Political Theory

Our offerings in political theory at Boston University are strengthened by close ties to the Philosophy Department.  While Professor James Schmidt is best known for his work on the Enlightenment and its critics, his interests range broadly across the history of European political and social thought.  He has received a number of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, is the recipient of the James L. Clifford Prize from the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and was the 2007 Havens Lecturer at Ohio State University.  Professor Judith Swanson teaches the works of major political philosophers—ancient, medieval, modern, and 20th century—from Plato through Rawls.  She is currently supervising graduate work involving such topics as the significance of participation to the moral legitimacy of law; the importance of prudence, reason, and moderation in The Federalist Papers; and the concept of just warfare in contemporary peace studies research versus in the history of political philosophy.  Best known for her work on Aristotle, including her critique of Michael Sandel’s Justice:  What’s the Right Thing To Do?, she is currently interested in Hayek.