The Globalization Debate
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.
This course will be a comparative and global journey into the contentious politics, political economy, and political ecology of water. We will investigate water conflict and cooperation politics and evaluate the complexities and limitations of legal, political and economic frameworks of water resource management from the community to the global level, using theories of the commons, policymaking, political economy and international relations. In order to fully understand water politics it is important to look beyond policy questions and government actions and dissect the personal, social, and community elements of politics. Thus we will journey into questions about collective action and social movements, place-based identities, and affinity with waterways beyond human 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.