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Topics in Politics:

.5 or 1 unit — Bang, Chandrani, Coggins, Grace, Paranjpe, Popovic, Siefken

Featured Offering

Explore how different political systems produce different dreams of the future beginning with competing 20th century utopian visions of a bright future. Conversely, this course will also examine how cultural production in the 21st century imagines dystopian landscapes.
Illustration of an astronaut and Lenin
The Revolution Continues by Vladimir Abat-Cherkasov. Photo from Twitter user @sovietvisuals
Authoritarianism and Democracy in North Africa seeks to understand the reasons for the divergence from regional norm as well as the logic and persistence of authoritarianism in North African states.
Authoritarianism and Democracy in North Africa
The states of North Africa have, in the main, been governed in a manner usually regarded as authoritarian. They have been neither liberal nor democratic. Since the Arab Spring of 2011 Tunisia seems to have broken with the authoritarian pattern and set itself upon the path toward liberal democracy. The course will seek to understand the reasons for that divergence from regional norm as well as the logic and persistence of authoritarianism in other North African states.
Secrecy, Surveillance and Democracy explores the difficult tension between the presumed dictates of national security and the need for openness, transparency and accountability in a democracy.
Photo of surveillance cameras
This course explores the difficult tension between the presumed dictates of national security and the need for openness, transparency and accountability in a democracy. More specifically, we will discuss the growth of secrecy in the name of national security and its impact on the American polity. In addition, we examine the rise of the Internet and the impact of massive and systematic state surveillance on constitutional, civil, political and human rights. In addition, we pay particular attention to the media, since it has a unique capacity to penetrate this shroud of secrecy and foster a measure of accountability and transparency. We will ground this conversation in a philosophical discussion of secrecy, trace the media’s role in uncovering state secrets in the United States before concluding with an exploration of the dimensions of this phenomenon and its implications during the Bush and Obama administrations.
Smiling Through the Apocalypse scientifically surveys contemporary predictions of a secular apocalypse, including: financial collapse, climate change, nuclear Armageddon, pandemics, and resource scarcity. The course questions the seriousness of these dangers and how to live a rewarding life if they were to occur
Photo of an atomic blast
Photo by International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
The course surveys contemporary predictions of secular apocalypse, including financial collapse, climate change, nuclear Armageddon, pandemics, and resource scarcity (including oil, food, and water shortages). Neo-Malthusian and Cornucopian perspectives are contrasted. How seriously are we to take these dangers? How to live a rewarding life if, as seems plausible, some of these dangers will come to pass? As befits the seniors' final block at Colorado College, they will consider these questions at what, in retrospect, may appear as the happiest moment of their lives. We will be glancing a bit at popular culture and its treatment of these themes, but the main emphasis is on “science-based” versions of doom and gloom.
Drawing on the insights from political science and cultural studies, this course will examine the history of the Crimean Tatars (Kyrymly), the indigenous people of the Crimean peninsula, in the context of their political and cultural ties to the Russian Empire.
Drawing on the insights from political science and cultural studies, this course will examine the history of the Crimean Tatars (Kyrymly), the indigenous people of the Crimean peninsula, in the context of their political and cultural ties to the Russian Empire.
In just three days in May 1944, Soviet NKVD troops deported the Crimean Peninsula's entire Tatar population to Uzbekistan--almost 200,000 people. Brutality, lack of care and unsanitary conditions ensured that thousands died en route, while many more died upon arrival or in work camps set aside for men. The deportation remains one of the most rapid and thorough cases of ethnic cleansing in history. Drawing on the insights from political science and cultural studies, this course will examine the history of the Crimean Tatars (Kyrymly), the indigenous people of the Crimean peninsula, in the context of their political and cultural ties to the Russian Empire. The 1944 forced deportation, the ethnic cleansing, and Kyrymly's eventual return home will be the foci of our investigation. We will look at the Russian canonical narratives of Crimean identity and correlate these texts with Kyrymly's own stories of survival and return. The readings and discussions will locate the Tartar case in broader questions about ethnicity, ethnic conflict, genocide, communism and post-communist transitions. Students will travel to the scenic coast of Crimea, Ukraine where they will live and study among local Kyrymly-recent returnees from their long diaspora.

Offerings

Term Block Title Instructor Location Student Limit/Available Updated
Fall 2021 Block 1 Topics in Politics: The 'Other' Strikes Back Topic Details Jiun Bang Worner Center Hall 25 / 7 09/25/2021
Fall 2021 Block 1 Topics in Politics: German Politics in the „Superwahljahr“ 2021: Topic Details Sven Siefken Armstrong Hall 340 25 / 20 09/25/2021
Spring 2022 Block H Topics in Politics: Campaigning for Social Change in the Digital Era Topic Details Srda Popovic TBA 25 / 25 09/25/2021
Spring 2022 Block H Topics in Politics: Liberal Education: What and Why? Topic Details Eve Grace TBA 25 / 25 09/25/2021
Spring 2022 Block 5 Topics in Politics: Race and Politics Topic Details Elizabeth Coggins TBA 25 / 25 09/25/2021
Spring 2022 Block 7 Topics in Politics: Paradoxes of North East Asia Topic Details Jiun Bang TBA 25 / 25 09/25/2021
Spring 2022 Block 7 Topics in Politics: Politics, Religion and the Secular Yogesh Chandrani TBA 25 / 25 09/25/2021
Spring 2022 Block 7 Topics in Politics: Is a Science of Politics Possible? Topic Details Eve Grace TBA 25 / 25 09/25/2021
Spring 2022 Block 7 Topics in Politics: Foreign Policy in South Asia Topic Details Shrikant Paranjpe TBA 25 / 25 09/25/2021
Spring 2022 Block 7 Topics in Politics: Russia and the West after the Cold War Topic Details TBA 25 / 25 09/25/2021
Report an issue - Last updated: 09/25/2021