Resources for Teaching Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy in James Madison College

This major “probes competing principles that have animated political communities and how we have attempted to translate these into practice. We raise complex fundamental questions as we try to sort out the values and principles that have been most important to us. What does it mean to flourish as a human being? What are the rights and responsibilities of good citizens?  What is the best way of life for society as a whole?”  The approach is both philosophical and historical, designed to teach students to think about these questions “in a productive and intellectually exciting way.”  (


Syllabi and Teaching Resources

Syllabi for courses taught by JMC faculty in all four programs at James Madison College can be found at

MIT OpenCourseWare:  Political Science.
Syllabi and course materials for a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses taught from 2002 to the present:  lecture notes, projects, assignments, assessments.

The American Political Science Association (APSA): Teaching Political Science.
This site offers links to resources such as civic education and best practices in political science assessment, plus links to other web resources related to political science education. Journal of Political Science Education requires subscription.

Politics & Government (Voice of the Shuttle, VoS).
Comprehensive, well-organized links to teaching resources, ranging from political theorists to U.S. political movements, parties, and historical documents.

Seventh Seal website.
Worldwide political resource links arranged in alphabetical order.

Biographies of Political Theorists and Activists (Peter Landry, Canadian lawyer and scholar).
Brief biographies of each activist arranged in alphabetical order.

Wikipedia’s list of political theorists.
A list of notable historic and 20th century political theorists both national and international, each linked to a Wikipedia page containing information plus additional outside links. Quality varies; see page ratings at the bottom of each theorist’s page in four categories: trustworthy, objective, complete, well-written.

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Associations and Journals Offering Teaching Resources

Association for Political Theory: Websites and Blogs.
Links to websites and blogs of interest to political theorists.

Association for Political Theory: Online Texts.
Links to numerous sites offering online texts for scholars, for example the Perseus Project and Project Gutenberg.

Association for Political Theory: Journals.
Extensive well-annotated list of journals that may be of interest to political theorists and social and political philosophers. Live link to each journal.

Topics in Political Science.
Free journal articles from the American Political Science Association, chosen for their coverage of topics useful for the classroom. Includes articles on teaching, American government, topics in the news such as American Elections, and much more.

Political Theory: An International Journal of Political Philosophy.
Peer reviewed bi-monthly publication for articles addressing political and ethical issues or events. Subscription required, but abstracts and archives available online.

Contemporary Political Theory.
Political theory and philosophy with peer-reviewed articles on “contemporary global politics” and related areas. Subscription required; some articles and abstracts free online.

For additional teaching resources see the James Madison websites General Online Syllabi and Teaching Materials for all areas in James Madison College, and also Teaching Strategies for James Madison College faculty.


Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy at James Madison College

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