Mika LaVaque-Manty's homepage

This page lists and describes courses I teach. Wolverine Access and the online LS&A course guide are good sources for general course information.

Also visit the "Resources" page for teaching and learning-related information.



The following are descriptions of courses I frequently teach.

POLSCI 101: Introduction to Political Theory

This course is a primarily chronological introduction to a selection of major and some minor works in Western political theory. Some of the central themes that the course will cover are ‘justice,’‘ human nature’ and political action. What is justice, and injustice? What are people like, what do they want and what may they hope for? Do we all want the same from our lives? How may and how should different political ideals be pursued? We will survey answers offered by many different kinds of thinkers, writing under a variety circumstances. We will frequently connect contemporary political questions with the texts of historical thinkers, and vice and versa. Finally, we will pay attention to what our theorists themselves are up to: how they argue for their views, whom they are addressing, and how they can be interpreted.

POLSCI 409: Twentieth-Century Political Thought

This course offers a chronological survey of some central contributions to contemporary political thought. Its premise is that twentieth-century political thinkers have given us different (a) vocabularies to understand modern political world and (b) arguments for why and how we should try to change that world. Beginning with the German sociologist Max Weber and ending with the South African novelist J. M. Coetzee, the course draws from contributions outside political theory proper.

POLSCI 603: Modern Political Thought

This graduate seminar covers what we consider the modern period: roughly 1600-1900. It generally begins with Hobbes and ends with Nietzsche. It is a speedy survey, but over the last couple of years I have tried to slow down a bit by teaching it as a two-part courses, selecting a smallish number of theorists for a more careful attention than we are usually able to give them. In winter 2006, the theorists were Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx and Mill; in winter 2007, Montesquieu, Hume, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche.



University of Michigan

  • POLSCI 190: First-year seminar: Leadership and Democracy (F '03)
  • POLSCI 302: Development of Political Thought: Modern and Recent (W '03)
  • POLSCI 495: Liberalism and Its Critics (F '06)
  • POLSCI 601: Philosophy of Social Science (F '01)
  • POLSCI 702: The Political Thought of Kant (F '02)

University of Washington

The following is a small sampling of courses I taught at the University of Washington 1998-2001. Some of the links on the sites are broken because they have been moved. Note that the University of Washington is on a quarter system.



Courses in Fall 2007:

  • PS 101: Introduction to Political Theory
  • PS 409: 20th-Century Political Thought
  • PS 492: Senior Honors




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7640 Haven Hall (map)

Fall 2007:

Mondays 1:30-2:30

Tuesdays 2-3

And by appointment.


Department of Political Science
University of Michigan
5700 Haven Hall
505 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1045
Tel. +1-734-615-9142

mmanty [at] umich [dot] edu