Prerequisites: RCC*. The seminar will explore the uneasy relationships between republicanism, private power, and the “rule of law.” Students will read passages from a political philosopher/economist, a case/treaty provision/statute/or regulation, and a current example of the underlying issue, all of which will form the basis for a discussion of the issues raised in context and will explore how the works of some of the most influential moral and political philosophers (ranging from Aristotle and Marx to Ayn Rand) reveal the basic policies and competing ideologies that influence our legal institutions. By seeing the issues fought over for thousands of years—replay themselves in the common law, constitutional law, trade treaties, labor law, corporate law, tax law, and spending allocations, the students would have a more integrated, informed view of the political economy. Students will complete a substantial research paper for the course. Satisfies the upper level writing requirement.