PSCI 287
The Firm Fall 2021
Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed POEC 287
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Class Details

The rise of gigantic tech firms–Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon–has sparked widespread worries about the role of business power in capitalist democracy. Are these firms monopolies? How can they be better regulated? Should they be? This course studies the politics of business by centering analysis on the firm. From the perspective of the workplace, we investigate the firm as an arena of power, where workers and managers meet each other in continuous contests for control. From the perspective of the public sphere, we investigate the firm as an actor whose power maps uneasily onto the channels of democratic representation. Approaching the firm as both arena and actor in a number of capitalist democracies, we will compare the politics of business across different sectors, but will focus especially on tech and finance.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 1971
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Class participation; two 5- to 7-page essays; one presentation; one final essay
Prerequisites: One introductory course in political science and/or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Preference will be given to sophomores or juniors majoring in a Division II field
Distributions: Division II Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
POEC 287 Division II PSCI 287 Division II
DPE Notes: This course studies power through the lens of class, applying that lens to understand how power functions in the employment relationship, as well as the way that firms exercise power in society more generally.
Attributes: POEC Comparative POEC/Public Policy Courses
PSCI Comparative Politics Courses

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