PSCI 331 Knowledge and Politics

Last offered Spring 2014

Is there a form of knowledge proper to politics? What are the risks and promise of turning to the sciences to supply or guarantee that knowledge (as we do, in different ways, when we call the study of politics "Political Science" or when we call for "science-based policies")? In this class, we will engage several recent works at the intersection of political theory and science studies that reopen the question of science's proper relationship to politics. These works challenge critical theory's traditional assumption that scientific knowledge is, at best, impotent and, at worst, imperious in the context of politics. Yet in defining a more productive role for the sciences in politics, they do not take for granted that science is what its traditional advocates often took it to be: objective, dispassionate... in short, a-political. Works we will consider may include William Connolly's Neuropolitics, Isabelle Stengers The Invention of Modern Science, Karen Barad's Meeting the Universe Halfway, Bruno Latour's Politics of Nature, Mark Brown's Science in Democracy, and Joseph Rouse's Knowledge and Power.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: weekly response papers; 15-page term paper; class participation
Additional Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: prior course in Political Theory, Critical Theory or Philosophy, or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preference: Political Theory concentrators, then Political Science majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: ENVI Humanities, Arts + Social Science Electives,ENVP PTL-A Group Electives,PSCI Political Theory Courses
Enrollment Limit: 15
Expected Enrollment: 15
Class Number: 3425
PSCI 331 SEM Knowledge and Politics Division 2: Social Studies Laura D. Ephraim
PSCI 331 SEM Knowledge and Politics Division 2: Social Studies Laura D. Ephraim
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