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 2210. Modern Political Philosophy

Paul Franco
A survey of modern political philosophy from Machiavelli to Mill. Examines the overthrow of the classical horizon, the movement of human will and freedom to the center of political thought, the idea of the social contract, the origin and meaning of rights, the relationship between freedom and equality, the role of democracy, and the replacement of nature by history as the source of human meaning. Authors may include Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, and Mill.

GOV 3220. Nietzsche

Paul Franco
An examination of the broad range of Nietzsche’s thought with a special view to its moral and political implications. Readings include Nietzsche’s major works, including Thus Spoke Zarathustra. May also consider various twentieth-century interpretations and appropriations of Nietzsche’s philosophy.

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