Law 610 - Political Theory of the Founders

Joshua Foa Dienstag

Joshua Foa Dienstag

Professor of Law and Political Science
B.A. Harvard, 1986
M.A. Princeton, 1989
Ph.D. Princeton, 1993
UCLA Faculty Since 2010
Course Description:

This course will examine the important trends in European political and constitutional theory in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, that is, the political theory that was current and influential at the time of the US Revolution.  The focus will be on competing accounts of the sources of freedom and rights, constituent power, the proper structure of government, the nature of law and constitutionalism.  We will be attempting to immerse ourselves in the intellectual and political debates that preceded the federal and early state constitutions.  The period in question is one of extraordinary intellectual diversity even within the nations of Western Europe so there will be a good deal of material to cover.  Course requirements include active participation in class, short reading-reaction and a term paper.

Course Information:
​Faculty Term Course Section ​Schedule ​Units Requisite Satisfies SAW
Joshua Dienstag 17S 610 SEM 1 M 3:20 PM - 5:20 PM 3.0 No Per instructor's discretion
Textbook Information:
Textbook for Spring 2017 SEM 1
The Debate on the Constitution (Pt. 1 Sept. 1787- Feb. 1788)    
ISBN: 9780940450424. The Library of America. REQUIRED $37.50
The Debate on the Constitution (Pt. 2 Jan. - Aug. 1788)    
ISBN: 9780940450646. The Library of America. REQUIRED $37.50
Montesquieu, Charles de. The Spirit of the Laws  1989 ed.  
ISBN: 9780521369749. Cambridge University Press. REQUIRED $39.99