Politics Courses

Fall 2013 Course Descriptions

 Politics Department

Fall 2013

 

All Politics Department courses are open to all students who meet the prerequisites. For information on requirements for a Politics major or minor, please see Naeem Inayatullah, 325 Muller Faculty Center

 

POLT 10100-01 U.S. POLITICS SS LA 1 h
3 CREDITS
INSTRUCTOR: Alex Moon, Muller 308, Ext. 4-1258
ENROLLMENT: 56
PREREQUISITES: None
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course has three main purposes. In ascending order of importance, it seeks to familiarize students with the role of voters, interest groups, the media, and parties in the American political system. We will examine the dynamics of American political institutions and (some of) the origins of (some of) the current political cleavages in the U.S.; it will examine the gap between the ideals and practices of American politics.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture/discussion
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: quizzes and take-home assignments, midterm, final

 

POLT 10100-03, 04 U.S. POLITICS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Carlos Figueroa
ENROLLMENT: 28 per section
PREREQUISITES: None
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This introductory course explores the development of the U.S. political system, how it works, and its impact upon individual citizens. We begin our journey with the various foundations
of U.S. politics, with a special emphasis on the federal Constitution and the shifting meaning Americans have attached to fundamental rights and liberties. Then, we examine the various ways in which people have participated in politics, including political parties, national elections, and interest groups. Finally, we turn to the principle entities of the national government, Congress, the presidency, and the
courts -- and to the policy-making process at the national level. Lectures and discussions explore each topic from an historical perspective, tracing the development of institutions and practices from the founding era to the present: Declaration of Independence, Constitution, federalist papers, civil rights, civil liberties, political participation, political parties, electoral politics, and national institutions. The course readings consist of primary source documents and secondary source materials from both political science and history. At the center of the course's approach to U.S. politics is the premise that past decisions by social, political and historical actors shape the choices open to later actors, including leaders, citizens and non-citizens alike.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lectures, discussions/debates, films/documentaries.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Readings, active participation in class
discussions, critical reading summaries, and a final group
class-project.

 

POLT 12200 -01, 02 POLITICS AND SOCIETY SS LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Patricia Rodriguez, Muller 312, ext 4-5714
ENROLLMENT: 30
PREREQUISITES: none
STUDENTS: open to all
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This is an introductory course in comparative and international politics that explores the impact of social forces and societal dynamics on the politics of diverse countries, as well as the influence of politics and the state on society. The course explores diverse understandings on issues of power, justice, and sustainability around the globe. Students will be learning and analyzing past and current world events of political relevance in today’s world but that do not get well captured in the media, such as: what meaning does democracy have for different actors? Why/when do democracies emerge and breakdown and with what effects on different societal groups? Why is state power wielded in repressive manners across different political systems? What problems emerge when international actors play attempt conflict resolution and governance-related reconstruction; and what impact do citizens’ struggles and activism have on creating democratic and economic change within countries affected by poverty and/or conflict? Students will understand the history, and political processes and events in a variety of countries including Chile, Venezuela, Sudan and South Sudan, Rwanda, Afghanistan, and others.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: lecture and discussion
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: papers, group discussion, participation

 

 

POLT 12300-01, 02 POLITICAL JUSTICE   SS LA 1 g

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Beth Harris, Muller 310, Ext. 4-3517

ENROLLMENT: 30

PREREQUISITES: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: We examine the relationships between collective identities, law, politics, power, witnessing, and justice in comparative contexts.  The readings and films draw on a number of disciplinary and professional approaches, including law, the social sciences, the humanities, and journalism.  We use case studies to analyze conflicts between nation building/national security strategies and those social and political groups whose civil liberties are threatened by official policies. This course is included within the interdisciplinary, transnational Classrooms Beyond Borders project. Through the use of digital technologies, students will share and discuss several readings with students at An Najah University in the West Bank.  The case studies may explore:   1) the legal dimensions of conflicts between Native Americans, American settlers, and the United States government;  2) the legal consolidation of the Third Reich in Germany and its impact on Jewish people under its rule;  3) the legal construction of Israel’s military rule over Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip; 4) Legal and cultural strategies of resistance to racial injustices in the United States; and 4) recent transformations of law  and “official” norms of justice within the United States.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion of readings and videos, video conferences, student presentations of group research projects; and blog communications beyond classroom borders.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Reading, watching videos, open-note exam, writing case briefs and essays, maintaining blogs with commentaries related to course curriculum; researching and preparing group projects, and presenting group projects in class. 

