Professor Alice Behnegar                                                                                                                    Fall 2001
PO04101                                                                                                                            MWF 2, Campion 236

                                                           Fundamental Concepts of Politics I

This goal of this course is to introduce students to some of the fundamental debates of political life.
We will be especially concerned with understanding different views of the end or goal of politics
and the premises and consequences of each view.

Required Texts
Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Locke, A Letter Concerning Toleration
Machiavelli, The Prince (Chicago)
Hobbes, Leviathan (Cambridge)
Plato, Republic (Basic Books)
Huxley, Brave New World

 Note: The listed editions are required.

Course Requirements and Grading

Preparation and regular attendance are required; you are expected to read the assignments prior to
class and come prepared to discuss the reading.

There will be a quiz every Monday (13 quizzes), a 1000-1200 word paper due on October 10th,
a 50-minute exam on November 2nd, and a two-hour final exam on December 19th.

The quizzes will be given at the beginning of class (don’t be late!), and will consist of five true-false
or fill-in-the-blank questions relating to the reading for that class.  A score of 5=A, 4=B, 3=C, 2=D,
1=F, 0=F.  The two lowest quiz grades will be dropped from the calculation of your final grade.

Your final grade will be calculated approximately as follows: quizzes 15%, short exam 25%, paper 30%,
final exam 30%.  A final grade of “F” for the course will be given in the event of plagiarism or an
unexcused failure to turn in the paper, or the short exam, or the final exam, or more than six quizzes,
on time.  The Boston College grading system consists of twelve categories: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-,
D+, D, D-, F.  A is excellent; B is good; C is satisfactory; D is passing but unsatisfactory; F is a failure.

Office Hours etc.

Office Hours:  MW 10:30-11:30 and by appointment, Gasson 104
You can reach me at:, ext. 2-1923 (office), 617-277-7278 (home)

Schedule of Readings and Assignments

September      5      Introduction
September      7      Plutarch, Lycurgus; Publius, Federalist 10

September    10      Plutarch, Lycurgus; Publius, Federalist 10
September    12      Things Fall Apart 
September    14      Things Fall Apart
September    17      The Prince, Dedicatory Letter, ch. 1-3
September    19      The Prince, ch. 3-6
September    21      The Prince, ch. 6-9
September    24      The Prince, ch. 6-9
September    26      The Prince, ch. 10-14
September    28      The Prince, ch. 15   Parents’ Weekend

October           1      The Prince, ch. 16-19
October           3      The Prince, ch. 16-19
October           5      The Prince, ch. 20-26

October            8      No class  
October         10      Leviathan, Dedicatory Letter, Author’s Introduction, ch. 6  Paper due
October         12      Leviathan, ch. 6, 10

October         15      Leviathan, ch. 10, 11
October         17      Leviathan, ch. 13
October         19      Leviathan, ch. 14-15

October         22      Leviathan, ch. 17-18
October         24      Leviathan, ch. 20-21
October         26      Leviathan  , ch. 28-29

October         29      A Letter Concerning Toleration (plus selections from the Second Treatise)
October         31      A Letter Concerning Toleration
November      2      Exam

November      5      Republic I
November      7      Republic I
November      9      Republic II

November      12     Republic II
November      14     Republic III
November      16     Republic III

November      19     Republic IV
November      21, 23     No class

November      26     Republic IV
November      28     Republic V
November      30     Republic V

December        3      Republic V
December        5      Republic discussion
December        7      Brave New World

December      10      Brave New World

December 19, 9 a.m.     Final Exam