This course provides an opportunity to study and discuss issues and events having recent international impact and/or interest. The course will present a multidisciplinary perspective on specific subjects with the intent of linking students with the scholars and scholarship involved in understanding and explaining current international issues, events, and crisis.
During the 20th century, Britain underwent a major transformation. A country in which a law-abiding individual would hardly notice the existence of the state had become one in which, from the cradle to the grave, no one could avoid it. An empire controlling the destiny of one-quarter of the human race, having no allies because she needed none, had become an offshore island with an ambiguous relationship towards the Continent. How did...more
Under the guidance of Professor Lisa Anderson, Conceptual Foundations of International Politics is a graduate course at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs which examines many of the central concepts, theories, and analytical tools used in contemporary social science to understand and explain international affairs.
In this course, we will seek to interpret capitalism using ideas from biological evolution: firms pursuing varied strategies and facing extinction when those strategies fail are analogous to organisms struggling for survival in nature. For this reason, it is less concerned with ultimate judgment of capitalism than with the ways it can be shaped to fit our more specific objectives – for the natural environment, public health, alleviation of...more
This course is an introduction to study of strategic interaction in political applications. Use of game theory and other formal modeling strategies to understand politics are also studied in order to gain a better understanding of politics at large.
This course explores main answers to the question "when do governments deserve our allegiance?" It starts with a survey of major political theories of the Enlightenment—Utilitarianism, Marxism, and the social contract tradition—through classical formulations, historical context, and contemporary debates relating to politics today. It then turns to the rejection of Enlightenment political thinking. Lastly, it deals with the nature of, and j...more
An intensive introduction to African American political thought that focuses on major ideological trends and political philosophies as they have been applied and interpreted by African Americans. Elements of the class include debates and conflicts in black political thought, historical contest of African American social movements, and discussions of the relationship between black political thought and major trends in Western thought. Mar...more
Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner (AMST 246)Professor Wai Chee Dimock continues her discussion of Light in August by showing how the kindness of strangers turns into malice in the cases of social reformer Joanna Burden and Reverend Hightower. Whereas that malice assumes comedic tones in the depiction of Joanna's death, it has more complex valences in the case of Reverend Hightower, who is both ethically delicate towards his neighbors and ins...more
Foundations of Modern Social Thought (SOCY 151)John Stuart Mill made important and influential amendments to Bentham's ideas of utilitarianism. Perhaps most influentially, Mill states that there are not only different quantities of happiness but also qualitative differences in happiness. Humans are capable of higher forms of happiness, and therefore utility must be judged by taking into account quantitative amounts as well as qualitative d...more
Foundations of Modern Social Thought (SOCY 151)The general willâ€”dangerous if taken too farâ€”operates in many elements of our social and civic life. Immunizations that are compulsory for living in dorms serve the common goodâ€”the general willâ€”regardless of individual will. The general will operates in society when individuals develop not only amour de soi, selfish love, but also amour propre, love of self in relation to others. Rous...more
Early Modern England: Politics, Religion, and Society under the Tudors and Stuarts (HIST 251)In this lecture Professor Wrightson discusses the Restoration settlement of 1660 and the reigns of Charles II and James II. He highlights the manner in which tensions between the crown and the political nation slowly escalated during Charles's reign (as a result of his attempts to grant religious toleration, unpopular wars against the Dutch and dip...more