 

 

POLT 12800-01, 02 INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 1 G LA SS  
3 credits 
INSTRUCTOR: Lisa Sansoucy, 122 Administrative Annex, Ext. 4-7040  
ENROLLMENT: 28 
PREREQUISITES: None 
STUDENTS: Open to all students 
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Introduces students to basic perspectives and events in world politics (international relations). Different theoretical positions are examined critically. The central purpose of the course is to provide the beginning student of international relations/world politics with the analytic tools necessary to understand contemporary events and to undertake advanced study in these areas. 
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Readings, active participation in class discussions. 

 

 

POLT 12900 -01, 02 Explorations in Global & Comparative Studies 1 G LA SS HU

3 Credits

INSTRUCTOR: Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, 314 Muller, ext. 4-3508

ENROLLMENT: 28

PREREQUISITES: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The course examines global issues, including culture and identity formation, globalization, human rights, the environment, and militarism. National and international public policies are examined critically and policy alternatives are explored, as are individual responses and responsibilities. The course utilizes country case studies, international simulations, literature and film and emphasizes global awareness.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lectures, discussions, and collaborative work.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Regular attendance, full participation, presentations, tests, essays and projects. Open to those who are interested in the subject matter.

 

 

POLT 14200-01, 02 IDEAS AND IDEOLOGIES SS LA 1a, 1b

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Kelly Dietz, Muller 323, Ext. 4-3581

ENROLLMENT: 30 per section

PREREQUISITE: None.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The course explores the ideological roots of political life and political inquiry. Through readings, film, art, music and your own observations, the course focuses on key political ideas and the ideological debates over their meaning and practice. We will examine a range of views on concepts such as liberty, equality, democracy, rationality, security, order, authority, community and nation. We will consider how these and other political ideas developed historically, why certain ideas endure, and why they remain important to understanding politics today. In doing so we will also pay close attention to how political ideas intertwine with constructions of class, race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. The course encourages critical reflection on where our views about the world come from, and on aspects of political life that we take for granted. Encounters with political theories different from our own subjective views help bring to light our unconscious assumptions and also what is distinctive about our political views. Ideological perspectives the course explores include liberalism and conservatism (and their “neo” variants), socialism, anarchism, and fascism.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: discussion, occasional lectures

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: active participation, weekly blog contributions demonstrating critical engagement with course materials, and a semester-long final project. Grading is based on these requirements.

 

 

POLT 14300-01 UNDERSTANDING CAPITALISM LA SS

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Naeem Inayatullah

ENROLLMENT: 28

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Exploration of the role of class conflict in the making of contemporary political and social life. Application of theoretical and historical materials to assess capitalism's complex relationship to such ideals as progress, freedom, equality, individuality, and justice. Understanding the personal, regional, national, and global scope of capitalism.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: willingness to accept alternative teaching methods.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Plenty of reading, writing, and discussion

 

 

POLT 14500-01 POLITICS OF IDENTITY LA SS 

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Asma Barlas, CHS 101 (CSCRE Office), ext 4-1056

ENROLLMENT: 25

PREREQUISITES: None

STUDENTS: Open to all

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course explores the relationship between racial identities and the kinds of lives people (can) live in the U.S.  Among the questions we will address are: what is race; do racial differences impede cross-cultural and political unity; what are the psychological implications of thinking in terms of binaries like Self/ Other, black/white, similarity/ difference; what does it mean to consume the Other; does sex and gender affect attitudes towards race and racism; are color-blind people anti-racist, and how is your own identity impacted by such issues?

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Class discussions and presentations.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Class attendance/participation, journals, concept papers.

 

POLT 19501-01, 02 FOOD AND WATER SUSTAINABILITY 1 G SS

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Juan Arroyo, Muller 308, Ext. 4-3969

ENROLLMENT: 25 per section

PREREQUISITES: None

STUDENTS: Open to all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: At some level, we may think we know what it means to eat and drink sustainably. This course will challenge conceptions by examining different, and often conflicting definitions of sustainability. Then, even if we do agree to eat and drink differently, we face challenges in changing individual behavior and social patterns in more sustainable directions. This course will look at the many actors and obstacles involved in defining and shaping our choices regarding food and water. Political systems privilege certain ideas and also specific interests. Economic structures and patterns limit our choices. Anthropological, cultural, and sociological backgrounds structure our options. Biological and psychological predispositions affect our ability to eat and drink sustainably. Students will consider the “simple” acts of eating and drinking from all of these perspectives. Students will be challenged to understand the potential for changing patterns of consumption, examining their own choices, their communities, and the socio-political system in which we are embedded.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture; expert presentations

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Readings, active participation in class discussions, 2-3 short papers (3-5 pages), 1 medium paper (5-7 pages), 1 final paper (7-10 pages)

