Beyond Liberalism? Political Theories of Republicanism and Democracy
Course evaluation -Beyond Liberalism? Political Theories of Republicanism and Democracy
At Maastricht University:
Political Philosophy; Reading Philosophy; Cultural Studies; IR and Philosophy; Fault Lines (introduction to European political sociology); What is good science? (introduction to the philosophy of science).
Hardt and Negri, Empire: A Reading
An advanced post-graduate course on Hardt and Negri's Empire.
Cross listed in the Department of History and Civilzation and the Department of Law
European University Institute.
Introduction to Republican Political Thought
Ph.D level course cross-Listed in the Department of Social and Political Science & the Department of History and Civilization.
European University Institute.
Guest Lecturer on Hannah Arendt
Universitat Pompeu Fabra, teaching exchange.
Critique of Domination: An Introduction to Political Theory
Undergraduate introduction to political theory in the Department of Politics. Eugene Lang College, New School University.
People, Power and Politics. Department of Sociology
An undergraduate introduction to political and social theory.
I have a ‘puzzle-based learning’ approach to teaching. Instead of teaching discrete or static political theoretical concepts, I try to convey an understanding of political theory as a historical process of puzzle solving and generation. When teaching classes in the history of ideas this approach allows me to cast political theory within a long historical narrative of real battles fought over important ideas with real world significance. My courses track long narrative arcs, each class telling a chapter in that story. This approach confers a vibrancy to the history of ideas and contemporary political theory. It shows how the roots of an idea are often quite unlike the tree, how old solutions often mutate into new problems, and how forgotten ideas can suddenly re-emerge with renewed vigor. At its best a compelling history of political ideas enables students to see how, every now and then, the roots can still shake the tree.
Puzzle generation is equally important. How do practical considerations—for example, the aforementioned problems such as mass-migration, the global distribution of wealth, mass-surveillance, privacy, or oligarchy—problematize theoretical positions and one’s world view? How do comparative considerations allow us to problematize assumptions and generate new insights? This approach has the benefit of making my classes more dynamic and interactive, and compelling to a broad range of students. As well as serving as a powerful tool for explicating the significance of a theory, concept, text, or author, this approach serves various concrete pedagogical ends. Puzzle based pedagogy embeds the practice of critical and comparative analysis within the structure of the class itself. Instead of teaching students about critical thinking it involves students in the practice of critical inquiry.
Fundamentally, I think Max Weber was right when he wrote that "The first task of any competent teacher is to teach his students to acknowledge inconvenient facts, by which I mean facts that are inconvenient for his particular party viewpoint; and for every party viewpoint—even my own, for example—such extremely inconvenient facts exist."
I have attached links to a few syllabi from classes that I have recently taught. Some are co-taught classes, some my own, many of them were classes that have been passed from instructor to instructor and are only partly of my own hand.
My teaching reviews are all excellent and I can send them upon request.