Introduction to Political Theory

My Favorite Course in Political Science

Name: Karim Boudlal
Country: Morocco
Year: Class of 2023
Major: Hopefully a double major in political science and economics
Course: Introduction to Political Theory

The course is an overview of the main thinkers of political science. We trace the birth and evolution of political science from the ancient world with Plato and Aristotle to modern theorists to the contemporary analysis of the new Chinese system.

Why This Course

I consider knowledge of these ideas to be essential for anyone who wants to seriously discuss politics. It was this class that sparked my interest in a political science double major.

A Typical Day in This Class

To be honest, there's not really a typical day for this class. Professor Rahul Sagar always starts with a contextualization of the assigned reading, explaining its historical background and importance. But more often than not, he will vary the way this context is presented, be it through a masterful oral exposé, a presentation of documents and maps, or a fun short informative video.

We then move on to discussions of the reading. Discussions can go from lecture style student-professor exchanges, a spontaneous group presentations, to exchanges of simple drawings summing up the reading. The only constant is that by the end of the class, we will end up with a comprehensive diagram summarizing the reading. 

What I Loved About The Class

It is hard to come up with one. The class is a collection of lovely moments that go from professor Rahul's frequent driving metaphors (an inside joke one would only get by taking the class) or to him conjuring up a social experiment on a whim to test Hobbes' theories during a group presentation.

Tips on Navigating What Major or Course to Take

Navigating major and course selection wasn't that hard for me. I came to NYUAD with a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to do.

The question was how much would I be able to do. My answer was taking it a semester at a time, filling requirements slowly but surely. Now that I want to do a double major, I will need more planning ahead. But I think the "chill" one semester at a time approach to taking classes is a good compromise for people who aren't planners.

Why NYU Abu Dhabi?

I chose NYUAD for its global outlook where I am allowed to pursue a quality undergraduate education with study away opportunities