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Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati

Introduction to Western Political Thought

Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati and NPTEL via Swayam


One of the major objectives of this course is to introduce the students to the key debates and ideas in Western political thought. It is hoped that familiarity with the ideas or concepts of some major western political thinkers will help the students to understand different perspectives and approaches to state, politics, government, sovereignty, citizenship and so on. It is also hoped that this course will enable the student to make sense of and interpret the major developments and key debates in the political debates and discussions in any contemporary society and polity. INTENDED AUDIENCE :UG and PG students of Humanities and Social Sciences, Sciences, and EngineeringPREREQUISITES : NoneINDUSTRIES SUPPORT :Not Applicable


Week 1:Introduction: General Outline and Method; Text and ContextWeek 2:Plato: Justice; Philosopher king; Communism; StateWeek 3:Aristotle: Politics, VirtueWeek 4:Aristotle: State; Citizenship & Machiavelli: VirtuWeek 5:Machiavelli: Religion and RepublicanismWeek 6:Hobbes: Human Nature; Political Obligation; SovereigntyWeek 7:Locke: Natural Rights; Limited government, DissentWeek 8:Rousseau: Social Contract; General WillWeek 9:Kant: Enlightenment; Morality, autonomy and freedomWeek 10:Hegel: Freedom; Rights; StateWeek 11:Marx: Historical Materialism; State; ClassWeek 12:Mill: Utilitarianism and on Liberty

Taught by

Prof. Mithilesh Kumar Jha



3.0 rating, based on 1 Class Central review

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    As I think is the beginning of the course so it would be difficult for me to comment on the quality aspect of the course but as a teacher I may say that the title of this costex us to the the contribution of Western thinkers and their thinking added certain principles in the sphere of political science. Let's hope our expert will focus comprehensive light on this article topic

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