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Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS)


Political Theory and Architecture - Professor Duncan Bell

This class will examine some of the ways in which politics and architecture intersect. Although this is a popular topic of analysis in a variety of scholarly fields, including geography, sociology, and urban studies, political theorists today rarely address it. This is a major intellectual gap. During the twentieth century and into our own times – the main historical focus of the course – architecture and politics have been deeply interwoven, though in often complex and unpredictable ways. Architects have frequently sought to shape (or even radically transform) social and political life, and studying architecture involves grappling with many of the central concerns of political theory: power, democracy, rights, citizenship, utopia, and justice, to name but a few. Drawing on the writings of political thinkers such as Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault, and Iris Marion Young, as well as architects and planner, we will explore all of these issues during the course.

Further information can be found here