Pratap Bhanu Mehta (Laurence S. Rockefeller Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University): "Global Political Theory and Practice: Expanding Canons, Engaging Politics"

May 10, 2022, 1:30 pm5:15 pm
Marx Hall, Room 301 (Kerstetter Seminar Room). Due to current health protocols, open to PUID holders only.
Open to Princeton University ID Holders
Event Description

To register, click here.

In recent years there has been a great deal of interest in expanding the canon of political thought, and the ways in which political theory is taught.   There are calls to make the teaching of political theory less ethnocentric. There is a deeper understanding of the ways in which even the canonical texts of political thought are shaped by the experience of empire. There is an interest in thinking about the theoretical foundations of political forms that present themselves as alternatives to liberal democracy.  There is a recognition that we need a better understanding of the arguments that political agents across the world use to navigate their social and political worlds, and that such an engagement might be necessary to both understanding difference and creating a more genuine universality.   

This symposium is a reflection on the pedagogical challenges of rising to the task of thinking of political theory in its global context. There are admirable attempts to introduce some non-Western texts in introductory courses. Some universities offer courses centered around different traditions: “Chinese Political Thought,”  “Islamic Political Thought,” “African Political Thought” and so on.  But for a moment consider a more radical possibility. What it would it take to make the conversation about Global Political Thought a seamless part of our thinking about political theory, not confined just to tokenism of a text or two, or treatment as separate intellectual traditions? What would it take to make them the common property of our intellectual conversations?  This symposium will reflect on the practice of teaching global political theory in our universities. What are the challenges? But more enchantingly, what are the possibilities? What intellectual questions might the teaching of political theory from different traditions open up for the enterprise of political theory as such?

Pratap Bhanu Mehta (Laurence S. Rockefeller Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University)

Session chairs:
Melissa Lane (Princeton University)
Jan-Werner Mueller (Princeton University)

Jonathan Gold (Princeton University)
Emma Hunter (Edinburgh University)
Tao Jiang (Rutgers University)
Karuna Mantena (Columbia University)
Mohammed Qasim Zaman (Princeton University)