Inequality in Western Political Thought

Study of egalitarian and inegalitarian theories in the history of Western Political Thought. Distinction between forms of inequality (political, economic, social, racial, gender, etc.). Analysis of what kind of equality should be achieved (resources, opportunities, rights, respect, etc.). Connection of equality with other political and moral issues (freedom, responsibility, class conflict, well-being, poverty, exclusion, solidarity, difference, etc.).

Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Prosperity and Distribution in the Long Run

Overview of the different explanations of the economic development of nations in the long run and the differential patterns of distribution within them.  Approach is global (what explains the dynamics of global inequality, the contrast between the developed and the developing world), historical (long term structural constraints and early institutional choices and their legacies), and analytical (theoretical identification of the mechanisms during the wealth and poverty of nations, and the methodological strategies to approach them empirically).  Instructor: Beramendi.

Legal Analysis for Development Governance

Using case scenarios, we apply a legal analytical framework to development-related governance challenges in investment, trade, environment, land, community and human rights, health, corruption, corporate social responsibility, consumer literacy, children's legal personality and other sectors. "Rules of the Game" and legal rules. Three levels: international, national (constitutional), community.

Chinese Media and Popular Culture: Politics, Ideology, and Social Change

Examines contemporary Chinese media traditional news press, radio and TV, new media such as the Internet and social media, and popular culture, including cinema, popular music and fashions. Uses cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and comparative approach.  Focuses on how China views itself and constructs its global images, and how the world views China through media and popular culture. Primary objective is to understand political, ideological, and social changes since the Reform Era that began in 1978.  No foreign language prerequisites are required.  Instructor: Liu.

Information, Ethics and Policy

The development of the Internet and other technologies as media of communication and the politics, policies and regulations that have emerged both internationally and nationally. The political aspects of the access to information on the Internet and other technologies and the more controversial issue of content.

Israel/Palestine: Comparative Perspectives

Introduction to the Israel/Palestine conflict, studied through an interdisciplinary lens, including scholarship from the fields of anthropology, environmental studies, history, geography and cultural studies. Themes include: competing nationalisms, environmental politics and resource management, peace building, refugees and displacement, humanitarian crises and challenges, representational politics. Range of primary sources will be used including human rightes reports and testimonials, natural resource policies, feature and documentary film, memoirs, political treatises, and maps.

Citizenship, Patriotism, & Identity

This course introduces students to fundamental moral questions about nation states and individuals' membership in them. Do people owe more to their compatriots than to foreigners? It is desirable - or at least permissible - for countries to have and promote a national identity? What different forms can patriotism take, and in which (if any) of these forms is it a virtue? Should we all be "citizens of the world?" These questions will be explored primarily through readings in contemporary moral and political philosophy. Open only to students in the Focus Program. Instructor: MacMullen.

The Past and Future of Capitalist Democracy II

Continuation of POLSCI 679S The Past and Future of Capitalist Democracy I. Intensive engagement with core texts and arguments concerning the relationship between markets and democracy, economics and politics: special attention to equality and inequality, ecological limits, and the challenges of the post-2008 crisis period. Readings include F. Hayek, K. Polanyi, J. Dewey, W. Lippmann, F. Hirsch, F. Fukuyama, T. Piketty. Instructor: Purdy.

The Past and Future of Capitalist Democracy I

Intensive examination of theories of capitalism and democracy. Will study whether democracy and capitalism conflict; whether either is viable and self-correcting in the long term; competing theories of freedom, equality, and progress; relevance of ecological limits, sustainability, and resilience; alternative perspectives, including socialism and traditional conservatism.  Attention to current debates, such as Piketty and inequality, climate change; major engagement with founding theorists of these issues, including Adam Smith, J.S.