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“Not me. Us” became a rallying cry of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in late 2019. Sanders’ slogan reflects a vision of a robust welfare state, defined by a widespread commitment to solidarity, where citizens share social risks as well as economic rewards. But what role can the welfare state play in the twenty-first century? How have its constitutive institutions, from pensions to unemployment insurance, evolved since the post-war “Golden Age”? Is solidarity still possible? This course identifies the political conditions under which welfare states developed in the twentieth century, and examines how they have responded to globalization, immigration, digital transformation, and other contemporary challenges. If the welfare state has a future, it will look different from the past, but how? Taking up a handful of alternative paradigms, from social investment to mutual aid, we will assess different trajectories of solidarity in the twenty-first century.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
Class participation; Two short papers; Take-home final exam
Potential and actual PSCI and POEC majors
POEC Comparative POEC/Public Policy Courses
PSCI Comparative Politics Courses
PSCI Political Theory Courses