WELCOME! Or welcome back if you have had me as an instructor before. This is an introductory course in political theory. If you find the idea of political theory intimidating, consider this: First, you're not alone: It is very common to feel less than intelligent and/or overwhelmed at the idea of reading and understanding "theory." Second, you can start to relax. What I have found is that political theory is no more difficult to study and understand than anything else. It's just that it's all been mystified so much that we often feel inadequate when faced with it.
I hope to make this is a different kind of theory class- one where the concept and reality of political theory will be accessible to you, where you can begin to claim yourself as a political theorist, and where you can claim political theory as a useful tool with which to understand your life and the world around you. Then, I hope you will be able to use political theory as a tool to figure out how you want the world to be, how you want to live and what actions you need to take to make these ideas reality. I think you'll find that once political ideas begin to seem relevant to your life, they will also become much more intellectually accessible to you.
Please read the class syllabus for details about specific learning goals and how the course operates.
I hope you will enjoy this class. Please be in touch with me with any questions or concerns you have.
Nicky González Yuen, Ph.D, JD
Instructor, Political Science Dept.
De Anza College
"If a teacher does not involve himself, his values, his commitments, in the course of discussion, why should the students?"-- Paul D. Wellstone, Professor of Political Science, Community Organizer, United States Senator (1944-2002)