man is said to have a right to his property,
he may be equally said
to have a
property in his rights."
my mind this academic subject contains three panels that examine the
subject matters of Politics from different perspectives. The three
panels are like a trilogy: though they can be seen as three
stand-alone courses, and so can be studied independently of whether
students have attended the preceding one, they
eventually connect to each other:
get a full picture about the wonerful but "complex world of Politics,"
it is worth attending the three courses altogether.
- Social Studies: Politics
to Political Theory
course presents the fundamental concepts,
doctrines, and gives an insight into the contemporary issues and
political science, which can be relevant for students majoring in
Relations/Politics. Particular emphasis will be put on the primary
the Western intellectual tradition whose ideas have shaped the
debates in both political science and the “political world.” The main
is to provide students with a general literacy of the conceptual tools
by political scientists and political actors to understand and explain
the nature and the major
dynamics of politics.
Below, I list the main topics to be covered during the
I. The Nature of Politics
Conceptions of Politics:
- Facts and Values: Political Philosophy and Political Theory
- Politics as Academic Subject
- Politics as the art of government/Cynic view of Politics
- Politics as public affairs
- Politics as”final” public choice
- Politics as power
II. Human Nature &
- Images of Human Identity
- Anthropological Optimism and Pessimism
- Human Nature - The Critical Views
- Case Study: Debate about Human Nature in International
PoliticsTo put all things together: The English School (An illustration)
III. The Mainstream approaches in Political Science
- Classic Institutionalism
- Structural Functionalism
- Rational Choice Theory
- Case Studies:
- Comparative Politics based upon Structural Functionalism
- The Logic of Armed Races
- Realist Ideas Reformulated in Rational Choice Theory
IV. Political Theories in the 20th Century
- Schumpeter's minimalist definition of democrarcy
- The substantive preconditions for democracy
- Polyarchy - Dahl's empirical study
- Modern Theories of Justice
- Transitology - Liberal Democracy as iconic subtype of
democratic political regimes
V. The Critical Views in Political Science
- Feminist Theories and The Green Social Theorie
VI. Odd ones out: An outlook
- Constructed Reality
- Social Constructivism
- Chaos Theory
Zoltán Málik: Essential Political Theory.
Budapest: Metropolitan University, 2018. (in
- Andrew Heywood: Political Theory. Palgrave, 2004,
- Barbara Goodwin: Using Political Ideas.
Wiley&Sons Publisher, 2014.
- Paul R.Viotti, Mark V. Kauppi. International
Relations Theory (Textbook&Reader). Longman, Pearsons, 2012.
- Catriona McKinnon: (ed.): Issues in Political
Theory. Oxford University Press, 2012.
- Guideline Videos:
- The Nature of Politics: Video2.(via YouTube)
- Human Nature and Politics: Video3.(via METU Coospace, YouTube
link is not accessible)
- The Mainstraem: Video4.(via YouTube)
about Democracy. Educational video by "The School of Life"
(with Hungarian subtitle). English transcript is
- Case Study: Mustafa
Kemal Atatürk's Reform. A short scene from the Turkish movie Veda directed by
Zülfü Livaneli, 2010 (with English subtitle).
- Human nature in art: Romeo and
Juliet. Scene 02, Verona. (French musical adaptation, with
English subtitle, 2001). The Hungarian version is found here.
- Human nature in art: Metropolis
& Modern Times. Scenes from the Metropolis directed
by Fritz Lang (1927) and Modern
Times directed by Charlie Chaplin (1936)
Human Nature & Postmodern: Hannah Arendt, Noam
Chomsky, and Michele Foucault.
Fog of War. Eleven
Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (Lesson 11: You Can't
change human nature). Documentary directed by Errol Morris, 2003.
- Regime transitions can always be described as dramatic
changes. Watch some illustrative footage here
- Slavoj Zizek: On
Ideology Today (from the interview with Charlie
- Slavoj Zizek: As a
Neo-Marxist views the world. Scenes from the movie "Pervert's Guide to Ideology"
directed by Sophie Fiennes
short essay paper (cc. 1000 words) is a prerequisite for the final
exam, which students may work out at home and will submit together with
the final exam paper at the exam. This essay is a product that may
become part of the student's portfolio. Choose one question for
discussion, and compose an essay to answer it (You may use any
bibliography but reference is always needed. Do not plagiarize!).
- In his famous lecture Politics as a Vocation (text),
Max Weber describes politics from different perspectives and by
creating a number of conceptual elements. Based on this classic work,
present that, according to Weber, what kind of person one must be in
order to take up politics as a vocation? Is Weber an anthropological
optimist or pessimist?
the following statement based on the texts by Tocqueville and The
Federalist No. 51: "The Tyranny of the majority: when democracy becomes
dangerous." (text1 from A. de Tocqueville: Democracy in America; text2: A. Hamilton&J. Madison: The Federalist Papers, No. 10, 47, 51).
- In this provocative
essay, Edward Luttwak argues that the best international response to
civil conflicts is to “give war a chance.” What does he mean by that?
Why a declaration of war is an important fact in conflicts? Do you
agree with Luttwak or not, and why?
- There will be a written exam at
the exam period, which will contain some questions covering the whole
of the course. The questions will be more than true/false
questions or won't be forming a multiple choice test. To answer them,
to understand the subject, and it requires a comprehensive view of the course and a bit of creativity. Please,
always work out arguments, that is, not
just statements of opinion but
developed reasoning that is intended to lend support to your reply.
(Sometimes there no exists one "good" answer because the
plusibility of your reply certainly depends on the position you
take – see the first two questions below – but your argument ought to be coherent for
- Here you can find some examples to demonstrate
the flavour of the questions on the exam.
- Politics is more than what politicians do. Do you agree with this statement? Give examples.
- What do you mean by securalism? Can it be
equated with religous tolerance? Demonstrate your reasoning by an
organise periodic elections is necessary condition for a
regime to be democratic. Why is it not a sufficient condition? Give