Reading and discussion of selected works of major importance in interdisciplinary international studies. Restricted to majors in International Studies.
Globalization fuels concerns about the primacy of economic agendas at the expense of civic engagement and public voice. This course will explore the spaces, meanings, and functions of civil societies and public spheres in a globalized world. First, we will investigate the salience of these concepts in different political theories and ask specifically whether there is indeed a connection between civic engagement and political advocacy. Here, we will rely primarily on the work of scholars Robert Putnam, Juergen Habermas, Nancy Fraser, Michael Edwards, and Nina Eliasoph. In the second half of the course we will look at actors and organizations that might serve as catalysts for civic participation: What is the actual and potential role of nongovernmental organizations, foundations and transnational networks in creating civic institutions and mobilizing citizens? What kind of publics does the web generate? And do, or should, state institutions take on responsibility for activating citizens? Case studies will involve the U.S., the EU, as well as Latin America and Africa.
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