Connections 20040. Political Theories, Political Realities: Ideas and Practices in Past Politics
Students in these connected courses will study the material and institutional frameworks that generated premodern political theories and will come to understand the complexities of putting these theories in practice and the often nearly unbridgeable gap between the ideal and the real. Early European history saw the development of the majority of basic legal and political structures and ideologies (e.g., common law and jury trials, representative government and the separation of church and state). Knowledge of these ideas and practices, and of the theorizing behind them, becomes crucial to our understanding of such historical phenomena as nation-state building, imperialism, the conduct of war and efforts to establish systems of national and international law.