PSCI 342
Beyond the welfare state Spring 2021
Division II
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Class Details

“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 possible only in utopia, or can we realize it in the world as well? 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.
The Class: Format: seminar; Course will be fully remote, composed of three elements: (1) Asynchronous lectures, (2) Student discussion groups, (3) Synchronous class meetings
Limit: 16
Expected: 16
Class#: 5466
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Class participation; Two short papers; Two presentations; Take-home final essay
Prerequisites: None
Enrollment Preferences: Potential and actual PSCI and POEC majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: POEC Comparative POEC/Public Policy Courses
PSCI Comparative Politics Courses
PSCI Political Theory Courses

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