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.

Aristotle

Engage in close study of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Politics.

The Bible & Political Philosophy

Explore the political teaching of the Book of Genesis.

Burke & Anglo-American Conservatism

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

Christianity & Politics

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

Civility & Public Discourse

Reflect on the responsibility of citizens to cultivate and wield the power of political speech.

Dostoevsky’s Demons

Study Dostoevsky's great novel on the nature, logic, and social origins of revolutionary politics.

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.

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.

Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels

Revisit the quarrel between "the ancients and the moderns" and reflect on human nature with Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

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.

Lincoln with Douglass

Reflect on the writings of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass -- and their crucial role in America’s confrontation with slavery.

Modern Science and Politics

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

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.

Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man

Study this monumental work on race, identity, and citizenship in America by Ralph Ellison.

Reason, Faith, & Politics

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

Saul Bellow’s Ravelstein

Reflect on a novel rich with themes of politics, philosophy, religion, love, friendship, and death.

Shakespeare’s Prince & Tyrant

Explore the political and religious contexts of Shakespeare's plays.

Sophocles’ Antigone

Consider the conflicting understandings of the familial, the divine, and the political, and their proper relationships through Antigone.

Statesmanship: Plutarch & Lincoln

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

Consider the multiple, competing foreign policy crises America faces today.

The Case for Nationalism

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

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.

Foundations of Grand Strategy

Assess grand strategic theory and practice in Thucydides and Plutarch.

Grand Strategy

Examine foundational texts on grand strategy and international order. 

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 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.

Nixon in China: Did We Get China Wrong?

Study Nixon’s strategic opening to Beijing in 1972 and how it shaped U.S.-China relations today.

The North Korean Crisis

Consider the strategic options for dealing with North Korea.

Nuclear Strategy & World Order

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

Presidential Command & National Security Leadership

Analyze case studies to better understand presidential control over foreign policy and the meaning of executive power.

Rising China & U.S. Foreign Policy

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

Russian Hybrid Warfare

Study Russian hybrid warfare strategy and how the U.S. should counter Putin's expansionism.

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.

U.S.-China Strategic Competition

Take an in-depth look at the new era of strategic competition between the United States and China.

U.S.-Iran Strategic Competition

Explore the challenges Iran presents to the United States, from its nuclear program to its regional ambitions.

U.S.-Russia Strategic Competition

Consider the nature of the Russian challenge to the United States.

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.

War Studies Program

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

World Order & American Foreign Policy

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

The Yom Kippur War: A Case Study in Strategy, Power, & Character

Explore the Yom Kippur War, one of the great understudied hinge points of history.

Economics & Domestic Policy

Administration & Crisis

Examine case studies in American history to better understand presidential crisis management.

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.

Can Free Speech Survive the Internet?

Consider the impact of the Internet on our political discourse and associational life.

Can Partisanship Be Fixed?

Investigate the debate over parties by examining their nature and role in American political life.

Charles Krauthammer: A Life in the Arena

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

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, & 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.

Partisanship in American Politics

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

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

Discover 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, & 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

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.

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: Plutarch & Lincoln

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

The Bible & Political Philosophy

Explore the political teaching of the Book of Genesis.

Can Free Speech Survive the Internet?

Consider the impact of the Internet on our political discourse and associational life.

Charles Krauthammer: A Life in the Arena

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

Civility & Public Discourse

Reflect on the responsibility of citizens to cultivate and wield the power of political speech.

Foundations of Political Philosophy

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

Nuclear Strategy & World Order

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

Russian Hybrid Warfare

Study Russian hybrid warfare strategy and how the U.S. should counter Putin's expansionism.

U.S.-China Strategic Competition

Take an in-depth look at the new era of strategic competition between the United States and China.

Varieties of American Conservatism

Discover the intellectual roots of modern conservatism.

2020

Administration & Crisis

Examine case studies in American history to better understand presidential crisis management.

American Democratic Capitalism

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

Can Partisanship Be Fixed?

Investigate the debate over parties by examining their nature and role in American political life.

Chinese Grand Strategy

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

Nixon in China: Did We Get China Wrong?

Study Nixon’s strategic opening to Beijing in 1972 and how it shaped U.S.-China relations today.

Partisanship in American Politics

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

Presidential Command & National Security Leadership

Analyze case studies to better understand presidential control over foreign policy and the meaning of executive power.

Shakespeare’s Prince & Tyrant

Explore the political and religious contexts of Shakespeare's plays.

Sophocles’ Antigone

Consider the conflicting understandings of the familial, the divine, and the political, and their proper relationships through Antigone.

U.S.-China Strategic Competition

Take an in-depth look at the new era of strategic competition between the United States and China.

U.S.-Iran Strategic Competition

Explore the challenges Iran presents to the United States, from its nuclear program to its regional ambitions.

U.S.-Russia Strategic Competition

Consider the nature of the Russian challenge to the United States.

The Yom Kippur War: A Case Study in Strategy, Power, & Character

Explore the Yom Kippur War, one of the great understudied hinge points of history.

2021

American Grand Strategy

Consider the multiple, competing foreign policy crises America faces today.

American Political Thought

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

Aristotle

Engage in close study of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Politics.

The Bible & Politics

Explore the biblical view of the human condition with readings from Genesis and Exodus.

Constitutional Administration

Learn how policy is translated through the administrative state and the courts.

Debating U.S.-China Strategic Competition

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

Dostoevsky’s Demons

Study Dostoevsky's great novel on the nature, logic, and social origins of revolutionary politics.

The Federalist & Contemporary Debates

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

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.

Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels

Revisit the quarrel between "the ancients and the moderns" and reflect on human nature with Swift's Gulliver's Travels.

Lincoln with Douglass

Reflect on the writings of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass -- and their crucial role in America’s confrontation with slavery.

Machiavelli’s The Prince

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

Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man

Study this monumental work on race, identity, and citizenship in America by Ralph Ellison.

Religion & Politics

Consider the proper role of religion in public life.

Saul Bellow’s Ravelstein

Reflect on a novel rich with themes of politics, philosophy, religion, love, friendship, and death.

Shakespeare’s The Tempest

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

Thucydides and Today’s Challenges

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

U.S.-China Strategic Competition

Take an in-depth look at the new era of strategic competition between the United States and China.

U.S.-Iran Strategic Competition

Explore the challenges Iran presents to the United States, from its nuclear program to its regional ambitions.

U.S.-Russia Strategic Competition

Consider the nature of the Russian challenge to the United States.

Vasily Grossman’s Life & Fate

Read the novel known as the Soviet War & Peace, and reflect on the nature of totalitarianism.