Political Thought & Philosophy

America: Farewell to Greatness?

Examine the broad challenges to American greatness, today and in the future.

The American Character

Explore issues of American identity, character, and citizenship with classic short stories.

American Ideas

Explore the central ideas that have given shape to American democracy.

American Political Thought

Engage key texts that have helped shape the political idea – and political ideals – of America.

Burke & Anglo-American Conservatism

Explore the Anglo-American conservative political tradition through the writings of Edmund Burke.

The Case for Nationalism

Examine the political and moral questions surrounding nationalism and nation-states.

Christianity & Politics

Examine the relationship of religion to politics through the work of canonical authors who wrestle with Biblical religion.

The Federalist

Evaluate the Constitutional Convention’s work through a close reading of The Federalist and the writings of the Anti-Federalists.

Foundations of Political Philosophy

Explore the differences between ancient and modern political philosophy, with a focus on texts by Aristotle and Machiavelli.

Great Figures: David Ben-Gurion

Assess the visionary leadership of David Ben-Gurion, founding father and first prime minister of Israel.

Great Figures: Ronald Reagan

Chart the dramatic rise of the modern conservative movement by studying the political career of Ronald Reagan.

Great Figures: Margaret Thatcher

Learn how Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady of British politics, set Britain on a new course and helped end the Cold War.

Great Figures: Winston Churchill

Consider the challenges of statesmanship through the words and deeds of Winston S. Churchill.

Is America Exceptional?

Explore the idea of American Exceptionalism, its meaning and implications for American politics.

John Locke

Study the principal political writings of John Locke, whose views on political liberty helped shape the U.S. Constitution.

Leo Strauss & The Art of Writing

Consider the relationship of politics and philosophy through a close reading Leo Strauss’s Persecution and the Art of Writing.

The Limits of Politics

Explore the boundaries of politics from the perspective of the household and the divine.

Modern Science and Politics

Reexamine the purpose of science, and the relationship between science, technology, and politics.

Nationalism & Liberal Democracy

Understand the rise of nationalism and the crisis of liberal democracy.

Plato’s Republic

Study Plato’s Republic, perhaps the greatest work of political philosophy ever written.

The Political Thought of Abraham Lincoln

Understand Lincoln, not just as the greatest of presidents, but as a man of great ideas as well.

The Political Thought of Edmund Burke

Study the work of Edmund Burke, the West’s first and arguably greatest conservative thinker.

Reason, Faith, & Politics

Explore the relation between the two highest kinds of knowledge—reason and faith.

Statesmanship

Examine the idea of statesmanship, through a classic text and the statecraft of Abraham Lincoln.

Traditions of Freedom

Study the intellectual roots of conservative thought, focusing on the works of Adam Smith and Edmund Burke.

What Is Liberal Education?

Reflect on the enduring value of liberal education and its importance for a free society.

What Is Liberal Modernity?

Reexamine liberal modernity, or that distinctive form of politics based on the natural freedom and equality of all.

What Is Political Philosophy?

Explore the work of Leo Strauss, one of the twentieth century’s most consequential teachers and scholars of political philosophy.

War & Foreign Affairs

American Grand Strategy

Examine how U.S. grand strategy has evolved since the founding of the republic.

The Challenges of the Middle East

Understand the Arab Spring and how, together with its aftermath, it has changed American priorities and strategies.

Chinese Grand Strategy

Explore the implications of China’s global rise for U.S. primacy and the liberal international order.

Grand Strategy

Examine foundational texts on grand strategy and international order. 

The Ideology & Strategy of al Qaeda & ISIS

Explore major intellectual discussions underpinning the Salafi-jihadist ideology of al Qaeda and ISIS.

The Iranian Challenge

Consider the strategic options for dealing with Iran’s nuclear program.

Is Israel Alone?

Explore the past, present, and future of the America-Israel strategic relationship.

Lessons of the Iraq War

Examine how the United States grappled with the challenges presented by Iraq.

The North Korean Crisis

Consider the strategic options for dealing with North Korea.

Nuclear Strategy and World Order

Explore the ways nuclear weapons have transformed the world we inhabit today.

