PSCI 321 Spring 2013 Theories of U.S. Power

Cross Listed as AMST321
Is it true that the U.S. remains the most powerful country in the world due to the combination of noble values that its citizens hold dear? What does "American Freedom" mean at a time when the U.S. has the highest rate of incarceration in the world? This course is designed to introduce students to different theories of "power" and how it functions in the contemporary world, using the United States as a case study. Beginning at the domestic level, we will explore how the U.S. has remained relatively politically stable despite deep racial divisions and polarizations of wealth. Are residents simply satisfied with their lives? Are they intimidated or physically prevented from seeking change? Or is control maintained in more subtle ways having to do with how we view ourselves and interpret the world? Moving to the international scale, we will analyze whether the United States should be deemed an empire, ways in which the country's economic and military influence has been justified, and how its position in the global economy and system of states is changing. Throughout, we will question how these forms of domestic and international power may be linked. The course will pair challenging theoretical texts with accessible accounts of historical events or processes that exemplify the forms of power under examination. Using texts drawn from history, political science, philosophy, and American Studies, students will develop an understanding of key terms such as class, racial projects, hegemony, governmentality, citizen-subjects, colonialism, the world-system, and transnational states.
Class Format: lecture
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Enrollment Preference: preference given to American Studies majors
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
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Enrollment Limit: 20
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Class Number: 3923
PSCI321-01(S) LEC Theories of U.S. Power Division 2: Social Studies Andrew R. Cornell
MR 2:35 PM-3:50 PM Pareksy 220 3923
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