This course examines competing conceptions of freedom in the tradition of Western political thought. Is political freedom about doing what you want, sharing power, or actively participating in political life? Is freedom a quality of individuals or an experience found in collective action? What conditions help to secure freedom and what conditions undermine its possibility? What is the relationship of political freedom to power, authority, community and identity? Why might some who lack political freedom fail to resist? What if people don’t want to be free? In this course we pursue these questions in the context of reading classics in Western political theory as well as more contemporary writings, films, and works of fiction.