Rising China & U.S. Foreign Policy

Explore the future of rising China and alternative U.S. policy approaches for coping with it.

Russia: What’s Next?

Examine U.S.-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War, with a view toward exploring where to go from here.

Thinking Strategically

Study American strategic culture, and the factors that influence when and how the United States uses military power.

Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War

Study the Peloponnesian War with renowned classicist and historian Donald Kagan.

Thucydides and Today’s Challenges

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

The War in Iraq: A Study in Decision-Making

Examine key strategic decisions during one of the most dynamic confrontations of the late 20th and early 21st centuries: the U.S. and Iraq.

World Order & American Foreign Policy

Explore the nature of the world order and America’s role in shaping it.

Economics & Domestic Policy

American Democratic Capitalism

Explore the intersection of theory and practice in our national politics, and particularly in our key economic debates.

Bioethics

Understand the biotechnology revolution and what it means for ethics and politics.

The Constitution, The Courts, and Conservatism

Explore the debates within conservative legal thought on the courts and the Constitution.

Current Issues in American Politics & Public Policy

Study how public policy is made and implemented in the United States.

Democracy, Capitalism, and Regulation

Examine the challenges of regulatory growth for limited government.

Health Care Reform

Understand the state of U.S. health care policy and the possibilities for reform.

Health Care & The Welfare State

Examine the theoretical roots and foundations of social welfare policy, particularly as it pertains to health care.

Landmark Supreme Court Cases

Study five landmark Supreme Court cases with a view to exploring how politics and law interact.

Left & Right in America

Study the two great rival partisan interpretations of liberal democracy in America.

Theory and Practice in Government Policy

Study the influence of ideas in four areas of policy contention—taxation, regulation, welfare, and abortion.

The Transformation of American Government

Examine three fundamental changes in American government and the political roots of these changes.

Understanding Populism

Understand the resurgence of populism in America.

Varieties of American Conservatism

Explore the intellectual roots of modern conservatism.

2010

Current Issues in American Politics & Public Policy

Study how public policy is made and implemented in the United States.

The Limits of Politics

Explore the boundaries of politics from the perspective of the household and the divine.

Thinking Strategically

Study American strategic culture, and the factors that influence when and how the United States uses military power.

2011

The American Character

Explore issues of American identity, character, and citizenship with classic short stories.

Health Care & The Welfare State

Examine the theoretical roots and foundations of social welfare policy, particularly as it pertains to health care.

2012

Bioethics

Understand the biotechnology revolution and what it means for ethics and politics.

The Challenges of the Middle East

Understand the Arab Spring and how, together with its aftermath, it has changed American priorities and strategies.

Democracy, Capitalism, and Regulation

Examine the challenges of regulatory growth for limited government.

Leo Strauss & The Art of Writing

Consider the relationship of politics and philosophy through a close reading Leo Strauss’s Persecution and the Art of Writing.

World Order & American Foreign Policy

Explore the nature of the world order and America’s role in shaping it.

2013

America: Farewell to Greatness?

Examine the broad challenges to American greatness, today and in the future.

The Federalist

Evaluate the Constitutional Convention’s work through a close reading of The Federalist and the writings of the Anti-Federalists.

Is America Exceptional?

Explore the idea of American Exceptionalism, its meaning and implications for American politics.

Modern Science and Politics

Reexamine the purpose of science, and the relationship between science, technology, and politics.

Theory and Practice in Government Policy

Study the influence of ideas in four areas of policy contention—taxation, regulation, welfare, and abortion.

The Transformation of American Government

Examine three fundamental changes in American government and the political roots of these changes.

2014

American Ideas

Explore the central ideas that have given shape to American democracy.

The Case for Nationalism

Examine the political and moral questions surrounding nationalism and nation-states.

Health Care Reform

Understand the state of U.S. health care policy and the possibilities for reform.

Reason, Faith, & Politics

Explore the relation between the two highest kinds of knowledge—reason and faith.

Rising China & U.S. Foreign Policy

Explore the future of rising China and alternative U.S. policy approaches for coping with it.

