Profile PictureJen Howk

The Political Theory of Covidocracy

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This is a month-long course that will meet twice a week for an hour via Zoom to discuss classical and contemporary political theory through the lens of the pandemic and surveillance state.

I anticipate this to take about a month of meeting twice a week, with considerable reading for each session. I will highlight the main themes and summarize work either at the beginning of the sections or in a separate recording, but the reading is required if you want to get the most out of the experience.


We will read selections of work from (a partial list):

Plato's Republic

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

Jean-Jacques Rosseau, Basic Political Writings

Alexis deTocqueville, Democracy in America

John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Erich Fromm, Escape From Freedom

Sheldon Wolin, Democracy Inc

Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine

Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

This is not a comprehensive list—I will be building the syllabus in part to suit group interest as we move along. There aren't any formal requirements and the course is not for any kind of formal credit (you won't be able to transfer this into a degree program), although short response essays to the group are encouraged.

The course is pay-what-you-want: you can enter any amount you please in the payment field.

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The Political Theory of Covidocracy

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