Introduction to key concepts, theories, and critiques of civic engagement and social change, with a focus on competing notions of democratic citizenship. Examination of voluntarism, philanthropy, community service, political participation, social activism and other forms of community engagement. Critical reflection on ethical issues related to community engagement and social change, including critiques of progressivism and service.
Examination of forms of political and governmental dysfunction in contemporary democracy, such as gridlock, polarization, governmental capture, ineffective and unsustainable policy. Consideration of causes, consequences, and ameliorative possibilities. Instructor: Spragens. One course.
Historical, political, and doctrinal introduction to the primary themes of constitutional protection of individual rights in the United States, judicial review, state action, incorporation, fundamental rights (e.g., marriage, contraception, abortion, and speech), and equal citizenship (i.e. discrimination on the basis of race, sex, and sexual orientation).
Course delves into work from sociology, social psychology, and political science to explore the development of racial attitudes, stereotypes, and prejudice. Consideration of the way race matters for attitudes and behavior among all racial and ethnic group members and how racial attitudes have changed over time, corresponding to massive social, legal, and political changes in the United States.
Examines various measures of the degree of polarization in the public and in Congress, explores the causes of observed changes in polarization over time, and considers what consequences these changes have had for the practice of electoral politics and the conduct of government. Open only to students in the Focus Program. Instructor consent required. Instructor: Rohde. One course.
Seminar will engage in an investigation of the concept of law. Employ both historical and conceptual analyses of several texts, both classic and contemporary. Topics include: the nature and legitimacy of law; the relationship between law and morality; the relationship between law and politics and the concept of the rule of law.
Study the history and development of institutions in self-governing communities and societies to gain a deeper understanding of the need for creating and maintaining institutions to resolve specific collection action problems and to achieve social security, political stability and economic prosperity in general for a community.
Politics is about choices that affect the distribution of gains and losses, and about societal and political conflicts surrounding them. Course analyzes how political and economic forces shape: (1) Historical origins, such as the industrial revolution, slavery, and the birth of the modern welfare state; (2) Macro-economic policies, such as the taxation of capital, public spending and debt; and (3) Redistribution policies, such as welfare programs, unemployment and health insurance, and the minimum wage.
Examine the variety of ways in which authoritarian regimes operate. Study the emergence and persistence of authoritarian regimes, the institutions they adopt, leadership change, government/opposition relations, their potential for democratic transistion as well as the theories that explain these outcomes.