This program will be offered online!

This program has been converted to an online course: GOVT 1615 Introduction to Political Theory.

Featuring the same faculty and rigorous Cornell education as the on-campus version, this four-credit course will run June 22–July 10, 2020.

To enroll, review the course description, read about online courses and follow the registration steps.

Please contact us if you have questions.

Read about Summer College and the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Explore the ideals of freedom & justice in Western thought

For students interested in politics, government, law, and the history of ideas, this program will introduce you to the rich intellectual heritage on which modern legal and political systems are based.

Concern with freedom and justice has deep roots in the Western tradition. The foundations of contemporary ideas about these concepts have their origins in antiquity, the Judeo-Christian tradition, and early modern notions of right, wrong, and justice.

You'll explore these issues through readings from the "Great Books" of Western political and moral thought, including works by Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, and Nietzsche.

You'll participate in afternoon discussion sections and writing workshops and leave the program better able to articulate your own conceptions of freedom and justice.