A philosophical investigation of conceptual and normative issues associated with one of several broad domains of social and political thought: human rights, the varieties of human conflict, and war and peace. Examines both classical and recent texts. Brings theoretical perspectives to bear on contemporary issues.
This course will provide a historical and comparative perspective into the relationship between globalization and politics in the developing world, also referred to as the “Global South” or the “Third World”. The course pursues two interrelated objectives. The first is to introduce students to often competing conceptual orientations to the comparative and historical assessment of globalization and politics in the developing world. Next, the course will draw on these conceptual orientations to examine various issues experienced by the developing world. These include colonialism and its legacies, democratization and nation building, international conflict and war, gender and development, ethnic and religious conflict and economic development.
The course is not limited to a mere description of issues and themes associated with the developing world. Rather, we will be constantly challenging the ways we are accustomed to thinking about politics on the world stage. Through comparing and contrasting various analytical perspectives course aims to encourage students to think critically about globalization and politics. At a minimum this involves distinguishing among various arguments and modes of analysis, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of different explanations, and ultimately developing one’s own independent perspective on various problems encountered in politics and history.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
The course is structured to encourage maximum independent thinking and critical analysis of theories and issues central to the field of international relations. To this end, the instructor will discuss material assigned for each session, identify key issues and events, and offer insights into various ways of analyzing problems in international affairs. Much of class time will be devoted to student discussion of issues raised in the readings and lectures. Discussions will typically go considerably beyond the assigned readings therefore it is imperative that students take excellent notes and ask questions when clarification is needed. All students are expected to come to class having read the material assigned for that day and prepared to participate in classroom discussions. In this class you will be responsible for your own and your peers’ learning. My role in the class will be to encourage you to learn, to assist you in expanding your ability to think independently, to critique what you read, to write thoughtful papers, and to encourage well-informed participation.
Class assignments and grading