 

POLT 23000-01 THE HOLOCAUST SS LA
3 CREDITS
INSTRUCTOR: Don Beachler, Muller 333, Ext. 4-1249
ENROLLMENT: 28
PREREQUISITES: One social science or humanities course
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is an introductory survey of major issues related to the Holocaust. We will examine the role of Anti-Semitism in Western Culture and the rise of the racial anti-Semitism that animated Nazi hatred of the Jews. Among the topics to be covered are: The rise of Hitler to power; the initial policies of persecution and dispossession of the Jews and Jewish responses to these policies; the evolution of Nazi policy from expulsion of the Jews to extermination; the role of Jewish community leadership in attempting to cope with a murderous onslaught by establishing Jews in vital industries; the cooperation of many German bureaucrats in the final solution; the relationship of the Holocaust to the Nazis' overall racial views and their war of racial supremacy in eastern Europe; the ongoing controversy over whether more Jews could have been rescued by the nations opposing Hitler and his regime.

COURSE REQUIRMENTS & GRADING: 3 exams; Letter grade

 

POLT 30400-01 PARTY POLITICS LA SS

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Don Beachler, Muller 333, ext. 4-1249

ENROLLMENT: 30

PREREQUISITES: Three courses in the social sciences

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course covers several important themes in American party politics. The dynamics of presidential and congressional elections are explored. The role of money in politics will be considered. We will also cover the impact of the electoral college and the single member plurality electoral system. Considerable attention will be devoted to the development of the party system from the 1930s to the present. The thesis that elections play a decreasing role in American politics is investigated. We will focus on partisan polarization in the Obama era.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Three short papers. Letter grades

 

POLT 31900-01 ST: RELIGION AND U.S. POLICIES IN MIDDLE EAST LA SS

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Beth Harris, Muller 310, Ext. 4-3527

ENROLLMENT: 28

PREREQUISITE: Three courses in the social sciences

COURSE DESCRIPTION: We examine the significance of religious organizations and norms in American political discourse and the shaping of U.S. policies in the Middle East. We will focus on the strategies of American Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious institutions and interest groups to influence U.S. policies concerning Israel, Palestine and Iran. We will also explore internal debates within religious groups and coalition efforts between those with diverse religious affiliations. Assignments will include readings, films and social media.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion of readings and videos; student presentations; and in-class and over-Skype speakers.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Reading, watching video, media analysis, interviews, exam, essays and group project. Students are expected to participate in class discussions and be willing to work with peers on some assignments.

 

POLT 32000-01  ST: U.S. POLITICS: THE POLITICS OF U.S. CITIZENSHIP  LA SS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Carlos Figueroa
ENROLLMENT: 28
PREREQUISITES: three courses in social sciences
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The aim of this seminar is to problematize Michael Walzer's inquiry: "What does it mean to be an American?" from a number of perspectives. We do this in order to critically and historically assess various conceptions and understandings of U.S. citizenship within different contexts. We explore the way in which U.S. citizenship has been constructed and re-constructed by competing political visions and institutions, ideas, moral-religious beliefs, social values, racial, ethnic, and gender discourses, among others, over time. For example, we pay close attention to the articulation of citizenship at the various intersections of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and religion as categories of difference that often inform, if not structure, who can become a citizen and when certain political, social and civic rights ought to be recognized and protected. We also explore how key national institutions -- Congress, presidency, Supreme Court, and the Census Bureau -- shape debates over civic status, national identity, and political community. Finally, we consider the impact of transnationalism, multiculturalism and globalization on the meanings of U.S. citizenship, while illuminating the historical and civic dimensions of political membership more broadly. Readings will cover materials from political history, social and public policy, political/social theory, gender studies, to public law, sociology, and economics – in the hopes of making sense of what we in the U.S. mean by American citizen.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Introductory lectures, close reading of texts, individual/group led discussions
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Readings, lead 3 in-class discussions, take-home midterm, final paper, and final oral presentation 

 

POLT 34003 ST in Comp/Intl Studies: MILITARIZATION OF EVERYDAY LIFE LA SS

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Kelly Dietz, Muller 315, Ext. 4-3581

ENROLLMENT: 25

PREREQUISITE: Three courses in the social sciences.

