobbes and Locke, to 19th cenury thinkers like John Staurt Mill and Jeremy Bentham. The course is structured around basic thematic questions but also follows a chronological order. In this way, students can understand the historical evolution of political theory.
This course examines prominent theories of justice: utilitarian, libertarian, egalitarian, communitarian, global, and feminist. In its applications part, it examines notions of distributive justice, recognition, economic citizenship, multiculturalism, and global equality.
This course reviews the works of classical, modern and contemporary thinkers on the nature of democracy. Some of the questions it explores include: what is the role of representation in a democracy? What is the difference between participatory democracy and pluralist democracy? What is the relationship between democracy and majority rule? What is the relationship between democratic politics and rights? Should voting be seen as a duty or a freedom? Should it be legally compulsory? What does constitutionalism add to democracy?
This seminar explores contemporary accounts of the ethics and practice of voting including accounts of voter rationality, collective action, and civc duty. In particular, it asks whether voting should be seen as a duty or a right that people can choose not to exercise. It examines reasons for and against compulsory voting schemes and their enforceability. In so doing, it focuses on particular case studies such as Australia, Belgium, Luxemburg, Argentina, Ecuador, and Brazil.