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Course Description

This course surveys some of the foundational issues in political philosophy and political theory from a theoretical standpoint and through the application of case studies. In a time and cultural climate where knowledge of these areas is of vital importance, students will have the opportunity to explore issues such as whether individuals have an obligation to obey political authority, how the concept of freedom should be understood, and how the concept of toleration should be understood and what role it should play in society. The course also explores the philosophical underpinnings of democracy and social justice. In exploring each of these issues, students will also have the opportunity to think about them in the context of case studies such as the U.S. Patriot Act, deliberative polling, racialized inequality in the U.S., and others.

This is an online/virtual asynchronous course that has no fixed meeting pattern and gives students the flexibility to interact with course content on their own schedule; please note: some asynchronous courses may include required sessions and/or proctored exams at specific times. Tufts virtual courses are designed to provide high-quality, flexible, and interactive courses to Tufts and visiting students. For more information about virtual course policies and expectations, please visit

This section is also open to rising high school students who are 11th or 12th grade students. High School students who enroll will be prompted to submit an additional application after enrollment including: a high school transcript, letter of recommendation, parental permission, and other required consent forms.

Basic Enrollment Requirements: None.

Refund Policy: The refund policy for Courses at Tufts offerings is dependent on the offering type: whether the offering is a course, workshop or short course, or in-demand offering. Please refer to the section details to confirm the type of offering as well as any exceptions to the standard refund policy. The refund policies for each offering type are viewable here:

Remission Eligible: Yes; first day of term; all university policies apply.

Affiliated With:

School of Arts and Sciences