Beyond Literary Landscapes—Political Science

From my early beginnings as a young introvert, the public library has always been a bit of a refuge.  Years later, not much has changed, albeit with an additional affinity for endless hours spent scouring second-hand bookstores to add to my ever-growing “to-read” pile.

From one bookworm to another, this column underscores and outlines various literary genres, authors, and recent reads and serves as an introduction for those unfamiliar with these works, as a refresher for long-time aficionados, and maybe as an inspiration for readers to share their own suggested topics.  Do you have a topic that you would like covered in this column?  Feel free to contact me for an interview and a feature in an upcoming column.


This week’s column focuses on an introduction to major authors in the genre of Political Science.

A wide and diverse academic field, Political Science often overlaps with other faculties, such as Economics, Political Economy, International Relations, and History.

For those new to this this discipline, Political Philosophy, or Political Theory, can be a foundation upon which to build additional knowledge.  In particular, Political Philosophy is a “branch of philosophy that is concerned, at the most abstract level, with the concepts and arguments involved in political opinion.”

Some examples of well-known authors who have written in the Political Science and Political Philosophy genre include Plato, Niccolò Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes, and Karl Marx.

Other notable authors include Jean-Jacques Rousseau, John Locke, and Vladimir Illych Lenin.


Some examples of Political Science and Political Philosophy texts include The Republic by Plato, The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli, The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes.

Other notable works include The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Two Treatises of Government by John Locke, and What is to Be Done? by Vladimir Illych Lenin.


These works take place in Ancient Greece, the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, Germany, and the former Soviet Union.


These works are set from ancient times to the 17, 18, 19, and 20-centuries.


These Political Science texts may be of interest to AU students who would like to gain a background in the different Political Philosophies that have greatly influenced Western development and history, as well as gain a deeper understanding of current political systems.


AU’s wide range of diverse courses make it easy to study this topic in depth.  Courses related to Political Science are available in a variety of disciplines, including one’s that may fit into your Degree Works.  (Always check with an AU counsellor to see if these particular courses fulfill your personal graduation requirements!)

AU students interested in learning more about this topic may enroll in POLI 355: Political Philosophy: Plato to Machiavelli, a senior-level, three-credit course, which “provides an overview of classical political thinking about the best life for humankind and the best ways to live together as a community in which members share similar aspirations.”  (No prerequisites are required for this course.)

Students may also be interested in POLI 357: Political Philosophy: Hobbes to Human Rights, a senior-level, three-credit course, which “introduces early modern and modern political philosophy.”  (This course also does not require prerequisites.)  Happy reading!