Controversies in Globalization
This course will examine controversial issues that have arisen as the world becomes more integrated and national borders become "thinner."
We will discuss questions such as: Does international trade improve or harm the environment? How does immigration affect domestic welfare? Has adopting the euro as its common currency been good or bad for Europe? Does trade create conflict between nations or promote peace? Does trade reduce the likelihood of civil wars or generate internal conflict? Throughout the course we will look at both the economics and the politics of globalization.
The “water wars” hypothesis – that as water becomes scarce countries are more likely to battle over it – is a commonly accepted popular idea about a climate changed future. However, the social contentiousness of water is not new. Political decisions about waters have been important since humans first engaged in irrigated agriculture and settled in large numbers.
The politics of water conflict and cooperation are complex especially given cross-boundary aspects, multiple needs, increasing demands, and decreasing supply and quality. In this course, we will evaluate the legal, political and economic frameworks of water resource management, using theories of the commons, public policymaking, political economy and international relations to do so. In order to fully understand water politics, it is important to look beyond the policy questions and government actions and dissect the personal and cultural elements at play. Thus we will journey into the questions of place-based identities, reactions to and relationships with waterways beyond our uses.
Revolution! A Global History
Since 1776, humans have initiated and participated in over 300 revolutions. This course will introduce students to the global history and theory of revolution in the modern period. Its basic premise is that revolution, and the attendant attempts to counter, cordon, or direct it, has defined the modern era of humanity.
The course begins by asking a simple question: How did revolution become something that human beings can do? What made it possible for humans to first think about then enact an abrupt, transgressive, and intentional transformation of the society in which they live? From this initial question, the course will examine the viral spread of revolution across the earth over the past two centuries. Topics that we will engage with include: Changes in the meaning and practice of revolution, the relation of revolution to ideologies of nationalism, democracy, socialism, secularism, and religion; the emergence of people who call themselves revolutionaries (and conservatives); revolutionary spaces/time; and the concepts of permanent and counter revolution. The course will conclude with discussion of the global uprisings that have rocked the world since 2011 and the prospects for revolution in the U.S.