PSCI 357
Leadership and the Anxieties of Democracy Spring 2022
Division II
Cross-listed PSCI 357 / LEAD 425

Class Details

This capstone course examines the challenges and opportunities facing political leaders in contemporary liberal democracies. We will begin by surveying institutional constraints confronting contemporary political leaders: globalization, sclerotic institutions, polarization, endemic racism, and a changing media environment, among others. Then, we will look at some important factors that shape how followers approach would-be leaders: inequality and economic precarity; identity and group consciousness; notions of membership, community, and hierarchy; and declining local institutions. While the course will focus primarily on the United States, our conceptual framework will be global; though our main interest will be contemporary, we will also examine previous eras in which democratic leadership has come under great pressure. Our primary questions will be these: Why does transformative leadership seem so difficult today? How does political leadership in the 21st century differ from leadership in earlier eras? What conditions are necessary to sustain effective leadership in the contemporary world? As a final assignment, students will craft an 18-20-page research paper on a topic of their choice related to the themes of the course.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 3538
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Seminar participation, research proposal, peer workshop, research paper, in-class research presentation
Prerequisites: LEAD 125 or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Open to Leadership Studies concentrators or with the permission of the instructor; preference given to Political Science majors
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
PSCI 357 Division II LEAD 425 Division II
Attributes: LEAD Facets or Domains of Leadership
PSCI Research Courses

Class Grid

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