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Jeffrey A. Becker

Associate Professor and Chair, Political Science


Phone: 209.946.3986

Office Hours

Wendell Phillips Center, Rm. 124


PhD, Rutgers University, 2004

MA, Rutgers University, 1996

BA, University of California, Santa Cruz, 1991

Curriculum Vitae 

Teaching Philosophy

My approach to the college classroom is to create an environment where students are comfortable exploring diverse interpretations of course themes and readings, where students learn to clarify and support their arguments, and link their interpretations to course themes and readings.  The courses I teach seek to develop the student's ability to communicate by thinking critically, reading actively, and writing to learn.  I find it essential to communicate to students why they should care about the material I teach.  Increasingly, it is not self-evident that students share an interest in politics, political science, or political theory.  I therefore structure and arrange my courses to engage students in debates in the field, current politics, as well as the history of those debates. 

Research Interest

Ambition in American Politics and Legal Philosophy


American Political Thought
Introduction to Political Theory
Legal Philosophy/Jurisprudence
Ancient to Medieval Political Theory
Modern to Contemporary Political Theory