Kenneth G Lawson
POL S 273
How to understand and explain relationships of power. Readings from Marxism, Weberian sociology, anarchism, classical political philosophy, and contemporary political science. May also include works of fiction.
Description: This course seeks to explain and understand the exercise of power. We will examine some of the key intellectual traditions that grapple with the problem of power, and we will look at some case studies of political activities and hegemony in different communities. Our purpose will be to reveal the influence of political power on the relationship among the individual, the community, and the state. In doing so, we will address these questions: (1) What is power? (2) Who exercises or holds power? (3) When is power legitimate? (4) When is it possible for individuals or groups to resist power? Hopefully, by the end of the quarter, you will develop a perspective about how political power does and should affect your life on a day-to-day basis.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Texts: H. Arendt, On Revolution; A. Camus, The Plaque; Gaventa, Power and Powerless; Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance; and selections from Foucault, Gramsci, Marx, Weber and others.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments: You will be required to write (a) 4 short essays, (b) a take-home midterm, and (c) a final, in-class exam.
Grading: Exams: 30 % Papers: 60 % Class/quiz participation: 10 % TOTAL: 100 %