Politics & Values

Capitol Hill

What is the proper relationship between the individual and society? Do societies have shared values? Is politics the proper arena for enforcing values? Or are values best left to individual choice? Are there any shared values that can be enforced internationally?

In the Politics & Values community, a select group of students has the opportunity to explore these questions while living and studying together in an intensive year-long course. Taught by Samuel Goldman, who joined the GW faculty from Princeton, the course covers Political Theory, American Politics, Comparative Politics and International Relations – all at an accelerated pace, with each field studied in great depth.

Politics & Values fulfills a number of requirements for both Columbian College and Elliott School students. But more importantly, the course encourages elite-level intellectual development in a small-class environment. We engage solely with primary texts, reading classic works from ancient Greece to the present day (including works by several Nobel Prize winners), with significant faculty interaction to guide students through interpreting these difficult texts. And we apply these ideas to contemporary problems, writing research papers that bring together theory and practice.

Visit the Department of Political Science for additional information.