Location: Bowdoin / Paul N. Franco

Government and Legal Studies

Paul Franco

Professor of Government


Contact Information

Government And Legal Studies

Hubbard Hall - 17

Teaching this semester

GOV 1012. Human Being and Citizen

Paul Franco
An introduction to the fundamental issues of political philosophy: human nature, the relationship between individual and political community, the nature of justice, the place of virtue, the idea of freedom, and the role of history. Readings span both ancient and modern philosophical literature. Authors may include Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, the American Founders, Tocqueville, Mill, and Nietzsche.

GOV 2260. Contemporary Political Philosophy

Paul Franco
A survey of political philosophy in Europe and the United States since 1945. Examines a broad array of topics, including the revival of political philosophy, relativism, rationalism, contemporary liberal theory, communitarianism, conservatism, multiculturalism, feminism, and postmodernism. Authors may include Strauss, Arendt, Oakeshott, Berlin, Hayek, Rawls, Sandel, Taylor, Walzer, Okin, Habermas, and Foucault.

Paul N. Franco - Bowdoin College


  • B.A. Colorado College
  • M.Sc. London School of Economics
  • Ph.D. University of Chicago

Mr. Franco is a Professor of Government with teaching responsibilities in the history of political philosophy and contemporary political theory.  Before coming to Bowdoin, he taught at the University of Chicago as a William Rainey Harper Fellow.  

Mr. Franco is the author of The Political Philosophy of Michael Oakeshott (Yale University Press, 1990), Hegel’s Philosophy of Freedom (Yale University Press, 1999), Michael Oakeshott: An Introduction (Yale University Press, 2004), and Nietzsche’s Enlightenment: The Free-Spirit Trilogy of the Middle Period (University of Chicago Press, 2011).  Most recently he co-edited A Companion to Michael Oakeshott (Penn State, 2012). He has published articles and reviews in The American Political Science Review, Political Theory, The Journal of Politics, The Review of Politics, Political Studies, Ethics, and The Political Science Reviewer.

A Companion to Michael Oakeshott Nietzsche’s Enlightenment: The Free-Spirit Trilogy of the Middle Period paul franco: hegel book cover

paul franco: book cover          paul franco: book cover michael oakeshott, an introduction