Alumnus Wensveen recognized by Carleton University for master's thesis

University of Lethbridge alumnus Jonathan Wensveen (BA ’11) is being honoured by Carleton University with a Senate Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement after his graduate student’s thesis was deemed to be among the best submitted at the Ottawa, Ont. university this year.

His thesis, entitled Human Nature in Hobbes and Thucydides, challenges the notion argued by many political theory and international relations scholars that Hobbes’s interpretation of human nature is taken directly from Thucydides. Wensveen surmises that, although Hobbes and Thucydides share similar interpretations of human nature, there nevertheless remains a fundamental difference between how each thinker (one wholly modern and the other wholly ancient) understands the human condition – a difference that many scholars fail to recognize.

In reflecting on the award, Wensveen says he is passionate about the research topics he pursues and that being recognized in this manner is even more satisfying.

“I am honoured to have been awarded a Senate Medal for Outstanding Academic Achievement. In my view, I’ve been awarded for doing what I love to do – reading and studying the great books – and it doesn’t get much better than that.”

U of L political science professor Dr. John von Heyking says Wensveen’s work is a valuable contribution to the field of political science.

“Jonathan Wensveen's thesis is an outstanding example of how one looks to great philosophical and political thinkers, in his case Thucydides and Thomas Hobbes, to illuminate contemporary political debate and issues,” says von Heyking. “His work helps us to look further and deeper into just what a "realistic" political program looks like, which makes us better able to be more practical in our political decision-making.”

Wensveen, a native of Lethbridge, is currently applying to a number of universities to pursue his doctoral studies.