Justice and Democracy Emphasis

This is Political Science's newest emphasis. Through it we encourage students to study the rich traditions of American democracy, as well as to reflect upon its antecedents and to contemplate its future. Students study the related themes of justice and democracy across the sub-fields of Political Theory, Public Law and American Government. 

Spring 2019 Seminar

Making America’s Borders: Empire of Liberty

Professor Radasanu will lead five discussions on historical and theoretical conceptions of American border politics, beginning with concerns at the founding regarding security, democratic values, federalism and expansion. The term “empire of liberty” was coined by Thomas Jefferson who wanted to promote liberty in the American context. We will unpack this term, considering Jefferson’s thought as well as his liberal Enlightenment influences (Locke, Montesquieu) and American thinkers and statesmen who followed.

Students who successfully complete this course will receive the title Justice and Democracy Scholars, complimentary course books, and a $300 stipend. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a symposium that will be published in Compass: An Undergraduate Journal of American Political Ideas.

Classes will meet on five Fridays in Spring 2019 from 1-2:30 p.m. Dates to be determined.

Please contact Andrea Radasanu, Ph.D. for more information on how to secure a spot in this course at

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Department of Political Science
Zulauf Hall 415
Phone: 815-753-1011
Fax: 815-753-6302