Loading...

POLSC302: Contemporary Political Thought

Unit 8: Libertarianism, Neoliberalism, and Neoconservativism   *In this unit, we will study the most prominent political ideologies of the United States for the past two decades: neo-liberalism, neo-conservatism, and libertarianism.  As you have no doubt deduced from earlier readings in the course, the phrases “liberal” and “conservative” no longer mean what they did during the times of Adam Smith and Edmund Burke.  Neoliberals tend to advocate for less government control of social and family issues, but greater government economic and welfare programs.  Meanwhile, neoconservatives are first and foremost concerned with national security issues.  They tend to see the developing world, particularly Islamic-majority countries, as a threat to the very foundation of America and the world.  Libertarians generally follow a mix of strident capitalism and utilitarianism.

In addition to the above ideologies, issues surrounding cultural diversity have become one of the most active areas of contemporary political theory and philosophy.  The impact of taking cultural diversity seriously in modern political societies has led to challenges to the dominance of liberal theory and to a more serious engagement of political theory with actual political struggles.*

Unit 8 Time Advisory
This unit will take approximately 13.5 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 8.1: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 8.2: 5 hours

☐    Subunit 8.3: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 8.4: 2.5 hours

Unit8 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Summarize the primary principles of neoliberalism, neoconservativism, libertarianism, and multiculturalism.
  • Identify the major political theorists of neoliberal, neoconservative, libertarian and multiculturalism movements.
  • Discuss neoliberalism, neoconservativism, libertarianism, and multiculturalism in the context of historical events.
  • Assess the impact that neoliberalism, neoconservativism, libertarianism, and multiculturalism have had on law, economics, international relations, and society.
  • Analyze the primary sources of neoliberalism, neoconservativism, libertarianism, and multiculturalism and understand how these theories can be applied to solve problems in society.

8.1 Neo-Liberalism   - Reading: Global Issues’ version of Anup Shah’s “A Primer on Neo-Liberalism” Link: Global Issues’ version of Anup Shah’s “A Primer on Neo-Liberalism” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this article. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: LeMonde Diplomatique (English Edition): Pierre Bourdieu’s “The Essence of Neo-Liberalism” Link: LeMonde Diplomatique (English Edition): Pierre Bourdieu’s “The Essence of Neo-Liberalism” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this article. Bourdieu was a fierce critic of neoliberalism.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.  

  • Lecture: UC Santa Barbara: Tariq Ali’s “Rights and Needs: Neo-Liberalism, Democracy, and Military Humanism” Link: UC Santa Barbara: Tariq Ali’s “Rights and Needs: Neo-Liberalism, Democracy, and Military Humanism” (iTunes U)
     
    Also available in:
    Adobe Flash
    Mp3
    Mp4 Video
      
    Instructions: Please watch thislecture (59 minutes).
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.2 Neo-Conservatism   - Reading: The Weekly Standard: Irving Kristol’s “The Neoconservative Persuasion” Link: The Weekly Standard: Irving Kristol’s “The Neoconservative Persuasion” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this article. 
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

  • Reading: Project for a New American Century (PNAC): “Statement of Principles (2007)” “Rebuilding America’s Defenses (2000)” Links: Project for a New American Century (PNAC): “Statement of Principles (2007)” (HTML) and “Rebuilding America's Defenses (2000)” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Please read these two documents.  The now-defunct PNAC was founded by neoconservatives William Kristol and Robert Kagan and, it should be noted, has a distinct ideological purview.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: C-SPAN: Dr. Samuel Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations?” Links: C-SPAN: Dr. Samuel Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations?” (Adobe Flash)
     
    Instructions: Please watch the video linked above (67 minutes).  Dr. Huntington’s controversial “clash of civilizations” theory posits the notion that people’s cultural and religious identities will be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. His theory has fallen under the stern critique of various academic writers.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Lecture: iTunesU: Georgetown University: Bassam Tibi’s “Episode 13: From Cultural Tensions to Political Conflict: A Dimension of the War of Ideas” Link: iTunesU: Georgetown University: Bassam Tibi’s “Episode 13: From Cultural Tensions to Political Conflicts: A Dimension of the War of Ideas” (iTunes U)
     
    Instructions: Please watch this lecture (56 minutes).  Dr. Tibi discusses how disagreements over values systems between Islam and the West are not a "clash of civilizations," but can be resolved through intra-civilizational dialogue.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.3 Libertarianism   - Reading: The Library of Economics and Liberty’s version of Ludwig Van Mises’ “Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis” Link: The Library of Economics and Liberty’s version of Ludwig Van Mises’ “Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis” (HTML)
 
Also available in:

[Kindle](http://www.amazon.com/Socialism-Economic-Sociological-Analysis-ebook/dp/B003E7F2PO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1299170808&sr=1-1)
($8.91)  
    
 Instructions: Please read this document.  von Mises, an Austrian
economist and libertarian, offers a definitive refutation of nearly
every type of socialism ever devised.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: The Library of Economics and Liberty’s version of Arnold Kling’s “Liberals and Markets” Link: The Library of Economics and Liberty’s version of Arnold Kling’s “Liberals and Markets” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Please read this document. 
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.  

  • Web Media: Stanford University: Hoover Institute: “Take It to the Limits: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism” Link: YouTube: Hoover Institute: “Take It to the Limits: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism” (YouTube)
     
    Instructions: Please watch Part 1 of this interview (26 minutes) with Friedman, who discusses the central tenets of the libertarian movement and its application to issues facing the U.S. today.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

8.4 Multiculturalism   - Reading: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s “Multiculturalism” Link: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s “Multiculturalism” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read the above article, which will provide you with
some background on the definition and contemporary debate over
multiculturalism.  

 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Reading: Essays in Philosophy: Anke Schuster’s “Does Liberalism Need Multiculturalism? A Critique of Liberal Multiculturalism” Link: Essays in Philosophy: Anke Schuster’s “Does Liberalism Need Multiculturalism? A Critique of Liberal Multiculturalism” (PDF)

    Instructions: Go to the above website and click on the title of the essay to be directed to its PDF.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Web Media: YouTube: London School of Economics: “Multiculturalism in the 21st Century” Link: YouTube: London School of Economics: “Multiculturalism in the 21st Century” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Please watch the interview (7 minutes) with Professor Chandran Kukathas.

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpages above.

  • Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “Political Ideologies: A Comparison” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “Political Ideologies: A Comparison” (PDF)

    Instructions: Please complete the entire assessment.  You can check your answers against the Guide to Responding (PDF).