2015

Christianity & Politics

Examine the relationship of religion to politics through the work of canonical authors who wrestle with Biblical religion.

Is Israel Alone?

Explore the past, present, and future of the America-Israel strategic relationship.

Lessons of the Iraq War

Examine how the United States grappled with the challenges presented by Iraq.

The Political Thought of Abraham Lincoln

Understand Lincoln, not just as the greatest of presidents, but as a man of great ideas as well.

2016

Great Figures: David Ben-Gurion

Assess the visionary leadership of David Ben-Gurion, founding father and first prime minister of Israel.

Great Figures: Margaret Thatcher

Learn how Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady of British politics, set Britain on a new course and helped end the Cold War.

Great Figures: Ronald Reagan

Chart the dramatic rise of the modern conservative movement by studying the political career of Ronald Reagan.

Great Figures: Winston Churchill

Consider the challenges of statesmanship through the words and deeds of Winston S. Churchill.

The Iranian Challenge

Consider the strategic options for dealing with Iran’s nuclear program.

Left & Right in America

Study the two great rival partisan interpretations of liberal democracy in America.

What Is Liberal Modernity?

Reexamine liberal modernity, or that distinctive form of politics based on the natural freedom and equality of all.

2017

American Grand Strategy

Examine how U.S. grand strategy has evolved since the founding of the republic.

The Ideology & Strategy of al Qaeda & ISIS

Explore major intellectual discussions underpinning the Salafi-jihadist ideology of al Qaeda and ISIS.

John Locke

Study the principal political writings of John Locke, whose views on political liberty helped shape the U.S. Constitution.

Landmark Supreme Court Cases

Study five landmark Supreme Court cases with a view to exploring how politics and law interact.

Plato’s Republic

Study Plato’s Republic, perhaps the greatest work of political philosophy ever written.

The Political Thought of Edmund Burke

Study the work of Edmund Burke, the West’s first and arguably greatest conservative thinker.

Thucydides and Today’s Challenges

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

What Is Political Philosophy?

Explore the work of Leo Strauss, one of the twentieth century’s most consequential teachers and scholars of political philosophy.

2018

Burke & Anglo-American Conservatism

Explore the Anglo-American conservative political tradition through the writings of Edmund Burke.

Grand Strategy

Examine foundational texts on grand strategy and international order. 

The North Korean Crisis

Consider the strategic options for dealing with North Korea.

Statesmanship

Examine the idea of statesmanship, through a classic text and the statecraft of Abraham Lincoln.

The Supreme Court’s 2017-18 Term

Study two landmark cases from a momentous Supreme Court term.

Understanding Populism

Understand the resurgence of populism in America.

The War in Iraq: A Study in Decision-Making

Examine key strategic decisions during one of the most dynamic confrontations of the late 20th and early 21st centuries: the U.S. and Iraq.

What Is Liberal Education?

Reflect on the enduring value of liberal education and its importance for a free society.

2019

American Democratic Capitalism

Explore the intersection of theory and practice in our national politics, and particularly in our key economic debates.

American Political Thought

Engage key texts that have helped shape the political idea – and political ideals – of America.

Charles Krauthammer: A Life in the Arena

Study the writing and life of one of America's most prominent conservative thinkers.

Chinese Grand Strategy

Explore the implications of China’s global rise for U.S. primacy and the liberal international order.

Foundations of Grand Strategy

Assess grand strategic theory and practice in Thucydides and Plutarch.

Foundations of Political Philosophy

Explore the differences between ancient and modern political philosophy, with a focus on texts by Aristotle and Machiavelli.

Nationalism & Liberal Democracy

Understand the rise of nationalism and the crisis of liberal democracy.

Nuclear Strategy and World Order

Explore the ways nuclear weapons have transformed the world we inhabit today.

Partisanship in American Politics

Explore how societal trends and political parties have reshaped the character of America's partisan attachments.

Russia: What’s Next?

Examine U.S.-Russia relations since the end of the Cold War, with a view toward exploring where to go from here.

Varieties of American Conservatism

Explore the intellectual roots of modern conservatism.