Global and Comparative Politics Syllabus with Video Essay Assignment

Published: Aug 31, 2021
Contributor: Aaron Ettinger
License: CC BY NC ND 4.0 license – Allows redistribution but no additions or revisions to content. Forbids commercial use.

Global politics is a paradox. In the twenty-first century, it is pulled in multiple directions by the forces of integration and fragmentation. The world is increasingly complex, integrated and interconnected. It is characterized by new technologies, transnational actors, global consciousness, and an understanding of how a global polity shares similar challenges. As the optimists argue, there is more peace and prosperity than at anytime in human history. But at the same time, the distribution of peace and prosperity is uneven; peace and prosperity coexist with war and deprivation. Today, the world is beset by multiple crises that have given rise to forces of exclusion, isolationism and traditionalism – all of which aim to return to a status quo ante. This course explores how global politics got to this point, and how it influences our daily lives. To understand the current state of affairs, this course explores global politics in comparative and historical perspective. Part I addresses big trends in the making of the twenty-first century and the crises that they have produced. Part II is student driven and explores the global political terrain through the lens of consumer products. Taken together, students will learn about broad sweep of global history and the patterns of politics attendant to specific consumer items.

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