WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2017-2018       Summer Session       Winter Session       Home       Archive       Search
CS92PROD
Sophomore Government Tutorial: State and Society in the Modern Age

CSS 230
Fall 2017
Section: 01  
Certificates: International Relations

This course analyses the core political institutions of Western democracy as they have evolved over the past 200 years. The European model of the nation-state and capitalist economy became something which other countries around the world were forced to emulate or combat.

Political scientists pose the same questions as do philosophers and historians: the relationship between the individual and society, and the conditions under which efficient and just systems of government emerge. Political scientists range over the same historical evidence as the other disciplines, although they tend to spend less time on dead people than do historians. The difference is mainly in method and approach. Political scientists look for systemic explanations, for structural patterns across many cases. Historians revel in the specificity of individual cases and the uniqueness of history, but political scientists feel uncomfortable when forced to deal with specific cases. While philosophers judge empirical reality against abstract principles, political scientists stick with evidence from the material world.

The purpose of this course is to introduce some of the most important ideas and authors on the evolution of the modern state and political movements. Unlike economics, which has a set of very clear and unified theoretical principles, there is no agreement among political scientists about how to analyze these topics. Liberalism is broadly accepted as the only legitimate frame of reference, having fought off the Marxist challenge, but within liberalism there are divergent approaches as to the scope for democracy, the role of the state, and the relative merits of stability and change. Mid-range theories, more exactly approaches, come in and out of fashion. This tutorial introduces you to some of the most influential writers in the political science tradition and the box of tools they have used to tackle these problems.
Credit: 1.5 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS GOVT
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Credit/Unsatisfactory
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CIR)(CSS)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on DEC-09-2019
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459