OBJECTIVES: From fashion trends, Hollywood films and video games to drones, the DREAM Act, privatized militaries and US bases overseas, this course examines the ways in which things and people and social relations become objects of militarization. We pay special attention to how and why this is embraced by some and resisted by others. The course takes a broad view of militarization as an everyday process in order to better understand our relationships to state power as individuals, as citizens, and as members of local and global communities. The course begins by looking at some of the central ways American culture and institutions are militarized. We then broaden our scope to explore how these taken-for-granted processes intersect with the militarization of social, political and economic relations globally. Throughout the course, we explore how and why militarization plays out differently for different people, particularly in terms of gender, class, race, sexuality and citizenship. Through readings, films and your own experiences, we will critically examine the processes that give rise to and sustain militarization--and the ways in which we are all complicit in the militarization of everyday life.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Active participation, weekly blog contributions demonstrating critical engagement with course materials, one paper and a final take-home exam.

 

 

POLT 34005-01 ST in Comp/Int'l Studies : INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS  LA SS

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Juan Arroyo, Muller 308, Ext. 4-3969

ENROLLMENT: 25

PREREQUISITES: Three courses in social science or the equivalent

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will study international organizations that have emerged over time to pursue solutions to cross-national problems, and help to provide rules and structures to manage inter-state and other kinds of global interactions. This will encompass institutions that bring together states, but also international non-governmental organizations. The first part of the semester will be dedicated to the key concepts (cooperation, norms, order) and theoretical approaches to and criticisms of international organizations. These paradigms differ on several dimensions, including the purpose and value of the institutions, when and how they are formed, how autonomous and effective they are, and how they are organized. We will then use these frameworks to understand a number of specific international organizations. Students will learn not just how these institutions are organized and make decisions, but also how to explain and evaluate the outcomes of their work. Students will learn about the histories of these organizations, and about controversies and challenges surrounding their roles. Throughout the semester we will address different types of issues, including problems of war and peace, the definitions and management of economic development, and questions of environmental protection. A wide variety of organizations may come up in the class, including the United Nations and the EU, treaty organizations (like NATO), regional organizations (such as the EU or the African Union), economic organizations (e.g., ILO, IMF) and international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), such as the International Red Cross and Amnesty International.

STUDENTS: Open to all students.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion/lecture

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADES: Readings, active participation in class discussions and in a simulated negotiation, 2 medium papers (5-7 pages), 1 final paper (10-12 pages)

 

POLT 34053-01 Africa in World Politics LA SS

3 Credits

INSTRUCTOR: Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, 314 Muller, ext. 4-3508

ENROLLMENT: 25

PREREQUISITES: 3 courses in the social sciences.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Students explore Africa’s transcontinental dynamics, its changing role in the global economy and complex relationships with the African Diaspora, China, the Middle East and western societies. We will also investigate African responses to the war against terrorism, the global politics of international “aid”, oil politics and resource trails, the African union, creation of the new Sudanese state and African contributions to global development. The course challenges the misconception of African passivity and isolation through a re-centering of the continent in global politics and history.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Research, discussions and collaborative work.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Regular attendance, full participation, tests and assignments. Open to those who are interested in the subject matter. 

 

POLT 34200 - Liberalism and Marxism LA SS

3 Credits

Instructor: Naeem Inayatullah, Muller 325, ext: 4-3028

Enrollment: 28

Course Description: We examine the historical emergence of liberalism as an ideology that emerges from and supports modernity, capitalism, and colonialism. Specifically, liberalism touts equality, individuality, and freedom as conceptions that differentiate the modern epoch from past hierarchies. Marxism then emerges as a critique of liberalism’s limited vision. The course examines liberalism’s and Marxism’s critiques of each other. But it also emphasizes their similarities when seen from alternative places – both internal and external to Europe. We will engage primary readings from Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Hegel, and Marx. These will be supplemented by contemporary texts that provide a more global vision.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: willingness to accept alternative teaching methods and close reading of texts.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Plenty of reading, writing, and discussion

 

 

POLT 35000-01 THEORY AND PRACTICE OF PUNISHMENT LA SS

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Alex Moon, Muller 308, Ext. 4-1258

ENROLLMENT: 30

PREREQUISITES: None

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course covers the theory and practice of punishment. We begin with philosophical justifications and critiques of the idea of punishment. In order to evaluate these theories and contemporary practice, we examine historical and current prison conditions. The last section of the course will deal with the politics of prison construction and its intersection with the politics of race in the United States.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture/discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: several two-page papers, final, class participation

 

 

POLT 37000-01 ST: IN PUBLIC POLICY: POLITICS OF WEALTH/POVERTY LA SS

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Don Beachler, Muller 333, Ext. 4-1249.

ENROLLMENT: 28

PREREQUISITES: Three courses in social sciences or the equivalent.

