What is the role of government in ensuring an orderly, safe and non-violent society for its citizens? When that same government itself uses violence to achieve these goals, as in the war on terrorism since 2001, it is often presented as an exception or contradiction. These issues are far from new in the history of political thought, both in its modern and classical varieties.
Attend three evenings of the Contemporary Civilization Mini-Core Class: State and Violence, with Professor Emmanuelle Saada, as we explore the complex relationship between state and violence. We will examine how classic political philosophy viewed the state as an instrument for protecting individuals from violence, but only through recourse to intense violence of its own. We'll reflect upon current events through the lens of classical philosophical thought.
Wednesday, January 25 | The State Against Violence
Machiavelli, The Prince (1532) (excerpts)
John Locke, Second Treatise on Civil Government (1689) (excerpts)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract (1762) (excerpts)
Wednesday, February 8 | State Violence
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan (1651) (excerpts)
Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish (1975) (excerpts)
Wednesday, February 22 | Violence Against the State
Walter Benjamin, Critique of Violence (1921) (excerpts)
Frantz Fanon, Concerning Violence (1961) (excerpts)
Hannah Arendt, On Violence (1970) (excerpts)
Emmanuelle Saada, associate professor of French and Romance philology and director of the Center for French and Francophone Studies
*THIS EVENT HAS PASSED. REGISTRATION HAS CLOSED.*
Wednesdays: January 25, February 8 and February 22, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.