PSCI 235
Survival and Resistance: Environmental Political Theory Spring 2019 Division II; Writing-Intensive; Cross-listed as ENVI235 / PSCI235

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Contemporary struggles to reverse environmental destruction and establish sustainable communities have prompted some political theorists to rethink longstanding assumptions about politics and its relationship to nature. Does the environment have “rights”? What, if anything, is the difference between an ecosystem and a political community? Is democracy dangerous to the planet’s health? Are environmental protections compatible with political freedom? How is the domination or conquest of nature connected with domination and conquest within human societies? What does justice demand in an age of climate change? In this class, we will consider the promise and limits of political theory to illuminate present day environmental crises and foster movements to overcome them. We will engage classic texts that helped to establish political theory’s traditional view of nature as a resource, as well as contemporary texts that offer alternative, ecological understandings of nature and its entwinements with politics. Class will be driven primarily by discussion. Students will have significant responsibility for setting the agenda for discussions through informal writing submitted prior to class. As a writing intensive course, attention to the writing process and developing an authorial voice will be a recurrent focus of our work inside and outside the classroom.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 12
Class#: 3547
Requirements/Evaluation: formal and informal writing assignments and class participation
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: first years and sophomores
Distributions: Division II; Writing-Intensive;
Attributes: AMST Critical and Cultural Theory Electives; ENVI Humanities, Arts + Social Science Electives; PHIL Related Courses; PSCI Political Theory Courses;

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