STUDENTS: Open to all interested student who meet the prerequisites.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The course will focus on the politics of wealth and poverty. After an extensive consideration of various policy approaches to the global economy, the course will focus on domestic problems. Among the topics to be covered are economic inequality, the attack on America’s modest welfare state, the working poor, health care, and welfare reform.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: 5-6 books, midterm and final exam, research paper on a policy issue; standard grading.

 

POLT 39800-01 PRACTICUM IN EUROPEAN UNION POLICY-MAKING  LA SS

1 credit

INSTRUCTOR: Juan Arroyo, Muller 308, Ext. 4-3969

ENROLLMENT: 5

PREREQUISITES: Permission of instructor or prior or concurrent enrollment in “The European Union,” or “European Politics.”

STUDENTS: Open to all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Practical experience in international negotiations at the intercollegiate level. The venue will be the Model European Union conference hosted by SUNY New Paltz and Vesalius College in Brussels, Belgium, in January of 2014. Students will be assigned a specific role to play, representing a particular EU member state on one of four EU bodies: EU Heads of Government, EU Foreign Ministers, ECOFIN (Economics and Finance Ministers), and COREPER (Committee of Permanent Representatives). We might also be able to send someone as a member of the press corps. Group meetings before the conference will introduce students to the procedures used in the MEU simulation. Students will do independent research to prepare the topics, and to understand the positions of other participants. Students will collaborate in drafting their positions and statements for the conference.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Students will be required to attend 7-9 preparatory workshops before the conference, during Block II; attendance at the weekend conference.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Active participation in the workshops and at the conference. One paper describing your role, the issue that was debated, the group’s conclusions, and your reflection on the process.

 

 

POLT 40108-01 - SEM in Comp/Int'l Studies: Citizenship & Social Movements SS LA

3 credits

INSTRUCTOR: Patricia Rodriguez, Muller 312, Ext. 4-5714

ENROLLMENT: 15

PREREQUISITES: Junior/senior standing; three courses in the social sciences, of which at least one must be in POLT; or permission of instructor.

STUDENTS: Open to all

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This seminar focuses on a topic of current relevance in the contemporary world: citizen activism and its impact. The course will look at the major debates surrounding the emergence, buildup, and sustained impact of social movements struggling for the following issues: labor/social rights, LGBTQ/gender rights, student/youth activism, and indigenous and environmental rights in a variety of political contexts in Latin America, Africa, Asia, U.S. and the Middle East. By examining the goals, strategies, constraints and consequences of activism in different parts of the world and at different moments/places in time, we can begin to understand what it means for different groups to exercise citizenship rights and voice regarding alternative visions of social, economic, political, and cultural processes, and especially the personal and political challenges that ‘voice’ both confronts and poses. Among others, we will read from: “Solidarity Transformed: Labor Responses to Globalization and Crises” by Mark Anner (2011); “The Politics of Resource Extraction: Indigenous Peoples, Multinational Corporations and the State” by Suzana Sawyer and E. Gomez (2012); “Dreaming in Public: Building the Occupy Movement” by A. and D. Lang; “Revolt and Protest: Student Politics and Activism in Sub-saharan Africa” by Leo Zeilig (2007).

 COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: papers, participation

 

 

POLT 40201 Seminar: Empire and Political Theory SS LA
3 Credits
Instructor: Evgenia Ilieva
Enrollment: 15
PREREQUISITES: Junior/senior standing; three courses in the social sciences, of which at least one must be in POLT; or permission of instructor.
STUDENTS: Open to all
Course Description: Drawing upon seminal texts by major Western and non-Western political thinkers, in this course we will explore some of the most influential theoretical justifications, critiques, and debates concerning Western imperial expansion from the era of early political modernity to the present. We will examine a range of questions occasioned by the phenomenon of empire including, but not limited to, the following: What is an empire? What ideas have been offered as justification for the project of empire? Can imperialism be a good thing and if so, for whom? Can democratic and liberal regimes be imperialistic? If so, is the United States an empire? What does it mean to be a citizen of an empire? We will seek answers to these questions by paying particular attention to the ways in which various canonical political thinkers responded to and sought to understand the diversity of cultures, practices and ways of life encountered during the long period of Western expansion. We will also explore how the key concepts that lie at the heart of modern political thought – freedom, despotism, self-government, property, sovereignty, international justice, human rights, civilization, and progress – were imagined and articulated in response to the imperial and commercial expansion beyond Europe. While both defenders and critics of empire tend to focus on the costs and benefits of empire for the subject peoples, in this course our goal will be to understand how the building and maintenance of empire can transform the imperial power itself, often implicating it in acts of violence that are antithetical to its constitutive values.   
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:

 

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