Steven McGuire

Book Review of J. Budziszewski's "The Line Through the Heart"
By Steven McGuire on August 19, 2010

In his new book, The Line Through the Heart, Budziszewski attempts to show us how the natural law continues to illuminate the ethical and political dimensions of human existence today despite our best efforts to ignore it.

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An Interview with J. Budziszewski
By Steven McGuire on August 13, 2010

Lehrman Fellow Steven McGuire interviews J. Budziszewksi, Professor, Departments of Government and Philosophy about the natural law.

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Doom and Gloom
By Steven McGuire on March 01, 2010

A recent article in the Chronicle, “Graduate School in the Humanities: Just Don’t Go,” has received some sustained attention on this blog. It’s a well-timed contribution, since the job market apocalypse is basically here. Might as well pile on, right? Herewith my own contribution.

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Active Learning in Comparative Politics
By Steven McGuire on December 09, 2009

Iím a political theorist, but I teach comparative politics as well. Instead of canvassing the whole subfield in my introductory class, rapidly moving from topic to topic, I focus on the varieties of democracy and the possibilities for democratic consolidation in traditionally non-democratic societies. Iím sure itís more usual to offer a full survey of the subfield, but Iíve heard too many grad students (and professors) say they donít remember their introductory courses in comparative, so I try to give the students a chance to sink their teeth into something.

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On Teaching the Relevance of Political Theory
By Steven McGuire on August 14, 2009

Most of the students in my introductory political theory class are enrolled because they have to be. They cannot graduate as political science majors without taking at least one course in political thought. That presents a special challenge for me as their teacher because I need to convince them that they want to be in my class—or at least Iíd like to convince them. Obviously not every student will be persuaded, but I think many of them can be, so Iím looking for ways to make the class more interesting for them. One of the key ways to achieve this, I have found, is to give them examples of the relevance of the materials for life today.

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How has Technology Changed the Teacher-Student Relationship?
By Steven McGuire on June 03, 2009

It may be that technology is morally neutral in the sense that it is always up to human beings as moral agents to decide how it should be used. But it is also true that technology can change the way that we interact with other human beings (and the world in general) without our even recognizing it—except, of course, that we always have the capacity to step back and realize that a change has taken place. That is what I propose to do here, using as examples email and Blackboard, both of which have changed the way that students and professors interact with one another. The question is, have we allowed these technologies to change the student-teacher relationship for the better, or for the worse?

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Preparing for the Job Market From Day One
By Steven McGuire on March 31, 2009

In academia, simply having the necessary credentials isn't enough. I think that's true for everyone, no matter where they obtain their Ph.D., but it's especially true for those of us who aren't graduating from a top research institution. While it may not be possible to make up for not attending a top school, it's certainly possible to make oneself stand out from the rest of the crowd. What are the sorts of things that graduate students can do to get an advantage?

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Introducing Students to Political Theory: The Historical versus the Analytic Approach
By Steven McGuire on March 04, 2009

When I taught Introduction to Political Theory for the first time, I followed a strict history of political thought approach: we read and discussed classic texts from Plato to Marx in their entirety and in chronological order. I arranged the course this way because I thought it was important that students read great works in the history of political thought, that they read them from cover to cover, and that they do so with some understanding of the historical context in which they were written. As I taught the course, however, I realized that the historical approach on its own was not enough…

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