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Noam Chomsky emerged as one of the most influential figures in the development of modern linguistics during the 1950’s. However, since the Vietnam War, Chomsky has also established himself as perhaps the most influential critic of American foreign policy and the Washington national security establishment. This tutorial will examine his wide-ranging critique of American foreign policy over the last half century, focusing on his analysis of the role that he believes the media and academics have played in legitimizing imperialism and human rights abuses around the world. We will also explore the controversies and criticisms of his work from both the right and the left because of his political stance on issues ranging from the Arab-Israeli conflict to humanitarian intervention to free speech. Finally, we will also examine how Chomsky’s views, largely considered to be radical for much of his life, have become far more mainstream over time.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
no fifth course option
Students will write five 6-7 page papers over the course of the semester. On weeks that students are not writing the lead paper, they will write a 1-2 page critique of the essay submitted by their tutorial partner.
One of the following courses is strongly recommended : PSCI 120, 127, 202.
Students with some previous coursework in American foreign policy or world politics.
International Relations Subfield
LEAD American Foreign Policy Leadership
PSCI International Relations Courses