View our past courses — HUMANITIES

Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov

Meditate on Dostoevsky’s final – and greatest – novel.

Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart & No Longer at Ease

Reflect on two great novels from the father of modern African literature.

Shakespeare’s King Lear & The Tempest

Explore the political themes in Shakespeare's The Tempest and King Lear.

Shakespeare’s Henry V

Explore Shakespeare’s insights into the exercise of power.

Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities

Read Tom Wolfe’s devastating, irresistible satire of urban and racial politics.

POLITICAL THOUGHT & PHILOSOPHY

African American Political Thought

Learn how the political tradition of Black Americans has made an indelible impression on American history.

American Political Thought

Study the American ethos through examination of The Federalist Papers and Democracy in America.

Democracy in America

Examine the political, religious, and social character of American democracy.

Plato’s Gorgias

Reflect on the ethical dilemmas implied by the pursuit of power.

Plato’s Republic

Study a pillar of the Western political tradition: Plato's Republic.

Principles of Political Rhetoric

Study classic examples of rhetoric and contemporary political speeches.

Slavery & the American Founding

Consider the status of slavery and race in the American Founding.

The Words That Made Us

Revisit key constitutional questions through the lens of history and law.

WAR & FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Russia: A Return to Rivalry

Examine U.S.-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War.

U.S. Defense Strategy & the China Challenge

Assess U.S. defense strategy to counter China’s rise.

U.S. Grand Strategy

Assess the role of the U.S. in a rapidly changing international system.

ECONOMICS & DOMESTIC POLICY

American Democratic Capitalism

Consider the intersection of theory and practice in our key economic debates.

Contemporary Political Ideologies

Examine the ideology of “neoliberalism” and its challengers.

Living with Artificial Intelligence

Engage in literary, scientific, and ethical study of Artificial Intelligence.

The Supreme Court & American Politics

Explore how the new conservative supermajority will change the Court.

Understanding Social Justice

Explore how the idea of social justice is transforming U.S. politics.

Summer 2021: Political Studies, & Summer Courses, War Studies

Political Studies Program

Study the theory and practice of politics in the heart of the nation’s capital.

War Studies Program

Learn the theory, practice, organization, and control of war and military forces.

Recent Summer Courses

Debating U.S.-China Strategic Competition

Explore contemporary views on U.S.-China strategic competition alongside a variety of prominent instructors.

Free Speech in a Fractured Republic

Situate the classic debate over free speech in both historical and contemporary context.

Ideas & Public Policy

Examine the influence of ideas in some of our key policy debates.

Machiavelli’s The Prince

Study the classic treatise that brought Machiavelli fame—and infamy.

Religion & Politics

Consider the proper role of religion in public life.

Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Meditate on the nature of political authority with one of Shakespeare's greatest plays.

The Federalist & Contemporary Debates

Consider The Federalist Papers anew through the lens of current events. 

Thucydides and Today’s Challenges

Read Thucydides as a series of case studies, setting up a discussion of contemporary strategic problems.

Our Alumni

Elliot Kaufman

Elliot Kaufman


Political Studies Program

Full Bio
Stefan Johnson

Stefan Johnson


Political Studies Program

Full Bio
Alexandra Gutowski

Alexandra Gutowski


War Studies Program

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Caleb Orr

Caleb Orr


Advanced Institutes

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Do you know a student or colleague who would benefit from one of our programs? Applicants may apply directly to our programs, but nominations are helpful for reaching and selecting great participants. Nominate a potential applicant by submitting their name, email address, and a brief description of their abilities and interest in the study of politics and policy. Program staff will follow up with an email to the nominee mentioning your nomination and offering information on how to apply.

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