PSCI 292
Threats to the Republic: Politics in Post-Obama America Spring 2017 Division II;
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When Barack Obama’s successor assumes office in January 2017, he or she will be asked to govern an America that is out of sorts. Economic inequality on a level not seen in over a century. Terrorist attacks at home and abroad. Escalating racial violence in cities. Protests against cultural insensitivity on campuses. Social unrest over the definition of American morality and over who counts as an American. Ideological polarization that regularly brings the government to a standstill and periodically threatens financial ruin. Looming environmental catastrophes capable of provoking humanitarian crises. To what extent do these calamities pose new, existential threats to the republic? And is there anything that can be done to stop or slow them? This course interrogates the many perils that pundits and activists tell us we should worry about in 21st century America. In examining these issues, we will seek not only to understand the contours of the potentially dramatic political changes that some say await us but also to put these issues into historical context so that we may draw lessons from the crises of the past. Ultimately, our goal is to determine how worried we should be—and what, precisely, we should be worried about—as a new era of American leadership begins.
The Class: Type: lecture
Limit: 25
Expected: 25
Class#: 3667
Requirements/Evaluation: five 5-page essays, one presentation, and active class participation
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: first year and sophomores
Distributions: Division II;
Attributes: PSCI American Politics Courses

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