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PSCI 278
The Politics of Capitalism Spring 2020
Division II

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Must we choose between “socialism or barbarism?” A century after Rosa Luxemburg’s challenge, it is clear that socialism did not win. Does this mean that we have descended to barbarism? Tracing the path of capitalist development in the rich democracies suggests a range of responses. Some states have developed robust institutions that provide for citizens’ basic needs and check the power of business; others leave the poor threatened by starvation and workers exposed to exploitation. How and why has capitalism evolved in different forms in different countries? This course addresses the politics of capitalism by examining the struggles between social groups that lead to variation in distributional outcomes and economic performance. The course concludes by investigating these struggles in light of contemporary challenges, in particular, transnational governance and technological change.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 18
Expected: 18
Class#: 3894
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: class participation, two short papers, take-home final exam
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: potential and actual PSCI and POEC majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: PSCI American Politics Courses
PSCI Comparative Politics Courses
PSCI Political Theory Courses

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