PSCI 274
Revolutions Spring 2018
Division II Writing Skills
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Class Details

Why do revolutions occur, or perhaps more to the point, why do they fail to occur? When do they end and what do they actually achieve? What, in other words, is so revolutionary about revolutions? This course considers whether and how revolutions differ from social movements, coups d’etats, and armed rebellions by looking at a broad range of uprisings, from the “colored revolutions” and liberating “springs” of recent years to the classical examples of the French, American, Mexican, Chinese, Cuban, and Iranian revolutions, as well as the challenging cases of Haiti and South Africa. This class seeks a subversive politics of its own. There is a certain, shiny allure to revolutions, particularly within political science. In a field committed to the dry study and explanation of social phenomena, revolutions are the sexy exception, the example of politics par excellence. Our goal ought to be to call the allure into question, to ask whether this is a merit of undeserved distinction, particularly given recent developments in Egypt and Syria, as well as the ongoing consequences of revolutions in Russia, Iran, China, many years after the fact, after the last triumphant regiment rolled through capital streets.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 3881
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: first short essay, 3-5 pages (15%); second short essay, 3-5 pages (15%); final essay, 15-20 pages (20%); participation, (30%)
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Political Science majors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills
Attributes: PSCI Comparative Politics Courses

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