Walter Lance Bennett
POL S 405
Intensive reading and research in selected problems or fields of political analysis.
Rethinking Prosperity: Well-being and a Sustainable Future The current global economic order creates many challenges for human well being, from food shortages, poor wages and living conditions, to growing crises with the environment, energy and other resources. In addition, the imperative for political growth is shared by most politicians and economists across the political spectrum. Yet the prospects for growth seem ever more limited. Even if continued growth is possible, it is likely to create more sustainability issues and climate change, along with economic and social instability. The class will explore the factors leading to these dilemmas facing our civilization and consider alternative models for economics and politics that may lead to new ways of thinking about prosperity in a low growth but happier future.
Students will be expected to do extensive reading, participate in class discussions, build and market the "Rethinking Prosperity" blog, and conduct original research leading to a report challenges and prospects for an aspect of a more prosperous society that interests you.
Student learning goals
understanding the relationships between consumer economy, growth, and the limits of energy, resources, and climate change
thinking about alternative political and economic models that would address some of these issues and provide people with other ways of thinking about prosperity
participating in team learning activities such as finding and sharing original resources and blogging about new ideas
conducting original research and writing a report that may be published on a project website
General method of instruction
students will generate discussion questions each week and share resources with the class
instructor will cover key points and lead discussion based on student questions posted on the canvas site
interest in research and exploring ideas strong GPA
Class assignments and grading
books and articles - some generated by students from their own projects
participation and contribution of good work in all aspects of the class